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  Dr RK Koenig  Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

About us: We aim to develop strategies for pandemic preparedness to combat viral infections. iDrug4PanVir (Intelligent drug identification for pandemic viruses) is a collaborative interdisciplinary research group between the University of Jena (Bioinformatics), the University Hospital Frankfurt (Virology) and the University of Heidelberg (BioQuant).

With a death toll of over 120 million and increasing case numbers and emerging variants, the corona pandemic remains a public health emergency of international concern. Treatment options are largely supportive, but not specific. The application of virus directed treatments is limited as viruses adapt to changing environmental conditions, particularly when they are under selection pressure. Therefore, employing host-directed antiviral therapy to disrupt the virus life cycle is of great importance. The main challenge is to identify non-essential host genes and test their druggability in a high-throughput setting. Our high level goals are to

·        Develop and employ machine learning models for identifying druggable host dependency factors from multi-omics data, and

·        Study gene and protein interactions at the molecular level based on multi-level profiling facilitated by network analysis.

Outcomes from our analyses will be implemented and validated in vitro using pandemic pathogens, including influenza and coronaviruses as infectious model systems in Frankfurt. Drug screenings and multi-scale microscopic imaging will be performed in Heidelberg.

Dr. med Tuna Toptan Grabmair, Institute of Medical Virology, University Hospital Frankfurt

Dr. Holger Erfle, University of Heidelberg, BioQuant

What to expect: The iDrug4PanVir working group is a dynamic and interdisciplinary team comprising well-established researchers at all levels in Jena, Frankfurt, and Heidelberg. You will be working on research projects in Bioinformatics with a focus on

·        Developing and using machine learning based analysis pipelines,

·        Participating in efforts related to dataset specification, collection, and curation,

·        Participation in broader bioinformatics and molecular virology research.

You will work in a team and will have the opportunity to engage with Bioinformatics communities at conferences (e.g. ISMB) and workshops (e.g. DZIF).

Your qualifications: Your application should consist of a single PDF file comprising (1) a statement of purpose explaining your motivation for working at the University of Jena and your relevant experience (one page), (2) current CV, (3) grade transcripts of prior university studies (unofficial documents are sufficient) and (4) contact information of two references.

If you are interested, please submit

your application with the Subject Line "Application Bioinformatics"

to rainer.koenig@uni-jena .de. We look forward to hearing from you. Do not

hesitate to contact Prof. König with any questions you may have. Webpage:

Prof. Dr. Rainer König, Systemsbiology Research Group, Institute for Infectious Diseases and Infection Control, Jena University Hospital

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