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Tech­ni­sche Uni­ver­si­tät Dres­den - Cen­ter for Advan­cing Elec­tron­ics Dresden, Junior Research Group “Bio­lo­gical Algorithms”

The TU Dres­den is one of ele­ven Ger­man uni­ver­si­ties that were iden­ti­fied as an “excel­lence uni­ver­sity”. TUD has about 36.500 stu­dents and almost 5319 employees, 507 pro­fes­sors among them, and, thus, is the lar­gest uni­ver­sity in Sax­ony, today.

Having been com­mit­ted to sci­en­ces and the engi­nee­ring before the reuni­fi­ca­tion of Ger­many, TU Dres­den now is a multi-disci­pline uni­ver­sity, also offe­ring huma­nities and social sci­en­ces as well as medi­cine.

Rese­arch Asso­ciate/Post­doc posi­tion in Theo­re­ti­cal Bio­phy­sics

(sub­ject to per­so­nal qua­li­fi­ca­tion employees are remu­n­e­ra­ted accord­ing to salary group E 13 TV-L)

The Junior Rese­arch Group “Bio­lo­gi­cal Algo­rithms” hea­ded by Ben­ja­min Fried­rich wit­hin the Clus­ter of Excel­lence ‘Cen­ter for Advan­cing Elec­tro­nics Dres­den’ (cfaed) offers this posi­tion.

Rese­arch area: Che­mo­ta­xis and opti­mal deci­sion making at the phy­si­cal limit
cfaed Inves­ti­ga­tors: Dr. Ben­ja­min Fried­rich
cfaed rese­arch path: Bio­lo­gi­cal Sys­tems Path
Terms: The posi­tion starts as soon as pos­si­ble and is fixed-term until 31.12.2018 (with the pos­si­bi­lity for pro­lon­ga­tion sub­ject to the avail­a­bi­lity of third-party funds). The period of employ­ment is gover­ned by the Fixed-Term Rese­arch Con­tracts Act (Wis­sen­schafts­zeit­ver­trags­ge­setz – Wiss­ZeitVG). The posi­tion offers the chance to obtain fur­ther aca­de­mic qua­li­fi­ca­tion (e.g. habi­li­ta­tion).

Work­ing field:

About the “Bio­lo­gi­cal Algo­rithms group”
The mis­sion of our “Bio­lo­gi­cal Algo­rithms group” is to under­stand phy­si­cal prin­ci­ples of self-orga­niza­t­ion in bio­lo­gi­cal cells and tis­sues, with a focus on cell moti­lity, robust moti­lity con­trol, and the emer­gence of self-orga­ni­zed pat­terns in cells and tis­sues. We pur­sue a Quan­ti­ta­tive Bio­lo­gi­cal Phy­sics approach that com­bi­nes dyna­mi­cal sys­tems theory, sta­ti­s­ti­cal phy­sics, and image/data ana­ly­sis. More infor­ma­tion on cur­rent rese­arch can be found at

About the pro­ject
We are hiring a Post­doc for an on-going pro­ject on cel­lu­lar deci­sion making in the pre­sence of chemo-sen­sory noise. At the begin­ning of new life, sperm cells navi­gate upwards dilute che­mi­cal gra­di­ents to find the egg. What sounds like a direct imple­men­ta­tion of gra­di­ent-ascent is chal­len­ging at these micro­sco­pic sca­les, because mole­cu­lar shot noise cor­rupts con­cen­tra­tion mea­su­re­ments. We use sperm che­mo­ta­xis as app­li­ca­tion example to inves­ti­gate fun­da­men­tal prin­ci­ples of cel­lu­lar res­pon­ses to noisy input signals, right at the phy­si­cal limit of sin­gle mole­cule detec­tion. We apply game theory, inclu­ding methods of pro­ba­bi­li­s­tic model che­cking from com­pu­ter sci­ence, to theo­re­ti­cally under­stand opti­mal navi­ga­tion stra­te­gies. With this, we directly address the fun­da­men­tal trade-off choice bet­ween explo­ra­tion (=acqui­si­tion of infor­ma­tion) and exploi­ta­tion (=res­ponse to infor­ma­tion), lin­king phy­sics, bio­logy, and infor­ma­tion theory.
Loo­king bey­ond this spe­ci­fic bio­lo­gi­cal model sys­tem, we will also explore pos­si­ble app­li­ca­ti­ons of bio­lo­gi­cal con­trol designs, e.g. deci­sion making in arti­fi­cial cells and next-gene­ra­tion com­mu­ni­ca­tion sys­tems, in tight col­la­bo­ra­tion with the engi­nee­ring paths of the cfaed. Dres­den unites excel­lence in infor­ma­tion and life sci­en­ces. We enjoy the close pro­xi­mity of col­la­bo­ra­tion part­ners at the Max Planck Insti­tute of Mole­cu­lar Cell Bio­logy and Gene­tics, the Bio­tech­no­logy Centre, and the new Cen­ter for Sys­tems Bio­logy Dres­den, which allows rapid ite­ra­tion loops bet­ween theory and expe­ri­ment.


