Associate researcher / postdoc in smart microscopy at TECHNISCHE UNIVERSITAT DRESDEN (TU DRESDEN)

To TU Dresden, the Pole of Excellence “Life Physics” (PoL) offers a position shared between the Junior research groups for the dynamics of biomolecules (Dr. Marcus Jahnel) and Bio-image data science (Dr. Robert Haase), as Associate Researcher / Postdoctoral Fellow in Intelligent Microscopy (m/f/x)

“Smart optical tweezers to probe biomolecular condensates”

(Subject to personal qualification, employees are paid according to salary group E 13 TV-L)

departure as soon as possible. The contract will be limited to 2 years with the possibility of extension. The duration of employment is regulated by the law on fixed-term research contracts (Wissenschaftszeitvertragsgesetz WissZeitVG). Reconciling family and career is an important issue. The position is generally suitable for candidates seeking part-time employment. Please indicate the request in your application.

The Cluster of Excellence PoL ( is an interdisciplinary research center in biology, biophysics and computer science, funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), and offers a wide range of support structures. You will be part of two junior research groups, Dynamics of Biomolecules and Bio-image data science, at PoL and work in a highly interdisciplinary environment. Our mission is to combine state-of-the-art single molecule experiments (optical tweezers), real-time image processing routines, control theory and deep learning algorithms to unravel systems biology and physics. phase-separated protein-RNA. You will work closely with experimenters studying biomolecular condensates and computer scientists developing new data science solutions. Projects are usually carried out in small interdisciplinary teams. Like all members of a team, you know how to work independently, take initiatives if necessary, be a team player and be comfortable leading a project team.

Tasks: Develop smart optical tweezers to probe biomolecular condensates: We aim to advance the systematic, high-throughput characterization of biomolecular condensate states by establishing a self-contained optical tweezer platform to study their material properties under various conditions. The quantitative comparison of many condensates will provide insight into protein-nucleic acid condensation phenomena and serve as a starting point for machine learning strategies to predict the behavior of unknown multicomponent systems. You will spearhead the development of an autonomous condensate characterization platform based on existing custom-made dual-trap optical tweezers. You will leverage existing software prototype and established open source software libraries to create intelligent standalone microscopy control software. The software you will develop will include a full feedback loop including microscope control, image acquisition, GPU-accelerated quantitative image analysis, machine learning, and logical reasoning to feed information back to the microscope control unit. You will also simulate acquisition scenarios to prove the robustness of the system. You will work closely with biologists and physicists to advance their large-scale data acquisition experiments by automating laborious routines using artificial intelligence. You will be responsible for research data management and you will have the opportunity to lead the data mining of the resource you and your colleagues will build during the experimental session.

Skills and formal requirements:

  • a university degree in computer science, mathematics, physics, biology, engineering or natural sciences
  • advanced programming experience in Python
  • Experience with OpenCL, CUDA, C++, Java or LabView is a plus.
  • Training or experience in robotics, control theory and feedback systems is a plus.
  • Proven work experience in data analysis, feature extraction, statistics, (un)supervised machine learning or reinforcement learning is a plus.
  • Experience working with optical tweezers or other single molecule methods and knowledge of corresponding data analysis tasks (especially time series analysis) is a plus.
  • Experience in domain-specific language (DSL) development is a plus.
  • Experience using version control systems such as GitHub or GitLab is required.
  • excellent communication and writing skills, proficiency in English (B2)
  • Experience in computational biology, molecular biology or biophysics is a plus.

If you have any questions regarding the position, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Marcus Jahnel ([email protected]) or Dr. Robert Haase ([email protected]).

What we offer

Our teams embrace a diversity of disciplines and opinions, which we see as a driver of critical reflection and discovery. We foster a spirit of collaboration essential to making progress on difficult problems. We offer an international and interdisciplinary research environment of high standing and visibility with stimulating medium-term projects on various research topics. You will be part of the PoL community, the Dresden campus and our extensive international network. We offer the possibility to work at the interface of quantitative biology, biophysics, robotics and machine learning. There will be many opportunities to develop your academic or professional career, such as conferences, workshops and hackathons. We offer the opportunity to acquire teaching skills, project management skills and team leadership skills, for example, through our Graduate Academy ( According to the state tariff for civil servants (TV-L), the conditions of employment include a comprehensive package of benefits and compensation. Reconciling family and career is essential for us. We offer flexible, family-friendly working hours and childcare through partnerships with nearby nurseries.

Applications from women are particularly welcome. The same goes for people with disabilities.

We strongly encourage all genders to apply. A disabled person will be favored among candidates of equal aptitude and qualification. Please submit your complete applications with a cover letter, your CV, a list of your publications, open-source projects, or both, and a copy of the certificate of your highest university degree by May 17, 2022 (the stamped arrival date applies) preferably by e-mail in a single PDF document via the SecureMail portal of the TU Dresden, at [email protected] with the subject “PostDoc TweeBot: intelligent optical tweezers” or by mail to: TU Dresden, Exzellenzcluster “Physik des Lebens”, zH Herrn Dr. Marcus Jahnel, Arnoldstrasse 18, 01307 Dresden. Please submit copies only, as your application will not be returned to you. Costs incurred to attend interviews cannot be reimbursed.

Reference to data protection: Your data protection rights, the purpose for which your data will be processed, as well as further data protection information can be found on the website:

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