Join us!

Postdoctoral Positions in synthetic biology and cell biology

Do you want to engineer cells to create next-generation biological reporters? We seek two motivated postdoctoral researchers to develop genome editing technologies for biosurveillance applications in vivo.

The lack of scalable and non-invasive methods to monitor transient molecular processes in vivo represents a major drawback to address fundamental open questions in biology. Our project Synthetic DNA memories aims to develop novel molecular tools that record cellular events into permanent and readable genetic memories. This collaborative and interdisciplinary project aims to establish high-throughput DNArecorders to unravel molecular dynamics in cell cycle and signalling across biological scales, including in mouse models. Furthermore, our goal is to implement these tools for a wide range of biological, industrial and therapeutical applications.

As a successful candidate, you will engage in one or more of the following areas:

  • Development of synthetic DNA recorders using gene editing tools, including CRISPR nucleases
  • Design of synthetic biological circuits to survey cellular processes such as cell signal transduction and cell cycle progression in yeast or mammalian cells, including in mouse stem cells
  • Development of scalable and robust analyses by single-cell sequencing, imaging or cytometry
  • Adaptation of the tools to different biological questions and scales, from cells to organisms.

You have: A PhD or equivalent qualification in synthetic biology or molecular/cell biology. Candidates should have deep laboratory experience in CRISPR genome editing techniques (e.g. Cas9, Cas1-2) in eukaryotic cells (Yeast, cell culture, stem cells, or in vivo vertebrate models). You are skilled in complex genetic design and multiplex cloning. You excel in independent problem solving, and you are excited about designing and developing novel techniques. You enjoy interdisciplinary research, and you are capable of building collaborations with team members working on different disciplines. Excellent communication skills in English.

You might have: Background in protein/pathway engineering. Experience in mitosis, stem cell biology, cell cycle or signalling pathways. Training in imaging, single-cell sequencing, or other high-throughput methods. Familiarity with scripting languages for large data set analysis.

About the team: The selected candidates will join a collaborative project led by Sergio P. Acebron (Heidelberg University, ), Gislene Pereira (Heidelberg University/DKFZ), Jan Ellenberg (EMBL), Rainer Pepperkok (EMBL), and Anna Marciniak-Czochra (Bioquant/IWR). Our work employs different biological models, technology platforms and mathematical tools to better understand Wnt signal transduction (Acebron et al., Mol Cell 2014; Koch et al., Cell 2015; Berger et al., EMBO R. 2017), cell division (Gryaznova et al., Elife 2016; Cai et al., Nature 2018), and fate determination (Ziebell et al., Development 2018).

How to Apply: Interested applicants should send an email to containing a pdf with 1) a cover letter that describes their motivation to pursue this position and summarizes past research accomplishments, 2) CV, and 3) contact information for two references.

Deadline: March 27, 2020.

The Heidelberg University is committed to increase the percentage of female scientists and encourages female applicants to apply. Among candidates of equal aptitude and qualifications, a person with disabilities will be given preference.


We aim to develop novel modular DNA-based memory devices controlled by recombinases and Cas endonucleases to record complex and transient cellular events into permanent and readable genetic memories. We will use these molecular devices explore the long-term dynamics of mitotic and signal events. Our goal is to implement these tools for a wide range of biological, industrial and therapeutical applications.

Postdoc positions

Are you interested in doing a Postdoc in the lab? Please contact Sergio directly to discuss your project ideas and opportunities.  Please provide a CV and a letter of recommendation (or the contact information of a referee).


PhD and M.Sc. positions

We are looking for highly motivated students with a background in molecular cell biology, or similar. Please note that all PhD students will be integrated into the HBIGS graduate school at Heidelberg University. Please contact Sergio for inquiries for open PhD positions in the lab, possible funding, as well as lab rotations for M.Sc. students.

We have an open position for a Master thesis.  If you are interested, please send a CV and brief letter of motivation to Sergio Acebron ( Provide a letter of recommendation, or the contact information of a referee.