Job Properties
  • Job Type
    Full-time Position
  • Category
    Research & Science
  • Languages
  • Experience Required
  • Degree Required
    • Province
    • Date Posted
      December 28,2021
    • Entrusting Package
    • JSS
    • VISA
    • IMG_6430
    • Career Consultation

    Postdoc mechanobiology

    The Gloerich group, based at the Center for Molecular Medicine, has 2 positions for postdoctoral researchers to investigate the role of mechanical forces in healthy epithelia and cancer.

    Our research

    Cells are continuously exposed to mechanical signals, including forces exerted by neighboring cells, which instruct cellular behavior. The overall aim of our research group is to understand how epithelial cells integrate mechanical signals to control tissue homeostasis, and how alterations in mechanical signaling networks contribute to tumor progression. We study this through a combination of bioengineering and genetic approaches in cell and organoid models, combined with live-cell imaging, molecular reporters, proteomics, single-cell sequencing, and molecular cell biology. We have previously shown that forces between epithelial cells are sensed by E-cadherin adhesions to control various aspects of cell division (Hart et al., PNAS 2017; Monster et al., JCB 2021; Donker et al., Biorxiv 2021). We aim to further understand the mechanically regulated link between E-cadherin adhesions and the cell cycle, as well as other cellular processes underlying epithelial homeostasis and cancer progression.

    Job descriptions

    Postdoctoral position 1: Interplay between mechano-sensitive E-cadherin adhesions and the cell cycle

    A 2-year postdoc position funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO) to investigate the connection between mechanical forces and the cell cycle. This project revolves around identifying how force-sensitive changes in the cadherin complex and downstream signaling pathways impinge on cell cycle progression, or other cellular processes underlying epithelial homeostasis. Approaches and methodologies include cell and organoid culture, bioengineering, genome editing, advanced (live) imaging, proteomics and transcriptomics.

    Postdoctoral position 2: Intercellular forces in healthy epithelia and cancer

    A 3-year postdoc position, funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO) and part of a larger consortium (including other biologists as well as physicists from LUMC, Delft University, TU/e, Radboud University). In this project the candidate will visualize and modulate force transduction by E-cadherin adhesions in cell and organoid models to address how mechanical signals impact healthy epithelial tissues and contribute to tumor growth and invasion. Approaches and methodologies include cell and organoid culture, bioengineering, genome editing, advanced (live) imaging and molecular (force) sensors.


    You will be based at the at the Center for Molecular Medicine (CMM) of the University Medical Center Utrecht (UMCU), in Utrecht, The Netherlands. We offer creative and stimulating working conditions in a dynamic, international and collaborative research environment. Our institute harbors modern laboratories and offers direct access to a number of advanced core facilities, including microscopy, single cell technologies, and proteomics. Our institute further offers tailored postdoctoral training programs and career events through the postdoctoral network Utrecht (PNU).


    For both positions, we are looking for self-motivated, creative and goal-oriented candidates, with the following competencies and experience:

    • You have (or will soon obtain) a PhD in life sciences, bioengineering, biophysics or related fields.
    • A background in mechanobiology is an advantage but not required.
    • You are able to independently envision, plan and execute a research project.
    • You have excellent communication skills in English, both verbally and written.
    • You are committed to work in a team.
    • You have excellent technical skills; preferably, you have experience with culturing cells/organoids.
    • Experience with computational image analyses is not required but will be regarded as a strong advantage.

    Both positions may be filled as soon as March 1, 2022 and preferably before July 1, 2022. Both positions have the potential for extension, dependent on additional funding.

    To apply, please include a letter of motivation, a brief summary of previous research activities, CV including list of publications and contact details of 2 references, and submit your application before February 5, 2022.

    We believe in the power of a diverse team in which there is room for different skills, expertise, and social and cultural backgrounds. We invite you to respond to this vacancy.

    The maximum salary for this position (36 hours) is € 4.615,00 gross per month based on full-time employment.

    In addition, we offer an annual benefit of 8.3%, holiday allowance, travel expenses and career opportunities. The terms of employment are in accordance with the Cao University Medical Centers (UMC).

    More information

    If you have any questions about this vacancy, please contact Martijn Gloerich, Principal Investigator, phone number: +31 88 756 8744, e‑mail adress: [email protected].

    Acquisition based on this jobopening is not appreciated.

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