PhD student position available

Open position – Early-Stage Researchers (ESRs/PhD students) as part of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network INFLANET

ESR14 project: Design and implementation of workflow tools for multiplexed time-lapse imaging experiments in zebrafish screening

The ESR will be employed at ACQUIFER Imaging GmbH in Heidelberg, Germany under supervision of Dr. Jochen Gehrig (Acquifer) and Prof Dr Jochen Wittbrodt (Centre for Organismal Studies (COS), Heidelberg). The project is embedded in on-going research and development projects of ACQUIFER, in collaboration with academic partners at the University of Heidelberg and the INFLANET consortium. ACQUIFER has developed the Imaging Machine, an automated microscope following a unique opto-mechanical design rendering it ideal for whole organism (e.g. zebrafish) screening studies. Moreover, ACQUIFER has a strong scientific background and is actively involved in methodology development for imaging assays, and conduction of screening projects in research collaborations. In this context, ESR14 will develop novel acquisition protocols and image analysis tools for multiplexed time-lapse imaging experiments in zebrafish screening applications. This involves the implementation of new assays and workflows using automated screening microscopes. Furthermore, she/he will utilize innovative image analysis solutions for complex multidimensional datasets, such as the tracking of objects of interest (e.g. immune cell migration) or the quantification of other dynamic features (e.g. growth). The developments will extend on previous internal innovations and will be guided by the requirements of other members of the network to study the dynamic processes of inflammation in model organisms.

Requirements and selection criteria

• MSc-degree in the natural sciences or related engineering discipline (e.g. biology, biomedical sciences, physics, biotechnology, etc).
• Strong interest in high content screening, bioimage informatics and the zebrafish model system.
• Practical experience with microscopy, digital imaging and/or image analysis is preferred.
• Interdisciplinary mindset and interest to work at the industry/academia interface.
• Previous experience with laboratory automation or the zebrafish model is a plus but not required.
• English conversation, writing and presentation skills.
• Knowledge of the german language is not required.
• All eligibility criteria for ESRs of MSCA ITNs must be met. Please see for details.

Additional information

The focus of this interdisciplinary project can depend on the qualification and interest of the successful candidate, i.e. either with emphasis on the bioimage informatics part or automated zebrafish imaging. However, interest in all areas is expected. The PhD candidate will be offered a 3-year full-time contract. She/he will work in the premises of ACQUIFER in Heidelberg and in the ACQUIFER application lab at the University of Heidelberg. The PhD candidate will be co-supervised by Prof Dr Jochen Wittbrodt (COS, University of Heidelberg) and enrolled in HBIGS, the Heidelberg Biosciences International Graduate School. The Inflanet training programme will additionally offer regular training sessions, workshops and meetings on various scientific topics and soft skills. The PhD candidate will also have several secondments (up to 4 month total) to other Inflanet consortium members to be exposed to different research environments during the project period.

How to apply

  • Please apply via the dedicated recruitment web site at: First deadline of applications is 31/01/2021.
  • Possible starting dates are in Summer/Autumn 2021.


Please contact j.gehrig<at> for any further information.