City:  Göttingen
Date:  May 16, 2023

PhD student* ‒ Drug Discovery / Bioinformatics & Automated Super-Resolution Microscopy (SRM)

The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft ( currently operates 76 institutes and research institutions throughout Germany and is the world’s leading applied research organization. Around 30 000 employees work with an annual research budget of 2.9 billion euros. 

The Fraunhofer branch »Translational Neuroinflammation and Automated Microscopy« TNM in Göttingen is part of the Fraunhofer Institute for Translational Medicine and Pharmacology ITMP. 
The department »High Resolution and Automated Microscopy« focuses on the application and automation of super-resolution fluorescence microscopy techniques for drug discovery. 

Modern super-resolution microscopy techniques such as STED microscopy allow us to analyze protein distributions on the nanometer scale. With this technology, previously unknown changes in the structure and protein clusters within patient cells can be investigated. Automatized image data acquisition allows the recording of large collections of microscopy image data under a multitude of conditions in drug discovery screens. The resulting data must be analyzed in a statistically robust manner in order to isolate relevant features that indicate changes in the pathological state of a disease. Our department aims to combine these methods (super-resolution microscopy, efficient automated recordings and statistical data analysis) for a better understanding of cellular changes in cancer and central nervous system diseases. We want to detect neurodegenerative diseases earlier and help design drug screenings that will be able to identify new therapies for diseases.



What you will do

  • Create and extend our software to automatically and efficiently record model samples with super-resolution microscopes
  • Apply statistical analyses to quantify the differences between ordinary and pathological processes, with special emphasis on the use of machine learning, and identification of data features that can be used as meaningful quantitative measures in pharmaceutical research
  • Establish automated pipelines utilizing machine learning and statistical analysis algorithms to process previously collected high-throughput microscopy data
  • Compare and integrate existing pharmaceutical datasets with results obtained from automated microscopy
  • Day-to-day work in an interdisciplinary and international environment
  • Support for various interesting cooperation partners from industry and medicine

Due to our collaboration with the University of Göttingen, PhD students have the opportunity to participate in one of several PhD programs.


What you bring to the table

High motivation and a strong interest to work in applied research, the interface between mathematics, computer science medicine, and industry.
Further requirements for PhD students:

  • Master’s or equivalent degree in bioinformatics, computer science, mathematics, physics, or a related field
  • Strong programming skills (Python, Matlab, R etc.)
  • Experience with machine learning
  • A strong background in statistical analysis 
  • Proficiency in English (written and spoken)
  • Your professional qualifications are completed by a quick comprehension, a structured and independent working style and a strong team spirit


What you can expect

Employment and social benefits are based on the German public service pay scale (TVöD Bund, E13 65 %). The starting date is flexible.


Candidates will have the possibility to present their work at conferences and publish in scientific journals. Through close cooperation with the Max Planck Institute for Multidisciplinary Science, our excellence in nanoscopy and our interdisciplinary organization, we have access to a broad range of techniques and facilities.
Disabled persons are given preference in the event of equal suitability. The Fraunhofer Society attaches great importance to professional equality irrespective of gender. 

Fraunhofer is the largest organization for application-oriented research in Europe. Our research fields are geared to people's needs: Health, Safety, Communication, Mobility, Energy and Environment. We are creative, we shape technology, we design products, we improve processes, we open up new paths.


The weekly working time is 39 hours. The position is initially limited to one year. We value and promote the diversity of our employees' skills and therefore welcome all applications - regardless of age, gender, nationality, ethnic and social origin, religion, ideology, disability, sexual orientation and identity. Severely disabled persons are given preference in the event of equal suitability. Appointment, remuneration and social security benefits based on the public-sector collective wage agreement (TVöD). Additionally Fraunhofer may grant performance-based variable remuneration components.

With its focus on developing key technologies that are vital for the future and enabling the commercial utilization of this work by business and industry, Fraunhofer plays a central role in the innovation process. As a pioneer and catalyst for groundbreaking developments and scientific excellence, Fraunhofer helps shape society now and in the future. 

Interested? Apply online now. We look forward to getting to know you!


If you have any questions about the application process, please contact 
Dr. Jan Keller-Findeisen 




Dr. Christian Brüser
Phone +49 5513963-478
Information about the Fraunhofer Institute can be found on the internet at:
Information about the research of Prof. Stefan Jakobs at the University Medical Center Göttingen:

Fraunhofer Institute for Translational Medicine and Pharmacology ITMP 


Requisition Number: 62401                Application Deadline:


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