PhD student Drost Group – tumor biology

In the Netherlands, almost all childhood cancer care and research are concentrated in a single institute, the Princess Máxima Center for Pediatric Oncology. With approximately 600 children per year being affected by cancer in the Netherlands and 150 children suffering from relapse tumors each year, our institute comprises the largest pediatric oncology institute in Europe. This provides a unique opportunity for the Netherlands to contribute to the world-wide effort in understanding and resolving childhood cancer.

The Drost group is looking for an enthusiastic, highly motivated PhD student with a strong interest in tumor biology.

Background information about the Drost group

The Drost group studies the molecular mechanisms underlying the development of childhood solid tumors. We develop and utilize stem cell culture models, such as organoid technology, in combination with (single cell) genomics, gene editing and lineage tracing technologies 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.


Pediatric malignancies defined by mutations in epigenetic regulators are generally highly aggressive with a low survival rate. As no other genetic driver mutations have been identified, these tumors are thought to be primarily driven by derailed epigenetic regulation of gene expression. Yet, how these tumors adapt to changing environmental conditions and treatment is a major unsolved problem frustrating the development of effective treatment approaches. This project aims to study the contribution of epigenetic mechanisms to tumor progression towards metastasis. We will study this in vitro using our unique patient-derived organoid cultures and in vivo using orthotopic organoid transplantation approaches. Applied techniques will include organoid culturing, (single-cell) RNA- and DNA-sequencing technologies and mouse xenotransplantation studies (expected balance in vitro/in vivo work is 50/50).


  • Master’s degree in biomedical sciences or an equivalent thereof, and a clear interest in pre-clinical cancer research.
  • Legal permission and experience with mouse experimentation are desirable.
  • Excellent technical, analytical, and problem-solving skills.
  • Preferably a demonstrated experience in cell culture and molecular biological techniques.
  • Experience in working with data analyses software like R and/or python, or interest in learning.
  • 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

A temporary, full-time PhD position for a total duration of 4 years (36 hours / week) in an ambitious and internationally recognized team. You will initially be contracted for a period of 1 year, after which your performance will be evaluated, and the contract may be extended for three more years. Princess Máxima Center operates according to the collective labor agreement ‘cao algemene ziekenhuizen’.

 Apply for this position?

You can apply by pressing the ‘Apply’ button on the right of this screen

Application deadline: 15th of October

For more information contact Dr. Jarno Drost

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

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