Postdoc cell plasticity, epigenetics and cancer

The Princess Máxima Center for Pediatric Oncology is a unique interdisciplinary institute that brings together all the highly complex care, research, and education to provide the best possible care for children with cancer. This concentration and integration of specialized pediatric oncology reflects our mission: to provide a cure and optimal quality of life for every child with cancer. Close cooperation between care and research will lead to more children being cured of cancer, with fewer adverse effects later in life.

Drost group,


Many pediatric cancers are a consequence of derailed fetal development caused by a block in differentiation and lineage specification. In many cases, derailed epigenetic gene regulation, caused by mutations in epigenome regulators, are underlying this differentiation block. In contrast to genetic mutations, derailed epigenetic reprogramming may be reversible, which creates a therapeutic opportunity. Such maturation therapies could normalize tumor cells by forcing them to become the cell they were supposed to become during development. The possibility of devising differentiation treatments for childhood cancer has recently gained traction with the advent of high-throughput single-cell assays. Single-cell transcriptomic readouts enable precise, comprehensive and quantitative comparisons of cancer cells to the transcriptional changes underpinning normal cellular development, thus potentially revealing therapeutic avenues for promoting cellular maturation.

The position

We are looking for a highly motivated, ambitious, and passionate postdoc with a strong affinity for both wet-lab and computational technologies. A background in epigenetics is considered advantageous for the project. You will use patient-derived tumor organoids in combination with CRISPR gene editing, and (single cell) genomics read-outs to investigate the differentiation trajectories underlying tumorigenesis with the aim to find druggable pathways. Wet-lab activities include organoid culturing, CRISPR gene editing, biochemistry, imaging and bulk and single-cell sequencing approaches. Computational analysis will encompass both bulk and single-cell (epi-)genomics datasets.

Your qualifications

  • PhD in biomedical sciences, molecular biology, epigenetics, or related disciplines.
  • Demonstrated scientific productivity, as evidenced by a strong publication record in top-tier journals.
  • Experience in analysis of (single cell) genomics datasets.
  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • Team player with excellent communication and presentation skills.
  • Strong commitment to a research career.

What we offer

  • We offer a full-time position (based on 36 hours a week) in a very stimulating and interactive research environment. You will also have the opportunity to actively collaborate with various research groups at the Princess Máxima Center.
  • The contract will be initially for one year, with the possibility to extend upon satisfaction.
  • Your gross monthly salary will be based on your experience and background and will include 8,33% holiday allowance and 8,33 % end-of-year bonus.
  • The Princess Máxima Center operates according to the collective labor agreement ‘CAO ziekenhuizen’.

Contact and application

You can apply for this position using the apply button. Please provide:

  • an up-to-date resume/CV
  • a short motivation letter describing your background and interests
  • contact information of 2-3 references

For more information, please contact Dr. Jarno Drost

Acquisition as a result of this vacancy is not appreciated.

Apply now

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