PhD Position Molenaar Group (VAGABOND program)

The position
Neuroblastoma (NB) are heavily pre-treated using 6 courses of high dose chemotherapy. The remaining tumour is then surgically removed (debulking of tumour). After stem cell transfusion and maintenance therapy using anti GD2 most patients go into a clinical remission. But in due time most of these patients relapse. We hypothesize that debulked tumour materials still contain living tumour cells and that these cells are causing relapses. We will study the debulked tumour to type the tumour cells that cause relapses and to type the tumour microenvironment to identify new immunologic interventions. We expect to type the tumour microenvironment in 20 debulked NB samples using scRNAseq. This will give information on the phenotype of the cells that survive heavy pre-treatment and that will eventually cause relapse formation. We expect to type the processes that prevent the T-cells from proper functioning. We expect to have TIL’s and organoids available from 10 patients. We will use these data to identify two immune based intervention that we will test in our co-culture systems. Eventually aim to prioritize one therapeutic intervention for clinical implementation.

Your qualifications

  • A Master’s degree (MSc) in biomedical sciences, medicine, pharmacy, bioinformatics, biotechnology or equivalent
  • Excellent English language and communication skills
  • Willingness to relocate and reside abroad for at least 3 years including travel for secondments, training and project meetings
  • They must fulfil the mobility rule, i.e. have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies) in the country of the host organization for no more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date. The earliest possible recruitment date is March 1st 2021
  • They must also fulfil the Early Stage Researcher (ESR) rule, i.e. be within their first four years of their research careers at the date of recruitment by the host organization and have not been awarded a doctorate degree
  • Applicants should be available during the central recruitment days on  January 28th-29th 2021
  • Applicants should be available to start the PhD position before  October 1st  2021

Who we are
The Princess Máxima Center for Pediatric Oncology is a new nationwide research hospital concentrating healthcare, research, and education with regard to cancer in children and is located in the Utrecht Science Park. The institute aims to give the best treatment to children with cancer with the highest cure rate and the least side effects of (often complex) anti-cancer treatment. The center brings together the best possible care and scientific research, creating a unique interdisciplinary institute for pediatric oncology in Europe.

VAGABOND program
This PhD position is part of the VAGABOND program. You can find more information about the program on:

We offer

  • Get the opportunity to work with scientist from leading European industrial partners and academic institutes in the area of paediatric oncology
  • International networking opportunities
  • 2 intersectional (academic and non-academic) secondments of 3 months each
  • 4 summerschools and 3 specialized interim courses offering scientific and transferable skills
  • Personal development program BeyondU for a personal transformational experience towards resilient and confident leaders of the future
  • The world-wide most important industry recognized Project Management Professional (PMP) certification given by the Project Management Institute (PMI)
  • High quality doctoral training rewarded by a PhD degree from a major European university
  • A competitive salary, travel allowance and family allowance (if applicable)
  • Appointment for a period of minimum 36 months
  • A journey in which you get all opportunities to reach your full potential and accelerate your career in paediatric oncology!

How to apply
Interested? Visit for more information on the individual PhD positions and application details.
You can apply until November 20th.

It is possible to apply on this site (orange button “solliciteer direct”) but also on the site of Vagabond itself. Make sure you inform yourself well before you apply.

Acquisitie naar aanleiding van deze vacature wordt niet op prijs gesteld.

Solliciteer direct
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