The Princess Máxima Center is a new research hospital concentrating healthcare, research and education with regard to cancer in children in a single location in Utrecht. The institute aims to provide the highest level of care for all children with cancer and has the ambition to cure all children with cancer and significantly reduce unwanted side effects. The center brings together the best possible care and scientific research, creating a unique interdisciplinary institute for pediatric oncology in Europe.
The Drost group is looking for an enthusiastic, highly motivated PhD student with a strong interest in molecular/cellular biology and immunology.
Background information about the Drost group
The Drost group studies the molecular mechanisms underlying the development of childhood solid tumors. We develop and utilize state-of-the-art stem cell culture models such as 3D organoids in combination with (single cell) genomics and gene editing technologies (e.g. CRISPR) to study fundamental processes driving tumor growth and to develop new therapies. In the Drost group, we value collegiality, enthusiasm, dedication, respect, and reliability, thereby creating the most optimal environment to successfully reach our goals.
Within our team, we currently have an opening for a PhD student. We offer a multidisciplinary research atmosphere, which combines developmental biology, tumor biology, and functional genomics.
While the prognosis of children with cancer has significantly improved in the last decades, pediatric tumors with defining mutations in the SWI/SNF complex remain to have a dismal outcome. This stresses the need to identify new therapeutic approaches for these tumor entities. Despite the genetic simplicity of SWI/SNF-driven pediatric cancers, infiltration of cytotoxic T cells and the expression of immunomodulatory markers have been reported. Hence, we hypothesize that immunotherapies could offer an effective treatment approach.
This project aims to characterize the tumor immune microenvironment and identify tumor-specific T cell receptor (TCR) targets using single-cell sequencing approaches, as well as to identify tumor-associated cell surface antigens using mass spectrometry-based proteomics. Potential candidate targets will be validated in vitro using organoid/immune cell co-cultures, and in vivo. Ultimately, the project aims to develop immunotherapies for SWI/SNF-mutated childhood tumors.
Master’s degree in biomedical sciences (molecular/cellular biology and/or immunology), or an equivalent thereof, and a clear interest in pre-clinical cancer research.
Excellent, technical, analytical, and problem-solving skills
Preferably a demonstrated experience in cell culture and molecular biological techniques
Self-initiative and eagerness to learn
Team player with excellent communication and presentation skills in English
Strong commitment to a research career
Working at the Princess Maxima Center for Pediatric Oncology
We offer a full-time position based on 36 hours per week. You will start on a temporary position for the duration of one year that -when satisfactory- will be extended for a total of 4 years. The Princess Máxima Center operates according to the collective labor agreement ‘cao algemene ziekenhuizen’.
Apply for this position?
You can apply for this position until the 22nd of December by pressing the orange apply button “” on this screen.
Acquisitie naar aanleiding van deze vacature wordt niet op prijs gesteld.
36 hours a week
1 year, with the intention to extend (for a total of 4 years)