Atlas Translational PhD Program


Mainz as a hub for biotechnologies and lifescience...

... and we at ATLAS are in the focus. Rhineland-Palatinate and its state capital Mainz are not only a great place to live, they also offer excellent career opportunities #biomindz. In addition to the university, many successful companies and start-ups are also based here. We are delighted that our young scientist Iris Lade, who has been working on her doctoral thesis at TRON since 2023 as part of the ATLAS Translational PhD program, was able to work on this image film and answer questions about biotechnology, education and Mainz as a location.

Curious future insight Workshop - ATLAS-PhD program

„United by science for a better tomorrow” is the motto of these years Curious Future Insight conference which took place in Mainz at July 10-11. Our ATLAS PhD students explored in workshops and lectures novel ideas in science and technology. From DNA Mechanotechnology to the usage of light as an energy replacement for human longevity, researchers presented their latest projects for a better future. In this context BioNTech and TRON inspired the conference participants with lectures to the topic of Individualizes Cancer Medicine and Translational Research. Master students who are interested in joining the ATLAS PhD program participated in our ATLAS workshop. Here, current ATLAS students and alumni talked about their experience in the ATLAS program in our panel discussion and inspired many new candidates. We thank all ATLAS participants for the lively and motivating discussion!

Winner of Science Slam 2024 - Matthias Peter

Science communication is important, especially for people who are not natural scientists! But how do you communicate this highly complex specialist knowledge to a wide audience? By presenting it in a short, concise and fun way. Our PhD student Matthias Peters, who has been working on his doctorate in the Bioinformatics Department at TRON since 2023, is particularly talented at this:

He participated in the Science Slam in Mainz, which this time took place as the opening event of the Curious Future Insight Conference 2024. At the Science Slam, scientists present their work to an audience of non-experts, who then choose the winner at the end. Matthias spoke about adaptive T-cell immunity and its use in new personalized cancer therapies. And he did so well that he was chosen by the audience as the evening's slam winner despite this being his first time attending. Our warmest congratulations to him.

Our PhD students participating with a poster presentation in the 21th CIMT annual meeting (MAY 2024)

At the annual #CIMT meeting in the Rheingoldhalle, Congress Center in Mainz, our ATLAS PhD students presented their work at the poster sessions and had the opportunity to network with leading scientists in the field of Cancer #Immunotherapy.


On Tuesday, April 30th 2024, our ATLAS students met for their annual poster session at the Electoral Palace in Mainz. A total of 33 posters were prepared and presented in person. Ugur Sahin and 200 other colleagues from TRON and BioNTech took the opportunity to inform themselves about ongoing PhD research projects accompanied by lively discussions and valuable feedback for the students.

This year's awards for the best poster presentation go to TRON’s PhDs Iris Lade, Nina Tagscherer and Jennifer Neumaier. Congratulations to all of you.

A big thank you to all participants and the organisation team.


We successfully completed the ATLAS PhD program's two-day on-site interview event that took place on February 22 and 23 at the Gonsberg lounge in Mainz.

A total of 26 applicants have been selected out of more than 950 applications.

A big thank you to all participants.

An introduction to the world of finance for PhD students (February 2024)

Tilo, research specialist at BioNTech and part-time financial consultant, gave an introduction to the world of finance, which was tailored to PhD students at BioNTech and TRON. He gave tips on four things he wished he knew before starting his career. Our students learned more about the financial system in Germany and we thank Tilo for his insights.

Our 11th PhD Retreat (October, 2023)

Not only a new record number of participants, but also the first major event since the first batch of ATLAS officially joined us: the 11th TRON & BioNTech PhD Retreat was a milestone since the establishment of the ATLAS joint PhD program. 

From October 11 to 13, over 150 PhD students, supervisors, and colleagues from TRON and BioNTech came together in-person and online. They used this opportunity to take a step back from day-to-day work and discuss their projects as well as results in a conference-like atmosphere.

The call for applications is now closed

Please check out our website in autumn 2024 for more information about our next call for applications.


On May 9th, 2023, BioNTech and TRON PhD students gathered for their annual Science day in a form of a Poster session. During this event, our PhD students enjoyed debating their research at the Kupferberg historical location atop the city of Mainz. Ugur Sahin and scientists from TRON and BioNTech also attended the event and gave fruitful feedback to the PhD projects.

This year, three of our PhDs received a poster prize for the best poster presentation.

Our PhD students presented their recent data during the annual CIMT meeting

Our PhD students participating with a poster presentation in the 20th CIMT annual meeting (MAY 2023)

At this year’s #CIMT meeting in Mainz from 3rd to 5th May, ATLAS PhD students presented their work at the poster sessions and enjoyed experiencing the vibrant atmosphere of Europe’s Cancer #Immunotherapy community.

Our PhD students participating in the 20th CIMT annual meeting (MAY 2023)

This year´s CIMT meeting has a record attendance of 1000 participants. The meeting covers a diversified program including poster sessions and industry exhibition with a wide range of topics in cancer immunotherapy research and development.

Our PhDs had the opportunity to participate in this International event.

PhD students participating at the 20th CIMT annual meeting (MAY 2023)


Peer first PhD presenting at the Transatlantic Coffee Talks (TACT)

Peer presenting at the Transatlantic Coffee Talks (TACT) (April 2023)

Since 2020, BioNTech has established the tradition of the Transatlantic Coffee Talks (TACT). The fortnightly Transatlantic Coffee Talks combine 45 minutes of scientific talk from one (or more) subject areas with 15 minutes for questions and answers. By, for and with colleagues on both sides of the Atlantic, enabling them to network and learn from each other. This year, TACT expended its scope and reserved two slots for PhD students to present their research project to the international audience. We are proud that Peer did a great job at the premiere and gave an overview of his PhD project.


We completed the inaugural ATLAS PhD program's interview days on March 9 and 10 with success. Rheingoldhalle in Mainz served as the venue for the two-day event.

A total of 32 applicants (incl. 10 applicants joining via the live streaming) have been selected for on-site interviews out of more than 650 applications.

A big thank you to all the participants.

ATLAS applicants at Rheingoldhalle Mainz, March 9th 2023


Our PhD student Aysegül Yildiz won the best poster prize at the 10th International mRNA Health Conference that took place in Boston from 8th-10th of November, 2022.

Aysegül Yildiz won the best poster prize at the 10th International mRNA Health Conference, Boston (USA), November 2022.