Read about what our Postdocs say

You are planning to join a lab at DKFZ for your postdoc?

You are looking for a working environment at an institute which is international, fosters interdisciplinary research and builds on scientific exchange and excellence?

Come and work at the German Cancer Research Center!

But first have a look at what our postdocs say about working at the institute.

Kim Boonekamp, Netherlands

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My name is Kim Boonekamp and I have joined the DKFZ in 2020 after being rewarded the DKFZ postdoctoral Fellowship in the Division of Functional Genomics in the laboratory of Prof. Michael Boutros. After my PhD in the Netherlands it was time to gain some foreign research experience and the DKFZ serves as an excellent place to do so. The DKFZ offers a large number of core facilities to facilitate my research. Moreover, it is centrally located on the campus serving as a stimulating environment for interdisciplinary collaborations. Apart from being a fruitful research environment, DKFZ offers a large variety of courses not only about research related topics but also on career development including grant writing. Despite the number of people employed by DKFZ, it still feels like I know many people through courses and collaborations. Combination of fundamental and translational research in one institute together with cutting-edge techniques serves as a platform for boosting my postdoctoral project. For me DKFZ and the lab of Professor Boutros are the perfect location to continue my scientific career after my PhD.

Chun-Shan Liu, Taiwan

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I am Chun-Shan Liu, form Taiwan, where I completed all my studies including my PhD. I joined the DKFZ in September 2018 as a postdoc in the Division of Cancer Epigenetics, headed by Prof. Dr. Christoph Plass. Before I came to Heidelberg, I did not speak a single word in German, so I worried that the language would be a barrier in my daily life in Germany. After arrival, I realized I just overthought because people here are so kind and friendly. The DKFZ provides many training opportunities not only for science but also for living and career development. Personally, I joined a language course that the DKFZ provided to learn some basic German. Besides, I also benefited from other trainings such as grant writing and career development. The working environment here is amazing because there are core facilities and different research groups across different disciplines nearby so that we can employ multidisciplinary approaches. I also benefited from this diversity a lot, as I recently shifted to the division Experimental Hepatology, Inflammation and Cancer, headed by Dr. Michael Dill. This shift extends my research experience form epigenetic regulation to microenvironment alteration. I am very grateful that I can be part of the DKFZ and I really enjoy my work and life in Heidelberg.

Miki Kamiyama, Japan

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My name is Miki Kamiyama and I come from Japan, where I completed all degrees up to my PhD. I joined in Prof. Hellmut Augustin's lab, Vascular Oncology and Metastasis (A190), in October 2018 with great honour after receiving the eminent DKFZ postdoctoral fellowship. To be honest in the beginning, coming to Germany as a postdoc sounded too challenging for me, especially in terms of language and communication. However, I didn't have such problems in Heidelberg (not even outside the DKFZ). The working environment in the DKFZ is very supportive even for non-German speaking scientists. As you already know, science cannot be driven by yourself alone and you will need various types of support from your collaborators, core facilities, management offices and so on. In addition to driving my projects, I had so many things to learn like latest data analysis, grant writing and establishment of my career path; these were extensively covered by a series of excellent programs, courses and supportive teams at DKFZ. Such a resourceful environment helps me to expand my research capacity and my insight as a scientist. Finally, I would like to thank all the people involved. This experience could never have been achieved without great help from Prof. Hellmut Augustin, who accepted me as a postdoc and all the supportive staff from DKFZ.

José Vedelago, Argentina

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"My name is José Vedelago and I have joined the DKFZ in 2020 with a prestigious DKFZ Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Division of Medical Physics in Radiation Oncology, headed by Prof. Dr. Oliver Jäkel. After finishing my PhD in Argentina, working with experimental dosimetry systems for ionizing radiation, I was looking forward to completing my scientific background with ion beams used for cancer treatment. Thanks to the cooperation between the DFKZ and the Heidelberg Ion Beam Therapy Facility (HIT) at the University Hospital Heidelberg, I am now able to focus my research on the dosimetry of secondary neutrons.
Working at the DKFZ is amazing, you will find a diverse offer of training opportunities, some of them are specifically dedicated to postdocs, for example aiming at fostering our scientific career and gaining independence. From my perspective, how the DKFZ has been supporting their staff during the pandemic is a clear indicator that the well-being of the employees is a top priority, along with the highest scientific level of research. The work environment, the access to an enormous amount of resources and cutting-edge technology, makes it possible to boost scientific research and initiate new scientific collaborations."

