Interested in single-cell transcriptomics? Cell differentiation in filamentous Cyanobacteria?

A DFG-funded PhD position (E13, 65%) on the early steps in the differentiation process of heterocyst cells in Cyanobacteria is available at Cyanolab in Freiburg.

Cyanolab, the Genetics and Experimental Bioinformatics unit at the University of Freiburg, Germany, is searching for a scientist to participate in the project “Early Determinants of Heterocyst Differentiation in Multicellular Cyanobacteria”, which is part of the DFG-funded Priority Program SPP 2389 “Emergent Functions of Bacterial Multicellularity” (@spp2389). The intended start date is in autumn 2022, or upon negotiation and the position is for a duration of 3 years. The PhD researcher may associate with the structured PhD program MeInBio – BioInMe.
Cyanolab researches the RNA biology of photosynthetic organisms. For some relevant publications of our laboratory, see PNAS (2011) 108, 20130-20135; Current Biology (2017) 10, 1425–1436; RNA Biology (2020) 17, 1442-1458; The Plant Cell (2021) 33, 248–269.

The project targets the mechanisms underlying characteristic changes in gene expression that lead to the differentiation of heterocyst cells in Cyanobacteria. Heterocysts are cells specialized for the fixation of atmospheric nitrogen (N2) into organic compounds. The work plan includes the characterization of single-cell transcriptomes and of the possible impact of selected regulatory RNAs and other regulators using state-of-the-art experimental approaches.
For this we seek a highly motivated candidate with a background in microbiology, biochemistry, molecular biology or molecular genetics and related fields (M.Sc. or equivalent). The project work is carried out within the national Priority Program SPP 2389 that involves regular meetings and timely delivery of results. We directly collaborate in this project with the RNA bioinformatics group of Rolf Backofen and with Alicia Muro-Pastor at the Institute of Plant Biochemistry and Photosynthesis in Sevilla, Spain.

Cyanolab is located at the University of Freiburg, located in one of the most beautiful regions of Southern Germany in the heart of Europe. Freiburg is known for its high quality of life at the slopes of the Black Forest, close to the Alps, Switzerland and France. The Faculty of Biology at the University of Freiburg is one of the leading Life Science Departments in the country.

Please send your application by Email to:

In your application, please include (1) a CV in tabular form, (2) a brief summary of previous research experience and academic qualifications, (3) scanned copies of university degrees and (4) contact details for at least one reference.

Freiburg, September 30, 2022

Congratulations to Matthias (Matze)!

Matthias has defended his doctoral thesis on “The complexity of gene regulatory networks in a photosynthetic model organism” at October 26, 2020, with summa cum laude. Big congratulations to this outstanding result and thanks to the DFG for funding through the “MeInBio – BioInMe” PhD program!

Award for the best doctoral thesis in the last year

We congratulate Juliane, for receiving the “Elisabeth Gateff Prize 2019” from the German Genetics Society and the “Hans Grisebach Preis 2019” of our university, for her outstanding dissertation on the „Identification and characterization of crRNA processing endoribonucleases and new insights in adaptation and interference during CRISPR-Cas immunity in the model cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803“!

Meeting on “Sensory and Regulatory RNAs in Prokaryotes”, July 18-19, in Freiburg

Our website for the annual meeting on “Sensory and Regulatory RNAs in Prokaryotes” is online now. We feel privileged that this year’s meeting will take place in Freiburg and are looking forward to it!

Congratulations to Steffen!

On FEB 04, 2019, Steffen defended his doctoral thesis on the topic of „Big Data Meets Biology – Revealing Hidden Layers Of Information“. Steffen has contributed to workflow and data modularization concepts for RNA-Sequencing and metatranscriptome experiments, developed an approach for the automated and reliable detection of homologs to bacterial sRNAs and much more. Big congratulations for finishing the thesis work so well!