Principles of cell and tissue organization


PhD student and/or Postdoc in Computational Biology

The group of Marino Zerial is looking for a highly motivated PhD student or postdoctoral candidate with strong background in computer science and mathematics. The candidate should be interested in applying computational methods to biological problems.

Possible projects are within the following areas:

  1. 3D reconstruction and image analysis of liver tissue:
    1. Development of new algorithms for microscopy image segmentation and analysis aiming to build reliable high-resolution 3D models of liver tissue.
    2. Mathematical and computational modelling aiming to bridge liver tissue structure with its function.
  2. Development and implementation of algorithms and tools for the analysis of image-based genomic functional screens:
    1. Extraction of high-content multi-parametric phenotype descriptors from microscopy images;
    2. Probabilistic analysis of multi-parametric profiles, prediction of biologically meaningful functional modules and their interconnections.
  3. Development of new approaches for data analysis:
    1. Develop models and algorithms to extract quantitative parameters from raw experimental data;
      1. Mathematical models of biological processes to extract biologically meaningful parameters from experimental data;
      2. Computational algorithms to extract directly non-observable values from experimental data.
    2. Develop models to explain experimental data and predict the results of genetic/pharmacological perturbations in biological systems;
    3. Develop new approaches to link experimental results and input/output parameters of theoretical models.

The above projects aim at understanding the design principles of cell and tissue structure and function, including the developing and regenerating mouse liver.

Candidates should have a degree in natural science (physics, biophysics, computer science or similar). Knowledge of high performance and parallel computing is an advantage. Since the aim of the projects is to develop theory to complement experimental biological studies, some knowledge of biology and experience in the analysis of experimental data is required. An excellent command of English together with good communication skills and self-motivation are also required.




Our offer

The full-time position is available immediately for an initial period of 2 years with the possibility of extension. Salary and social benefits will be in accordance with the regulations of the German TVöD Bund (salary agreement for public service employees).

For further information contact Dr. Lisa Johnsen by email or phone +49 (0) 351 210 2136.


Candidates interested in performing their PhD work on the above projects should apply directly to the International Max Planck Research School for Cell, Developmental and Systems Biology (, following the guidelines of the program.

Postdoctoral candidates should submit their complete application including the names of three referees by 30 August 2021 via our online application system stating Code 2021-PostDoc-ComputationalBiology-1040 at

The Max Planck Society strives for gender and diversity equality. We welcome applications from all backgrounds.


Zerial lab