Susanne Lux, Germany

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„My name is Susanne Lux - most people call me Susi - and I am a Postdoc in Mick Milsom's group in the department of Experimental Hematology (A012) at DKFZ where I am working on a transcription factor that is modulating the DNA damage response in malignant cells. I joined Mick's group in September 2019 and very soon after I also joined the DKFZ Postdoc Network Committee (PDN) and became one of the PDN representatives. The PDN has helped my onboarding at DKFZ a lot and I quickly got to know and got in touch with all the different useful institutions here at DKFZ, like the Postdoc Program Office, Advanced Training, the Equality Office and the Career Service. I met other Postdocs at our Postdoc Retreat and on the Heidelberg Christmas market and not only made new friends this way, but this interaction also resulted in a new collaboration for my lab. The DKFZ makes it very easy to communicate with colleagues, and so far, whenever I felt stuck in my project, I would meet someone who was able to help me. In addition to the very stimulating high-level scientific environment, I value that the DKFZ also offers events and initiatives on other important topics, such as sustainability and mental health and stress management."

Santiago Cerrizuela, Argentina

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"My name is Santiago Cerrizuela and I come from Argentina, where I did my PhD. My dream of living from what I love came true as soon as I reached Heidelberg to start my postdoc at the Division of Molecular Neurobiology at the DKFZ. Given the fact that I come from Argentina, the process of applying to a position abroad was really tough, but at the end everything worked out. As soon as I entered the lab, I was amazed by the resources that the DKFZ has to offer to its scientists. Additionally, the environment in which I have been working has always been the best to flourish and develop your hard and soft skills. Our lab is nourished by the intercultural diversity present, with students from Spain, India, Turkey, Russia, Finland, Syria, China, Slovenia and Kazakhstan. Anytime I have any doubts or questions, the lab is there for me ready to support me. As a researcher I learned here to value the breath of resources that are at my disposal, not only cutting-edge technological devices but also the ability to get advanced training in many areas, such as project development and hard biological skills. On the networking side, I had and still have the opportunity to be part of the Postdoc Network Committee, which has allowed me to connect with other postdoctoral researchers and to learn a lot from them. We are currently organizing the first virtual Postdoc Retreat and we are constantly publishing our newsletter, which is a useful stage to show what we are doing and to inform about different scientific areas. Lastly, the DKFZ has offered me the chance of co-coordinating the Virtual Career Day "Publishing", which is another playground on which I can develop my project management skills and which puts me in contact with many scientists across the globe. To summarize, I am really thankful to my PI and to the DKFZ for providing me this incredible opportunity to develop as a scientist and as a person."

Evangelia Tasouri, Cyprus

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"My Heidelberg adventure began before I joined the DKFZ for my postdoctoral studies as I decided to move from UK to Germany to pursue a PhD at the University of Heidelberg. Throughout my PhD years I closely interacted with scientists at the DKFZ, attended seminars and Career Days held by DKFZ and it was inevitable not to recognize both the innovative research taking place in the institute with state-of-the-art techniques and equipment but also the efforts the institute itself puts into securing career and personal development for its people. Therefore it was clear for me that I wholeheartedly wanted to join this dynamic scientific environment for my postdoctoral studies. I joined the Group of Dr. Sandrine Sander in the Department of Adaptive Immunity and Lymphoma to functionally characterize signaling pathways in mouse models of B cell malignancies such as Burkitt lymphoma.
As a communicative personality myself I particularly enjoy the endless possibilities for internal collaborations and the ease with which researchers here share their expertise to help projects progress quicker. Besides the valuable experiences such a vibrant research community can easily provide to you on a daily basis, I also appreciate the opportunities to complement my personal career portfolio. Currently I am participating in the organization of a Career Day with a group of PhD candidates, fellow postdocs and precious support from the DKFZ Career Service and I am developing skills that I can easily transfer to the lab such as project management or effective communication. If you decide to join DKFZ, don't be surprised to turn around while having lunch at the cafeteria only to find the scientific director of DKFZ sitting next to you genuinely asking about your experience in the institute, the hurdles you encountered and ideas on further improvement of the infrastructure or the advanced training courses provided. Here, at the DKFZ, constant progress in all aspects is both a goal and an achievement!"

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