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PhD student position: Data-driven mathematical modeling of T cell differentiation dynamics to inform immunotherapy and vaccination

 Technische Universität München  München
We are seeking a PhD student (65% TV-L E13) to join our team of Quantitative T cell Immunologists at the Institute for Medical Microbiology, Immunology and Hygiene of the Technical University of Munich. The position offers both purely theoretical work (data-driven mathematical modeling) and – if desired – the opportunity to work also experimentally.

In close collaboration with our clinical and experimental partners our group investigates the mechanistic basics of T cell differentiation and memory formation during infection and cancer based on data-driven mathematical models. Our work aims to improve the scheduling of pharmacological therapy and to inform clinical trials on adoptive T cell therapy to combat resurging chronic viral infections after stem cell transplantation. We have recently shown that data-driven mathematical modeling, combined with fate-mapping of single naïve T cells developed at the Institute for Medical Microbiology, Immunology and Hygiene (MIH), provides a novel, highly informative approach to study T cell differentiation and plasticity in vivo (Buchholz/Flossdorf et al. Science 2013, Flossdorf et al. Nature Immunology 2015). 

The new team member will apply the combined strengths of mathematical modeling and single-T-cell fate mapping to dissect the mechanisms of T cell memory formation, differentiation and a state of T cell dysfunction termed “exhaustion” which can emerge during chronic infection and cancer. Iterative cycles between theory and in vivo experiments conducted in the laboratory of Dirk Busch at MIH will be at the heart of these projects. The position offers both purely theoretical work and – if desired – the opportunity to work also experimentally in collaboration with the Busch laboratory. 

We are looking for highly motivated applicants who are committed to interdisciplinary science and enthusiastic to communicate with experts outside of their field in an international collaborative research environment; they should have a background in Physics, Mathematical Biology, Biophysics, Bioinformatics, Molecular Biotechnology or similar. Previous experience in mathematical immunology would be an added advantage. Biologists with previous experience in basic experimental immunological techniques and an interest in mathematical modeling are also encouraged to apply. TUM is an equal opportunity employer. Therefore women are especially encouraged to apply. Preference will be given to disabled candidates with essentially the same qualifications. 

Enquiries and applications should be made to Michael Floßdorf (michael.flossdorf@tum.de). Please include a CV, a brief summary of your previous work experience, a short statement of why you chose to apply and contact information of referees.

How to apply:
Kontakt für Bewerbungen
Michael Floßdorf
Technische Universität München
Institut für Medizinische Mikrobiologie, Immunologie und Hygiene
Trogerstr. 30
81675 München

E-Mail: michael.flossdorf@tum.de
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