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Campus Essen

Application area

Faculty of Biology

PhD Scientific Researcher (f/m/d, No. 485-23)
13 TV-L

In the Faculty of Biology, Bioinformatics and Computational Biophysics (located on the campus in Essen).


The post belongs to a research project entitled “Development of mechanistic mathematical models for the study of the microbiome-associated immune responses along the gut-lung axis” under supervision of Dr. Farnoush Farahpour.

Recent experimental evidence suggests that gut and lung immune homeostasis and physiology are influenced by a bidirectional interaction via the so-called gut-lung axis, mediated by the gut and lung microbiomes and their associated metabolites. This interaction has significant implications for the outcome of cancer treatment, such as radiation therapy for lung cancer. The complexity of the interaction network of multiple players involved in such systems makes hypothesis testing a major challenge. Recently, mathematical and computational models have been used to address this challenge, providing researchers with new tools to study and understand oncological problems. They do this by dissecting the complexity and quantitatively testing biological hypotheses with negligible costs in terms of time, resources, and animal life compared to experimental studies.

In this project, in collaboration with two experimental groups at the University Hospital Essen, we will develop mathematical models to investigate the association between the host lung and gut microbiome and the immune responses after radiotherapy in lung cancer.

Start of employment


Duration of employment

4 years

Working time

25 h 53 min (65 %)

Your main tasks

  • Developing and analyzing mathematical models.
  • Performing robust numerical simulations of the models.
  • Statistical analysis of a substantial amount of diverse biological data.
  • Discussing with the experimentalists, and taking part in the experimental design.
  • Calibrating the models using the obtained experimental results.
  • Communicating scientific results (articles, oral presentations, etc.).

Your profile

  • Talented and enthusiastic candidates with high interest in the research topic.
  • Above average university degree of at least 8 semesters in systems/computational biology, mathematics, physics, engineering, computer science, or equivalent.
  • Demonstrated experience with mathematical modeling using ordinary differential equations, specifically pharmaceutical models.
  • Strong programming skills in at least one programming language (Matlab, R, Python, etc.).
  • Knowledge of biological systems, in particular, cancer and immune responses, and experience in bioinformatics analysis is preferable.
  • High motivation and commitment for active cross-disciplinary collaboration.
  • Problem-solving skills, creative thinking and ability to work independently.
  • Good communication skills (incl. writing and speaking scientific English) as well as organizational skills and teamwork skills.

We offer you

  • Being part of a cutting-edge research project.
  • A varied, versatile field of activity in a lively work area with international exchange.
  • An interesting, responsible job with great creative potential, where you will get to know the diverse tasks and developments of research transfer and have contacts with almost all areas of the UD.
  • A discrimination-free working environment with respectful, appreciative cooperation.
  • A pleasant working environment in a dynamic team.
  • The possibility to obtain a PhD with the help of numerous support services.
  • Family-friendly environment with provision of child care and advice on caring responsibilities.
  • A wide range of further education and training opportunities
  • A discount job ticket for public transport.
  • Attractive range of sport and health activities.
  • The possibility to work from home (Homeoffice).

Application deadline


Code number



Unfortunately, the application deadline for this position has passed.

Information about the job

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