Postdoc (f/m/d)
– High-throughput RNAi-screening in planarian flatworms –

Job Code: 27-21

Job Offer from August 13, 2021

The Max Planck Institutes for Biophysical Chemistry and Experimental Medicine in Göttingen are internationally leading research institutes of exceptional scientific breadth, which will merge in 2022 to become the largest institute of the Max Planck Society. The new institute will comprise more than 40 research groups and employ around 1,000 people from over 50 nations.

The department of Tissue Dynamics and Regeneration (Dr. Jochen Rink) invites applications for a position as

Postdoc (f/m/d)
High-throughput RNAi-screening in planarian flatworms

Planarians are fascinating animals that harbor adult pluripotent stem cells, regenerate from tiny pieces and reversibly scale their bodies over a wide size range. Their unique biology uniquely epitomizes fundamental biological challenges, e.g body plan self-organization from random starting points, stem cell driven regeneration of complex organs or even an apparent lack of organismal ageing in the asexual strains.

So far, candidate gene approaches constitute the mainstay of discoveries in the field. We want to add systematic loss of function screening to our discovery portfolio. Together with company partners, we have established a genome-wide dsRNA library for systematic loss of function screening. Departmental resources further include the requisite large-scale planarian culture systems, state of the art robotics and high content imaging systems. A team of experts in microscopy, robotics, bioinformatics and planarian culture is going to support the endeavour.

The project aims to carry out a large-scale RNAi screen for missing components of planarian regeneration. As project leader, you will get to develop screening assay(s) and coordinate the screening team through all major project phases. You will also be able to make full use of the departmental resources and numerous institute facilities during your subsequent hit characterization. Through successful completion of the project, you will gain a strong skill set in high throughput experimentation, sample processing, imaging and data analysis. Scientifically, you can expect a major contribution to understanding planarian regeneration and in addition, exciting unexpected discoveries that might open up new avenues in regeneration research.

Your profile

  • You hold or soon expect to obtain a PhD in the life sciences.
  • You have a proven record of accomplishment in one or more of the following topics: cell or developmental biology, model organisms, with focus on RNAi techniques, assay development for screening applications, high throughput imaging, liquid handling robotics and the analysis of large and complex data sets.
  • You are self-motivated, well-organized, independent and prepared to go the extra mile for the success of your project.
  • You have prior supervision or leadership experience and you enjoy being an active part of an international and interdisciplinary work environment.

About us

We are a new department at the Max Planck Institute of Biophysical Chemistry in the historic science town of Goettingen.

We represent the organismal end of biophysical chemistry at the institute and investigate the mechanistic and evolutionary underpinnings of planarian regeneration. The department hosts a large zoo of planarian species for comparative analyses and we just established a field station at Lake Baikal in Russia, the Galapagos of planarian biodiversity. We are a thoroughly international and interdisciplinary group of people and based at one of Germany’s premier research campuses. We enjoy generous funding by the Max Planck Society and the proximity to picturesque Goettingen with its bustling student bars.

Position details

The position is initially for 2 years with the possibility of extension. Payment and benefits are based on the German Public Service Payscale (TVöD Bund) guidelines.

The Max Planck Society is committed to increasing the number of individuals with disabilities in its workforce and therefore encourages applications from such qualified individuals. The Max Planck Society strives for gender and diversity equality. We welcome applications from all backgrounds.


Please submit your application as soon as possible, and no later than 30 September 2021, including cover letter (explaining background and motivation), CV, transcripts, and publication record by e-mail as a single PDF file to

Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry
Department of
Tissue Dynamics and Regeneration
Dr. Jochen Rink
Am Faßberg 11
37077 Göttingen

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