Postdoc Etiology of Pediatric AML

Why do certain individuals develop cancer and others don’t? And why do children get cancer? The van Boxtel group aims to understand how cancer can arise by studying somatic evolutionary processes in normal human tissues. Our vision is that this knowledge will improve diagnostics and contribute to the development of novel strategies for treating and perhaps even preventing cancer. We are looking for an enthusiastic and highly motivated Postdoc with experience in molecular biology, hematology and/or immunology, who will use naturally acquired mutations to trace back the origin and causes of pediatric AML in patient samples.

The Van Boxtel Group

We are a preclinical research group with 20 members of different disciplines, such as stem cell biology, genomics, bioinformatics, and pediatric oncology. We have pioneered the development of experimental and bioinformatics approaches to study mutation accumulation in normal human tissues, including the hematopoietic system. In addition, we combine primary culture systems, such as hematopoietic stem cell cultures and 3D organoids, with single cell genomics and CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing to discover mutational process signatures relevant for cancer diagnostics. In our team, we value collegiality, reliability, creativity, enthusiasm, and dedication, which allow us to successfully reach our goals, and to create a stimulating work atmosphere. We are embedded in the Princess Máxima Center, which is Europe’s largest and fully dedicated childhood cancer center. Our mission is to provide a cure and optimal quality of life for every child with cancer. The center brings together the best possible care and scientific research, creating a unique interdisciplinary institute for pediatric oncology in Europe.

On the origin of childhood leukemia: studying somatic evolution in human blood

Although aging is the biggest risk factor for cancer, children can also get cancer. In fact, for some cancers, such as leukemia, the incidence is higher in children as compared to young adolescents. This phenomenon represents an apparent paradox, as young cells should have less somatic (oncogenic) mutations than adult cells. In this project, we aim to clarify this paradox and by doing so obtain insights into the molecular and cellular mechanism underlying leukemogenesis in children. To achieve this, we will study mutation accumulation and clonal lineages in blood of children with AML. We will characterize the processes that contribute to the development of childhood leukemia by mimicking mutational process signatures, observed in pediatric AML, in cell culture systems, including in cultured umbilical cord blood cells. Second, we will apply retrospective lineage tracing in patient samples to pinpoint the clonal origin of childhood leukemia during the development of the hematopoietic system. Ultimately, our goal is to determine the rate-limiting steps underlying the genesis of childhood leukemia.

 Education and skills

We expect a highly motivated candidate. Specific required skills are:

  • You have a PhD in biomedical sciences or an equivalent thereof, and a clear interest in pre-clinical cancer research.
  • You have excellent lab skills, including experience in cell culturing, molecular cloning, and flow cytometry.
  • You have an interest in genomics research.
  • You have excellent communication and presentation skills.
  • You are a team player who is eager to work in a multidisciplinary research group.
  • You have a strong commitment to a research career.

 We offer

A challenging position as a Postdoc to supervise the above mentioned project “on the origin of childhood leukemia” in a stimulating, multidisciplinary and international research environment, combining cutting-edge research with state-of-the-art systems bioinformatics.

The position is based on 36 hours a week and an initial duration of one year with the possibility on extension. Your salary is based on FWG 60, increased with 8,33 % holiday allowance and 8,33 % end-of-year bonus, and will depend on experience and background. The Princess Máxima Center operates according to the collective labour agreement “cao algemene ziekenhuizen”.

Apply for this position?
You can apply for this position until May 19th 2021 by pressing the orange “Solliciteer direct” button on this screen.

Acquisition based on this job opening is not appreciated.

Contact and application

For more information you can contact Dr. Ruben van Boxtel R.vanBoxtel@prinsesmaximacentrum.nl.

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

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