Computational Biologist Genomics (post-doc) – group Drost

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.

Group Drost
The Drost group is looking for an enthusiastic, highly motivated Postdoc with experience in bioinformatics or computational biology.

Background information about the Drost group
Kidney cancers represent approximately 6% of childhood cancers. The majority are Wilms tumors, representing about 90% of cases. Survival rates of certain Wilms tumor patient subgroups have significantly increased in the past decades. The other pediatric kidney cancer subtypes (such as renal cell carcinoma and malignant rhabdoid tumors of the kidney) carry a dismal outcome profile. All this creates an urgent need for the development of new (and less toxic) therapies.
The Drost group studies the molecular mechanisms underlying the development of childhood kidney and rhabdoid tumors and aims to identify novel therapies. We develop and utilize state-of-the-art stem cell culture models, including 3D organoids, in combination with (single-cell) genomics, transcriptomics and gene editing technologies (e.g. CRISPR) to study fundamental processes driving tumor growth. 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 computational biologist with a PhD in bioinformatics or similar experience. We offer a multidisciplinary research atmosphere, which combines bioinformatics, functional genomics and stem cell biology.

How tumors adapt to changing environmental conditions and treatment is a major unsolved problem frustrating effective therapy. Rhabdoid tumors are highly aggressive pediatric tumors with a low survival rate. They occur in multiple tissues, including brain and kidney, and likely originate as a consequence of aberrant differentiation during development. This project aims to identify the cellular origin of rhabdoid tumors and study clonal dynamics during disease progression and therapy resistance using genetic lineage tracing and single cell genomics strategies in patient-derived tissues as well as organoid cultures. The candidate will employ cutting-edge genomic approaches to identify and characterize the underlying molecular mechanisms by integrating mutations, (single cell) expression signatures with epigenomic features.

Tasks and responsibilities
The candidate will take the lead within this research project together with a wet lab postdoctoral fellow. In addition, the candidate will provide bioinformatics support to a PhD-student involved in the project. Finally, the candidate is responsible for interacting with the bioinformatics expertise core of the Princess Máxima Center.

Specific tasks include:

  • Integrate multiple genomics data layers (mutation data, expression, epigenetic marks) in order to characterize intratumor heterogeneity and underlying molecular mechanisms
  • Determine clonal composition of tumors and healthy tissues by assessing variant allele frequencies of collections of somatic variation
  • Propose mechanistic models to explain clonal dynamics
  • Manage and store large NGS datasets

Education and skills
We expect a highly motivated candidate with a PhD or similar experience in bioinformatics or computational biology. Excellent technical and programming skills are required, preferably in R, perl, python, java and/or Matlab. Experience in the analysis of next-generation sequencing data, as well as in genetics, statistics and large-scale computational infrastructures are preferred. The candidate should also have good communication skills, be dedicated to our vision and goals, and a good team player.

We offer
We offer a full-time position based on 36 hours per week for the duration of one year with a possibility to extend after positive evaluation. Your gross monthly salary will depend on experience and background (scale 60), increased with 8.33% holiday allowance and 8,33 % end-of-year bonus. The Princess Máxima Center operates according to the collective labor agreement ‘cao ziekenhuizen’

Apply for this position?
You can apply for this position until 12 juli by pressing the orange apply button on this screen and include the following documents:

  • CV (1- 2 pages)
  • A motivation letter
  • Contact info of 2 – 3 referees

For more information please contact Dr. Jarno Drost (

applying is only possible through our own website

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