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ERC-funded PhD and Postdoc Positions in Compa­rative Genomics on Bats

ERC-funded PhD and Postdoc Positions in Compa­rative Genomics
(full time / part-time options available)

The Hiller Lab at the LOEWE Center for Trans­la­tional Biodi­versity Genomics (TBG) in Frankfurt, Germany has two openings for a PhD student and/or a Postdoc to work on the BATPROTECT project to inves­tigate the genomic basis of long health­spans, disease resis­tance, and viral tolerance in bats.


is a 6‑year funded ERC synergy grant project that will use bats as natural models of healthy aging and disease tolerance to elucidate the molecular mecha­nisms behind bats’ excep­tional longevity and resis­tance to viral and age-related diseases. BATPROTECT brings together a team of global leaders in bat biology and ageing (Emma Teeling, Dublin), bat immunology and virology (Linfa Wang, Singapore), evolution and genomics (Michael Hiller, Frankfurt), and ageing model organisms (Bjoern Schumacher, Cologne) that will jointly inves­tigate aging and immune responses in bats from the wild and captive colonies, discover genes with evolu­tionary importance for longevity and disease resis­tance, and functionally validate longevity and immune regulators in stem and diffe­ren­tiated cells of bats and model organisms, with the ultimate goal to uncover new direc­tions to improve human healthspan and disease outcome.

The Project

The overall goal is to uncover the genomic basis of excep­tional health­spans and disease tolerance in bats, under­stand the evolution of these traits, and identify key molecular targets for functional validation. To this end, we will assemble ~150 new reference-quality bat genomes using HiFi and HiC sequencing to better cover the diversity of bats, generate compa­rative transcrip­tomic datasets, and analyze these data using our estab­lished methods reper­toire (TOGA and others). Work includes phylo­ge­nomics, performing compa­rative screens to identify key adapt­a­tions in coding and non-coding (miRNA) genes as well as diffe­rences in gene expression patterns across the bat phylogeny, associating genomic changes with longevity and viral reservoir status traits, identi­fying novel bat genes, and inves­ti­gating endoge­nized viral elements. The exact project will be defined based on the interests of the appli­cants.

The PhD student and postdoc will work closely with other members of the BATPROTECT team, the Hiller lab, and other Bat1K colla­bo­rators. We also offer exchanges with the other BATPROTECT labs as well as yearly retreats with all project members.

Your profile

  • Master or PhD degree in bioinformatics/computational biology, genomics or a related area
  • Solid programming skills in a Linux environment, experience with shell scripts and Unix tools
  • Strong interest in compa­rative genomics, experience in compa­rative genomics is an advantage
  • English in written and oral form


More infor­mation on our lab and how to apply can be found at https://sgn.one/46c
The appli­cation deadline is June 7.