Postdoc: Crossing barriers – drug delivery in pediatric brain tumors

The Princess Máxima Center for Pediatric Oncology is a nationwide research hospital concentrating healthcare, research and education with regard to cancer in children and is located in Utrecht, Science Park de Uithof. The institute has the ambition to give the best treatment to children with cancer with the highest cure rate and the least side effects to (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.

The research group of Dr Dannis van Vuurden, pediatric neuro-oncologist and principal investigator, focuses on optimizing drug delivery to the brain, especially in pediatric high-grade glioma (HGG) such as diffuse midline glioma (DMG), highly aggressive brain tumors in children. Our laboratory performs translational research, finding the optimal drugs to treat these cancers and using advanced delivery techniques such as microbubble and focused ultrasound-mediated blood-brain barrier disruption (FUS-BBBD) and convection-enhanced delivery (CED) to increase therapeutic drug levels in these brain tumors. With a clinical therapeutic FUS-BBBD and CED program in place, the laboratory research is part of the translational pipeline for better treatment options for brain tumor patients.

Postdoc project: crossing barriers – drug delivery to the brain in pediatric neuro-oncology
Diffuse midline glioma (DMG) and other high-grade glioma (HGG) are highly malignant pediatric brain tumors, for which currently there is no cure. Due to their critical location in the brain and diffuse growth pattern, tumor resection is not feasible and the presence of an intact blood-brain barrier and intrinsic therapy resistance prevents effective chemotherapeutic treatment. This project is based on the concept of precision medicine for brain tumor therapy: identifying the right drug(s), for the right patient, at the right dose, at the right place and for the right time. Not only tumor cells will be targeted, but also the largely silent immune tumor microenvironment will be subject of therapeutic intervention.
Suitable drug delivery technology are employed to deliver these drugs into the parenchyma by means of FUS-BBBD and/or CED. Successful preclinical studies will be translated into early phase clinical trials for the treatment of children (and potentially adults) with malignant brain tumors.

Education and skills
We are looking for a highly motivated postdoc with an interest in Pediatric Oncology, and a background in cell biology/molecular biology and/or biomedical technology. Experience with animal studies is mandatory (article 9 certificate). Our group welcomes ambitious postdocs who have a natural level of scientific thinking, and like to collaborate and support other researchers. The candidate should have flexibility, attention to detail, excellent communication skills, and a good command of oral and written English.

We offer
We offer a full time position (36 hours/week) as a postdoc in an inspiring and inter-disciplinary research environment. You will start on a temporary position for the duration of one year that -when satisfactory- will be extended. Your gross monthly salary will depend on experience and background with a maximum of EUR 4466,- FGW 60. The Princess Máxima Center operates according to the collective labour agreement ‘CAO algemene ziekenhuizen’.

Contact and application:
You can apply for this position until November 15th 2021 by pressing the orange apply button on this screen. We welcome you to contact Dr. Dannis van Vuurden ( and Dr. Mario Ries ( for additional information about the vacancy. Detailed information about the Princess Máxima Center for Pediatric Oncology can also be found at


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