We are loo­king for an enthu­si­a­s­tic theo­re­ti­cal phy­si­cist or app­lied mathe­ma­ti­cian, who is intrigued to dis­co­ver the algo­rithms of life. Requi­re­ments: excel­lent uni­ver­sity and PhD degree in Bio­lo­gi­cal Phy­sics, Mathe­ma­ti­cal Bio­logy, or rela­ted field; moti­va­tion and drive to work at the inter­face of phy­sics and bio­logy with a twist towards com­pu­ter sci­ence; strong ana­lytic skills, crea­ti­vity, effi­ci­ent pro­blem sol­ving skills; an apti­tude for non­linear dyna­mics, sta­ti­s­ti­cal phy­sics; expe­ri­ence in nume­ric com­pu­ting (e.g. python, Mat­lab, C); excel­lent com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills; espe­cially in cross-disci­pli­nary com­mu­ni­ca­tion; an inde­pen­dent, result-dri­ven work atti­tude; flu­ency in Eng­lish – oral and writ­ten.

What we of­fer:

What we offer
You will join a team of enthu­si­a­s­tic sci­en­tists who pur­sue crea­tively their indi­vi­dual rese­arch agenda inspi­red by the clus­ter’s inno­va­tive approach and sup­port. Your rese­arch will be fos­te­red by the cfaed phi­lo­so­phy to pro­mote young rese­ar­chers which inclu­des: access to state of the art rese­arch of lea­ding aca­de­mic insti­tu­tes, indi­vi­dual super­vi­sion by a The­sis Advi­sory Com­mit­tee, pos­si­bi­lity to earn (seed) grants of up to € 10.000, pro­mo­tion of gen­der equa­lity and family-fri­endly work envi­ron­ment.

About cfaed
cfaed is a clus­ter of excel­lence wit­hin the Ger­man Excel­lence Initia­tive. As a cen­tral sci­en­ti­fic unit of TU Dres­den, it brings toge­ther 300 rese­ar­chers from the uni­ver­sity and 10 other rese­arch insti­tu­tes in the areas of Electri­cal and Com­pu­ter Engi­nee­ring, Com­pu­ter Sci­ence, Mate­ri­als Sci­ence, Phy­sics, Che­mis­try, Bio­logy, and Mathe­ma­tics. cfaed addres­ses the advan­ce­ment of elec­tro­nic infor­ma­tion pro­ces­sing sys­tems through explo­ring new tech­no­lo­gies which over­come the limits of today’s pre­do­mi­nant CMOS tech­no­logy. For more infor­ma­tion please see

About TU Dres­den
The TU Dres­den is among the top uni­ver­si­ties in Ger­many and Europe and one of the ele­ven Ger­man uni­ver­si­ties that were iden­ti­fied as an ‘elite uni­ver­sity’ in June 2012. As a modern full-sta­tus uni­ver­sity with 14 depart­ments it offers a wide aca­de­mic range making it one of a very few in Ger­many.

How to ap­ply:

For infor­mal enqui­ries, please con­tact Dr. Ben­ja­min Fried­rich at
App­li­ca­ti­ons from women are par­ti­cu­larly wel­come. The same app­lies to people with disa­bi­li­ties.

App­li­ca­tion Pro­ce­dure
Your app­li­ca­tion (in Eng­lish only) should include: a moti­va­tion let­ter, your CV with publi­ca­tion list, the names and con­tact details of two refe­ren­ces, copy of degree cer­ti­fi­cate, and tran­script of gra­des (i.e. the offi­cial list of cour­se­work inclu­ding your gra­des). Please include also a link to your Mas­ter’s the­sis. Com­plete app­li­ca­ti­ons should be sub­mit­ted pre­fe­r­a­bly by e-mail as a sin­gle PDF-docu­ment quo­ting the refe­rence num­ber PD-1705 in the sub­ject hea­der to (Please note: We are cur­rently not able to receive elec­tro­ni­cally signed and encryp­ted data) or alter­na­tively by post to: TU Dres­den, cfaed, Frau Dr. P. Grün­berg, 01062 Dres­den, Ger­many. The clo­sing date for app­li­ca­ti­ons is 27.06.2017 (stam­ped arri­val date of the uni­ver­sity cen­tral mail ser­vice app­lies). Please sub­mit copies only, as your app­li­ca­tion will not be retur­ned to you. Expen­ses incur­red in atten­ding inter­views can­not be reim­bur­sed.