Research analyst – Van Leeuwen group

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 Van Leeuwen group is looking for an enthusiastic, highly motivated technician with a strong interest in tumor cell biology.

Background information about the Van Leeuwen group

In the Van Leeuwen group the group leader Frank van Leeuwen works together with 2 technicians, 6 PhD students and one postdoc to develop metabolic treatment strategies to cure pediatric cancer with minimal side effects. In addition, the van Leeuwen group hosts the flow cytometry facility which is currently managed by 2 dedicated facility scientists.


Although current treatment strategies cure the majority of pediatric cancer patients, many survivors carry a significant risk for late morbidity and mortality as a result of the treatment with chemotherapeutics. In line with the mission statement of the Princess Máxima Center, to cure every child with cancer, with optimal quality of life, the van Leeuwen group aims to develop novel treatment strategies that limit long term effects. To this end, we aim to identify and exploit metabolic vulnerabilities of tumor cells. In our studies, which are mainly focused on acute lymphoblastic leukemia, we combine reverse genetic-, metabolic- and drug-screening approaches with targeted modulation of pathways to find the Achilles Heel of the tumor. In vitro studies using cell lines and (expanded) primary patient cells are complemented with in vivo proof-of-principle studies. A recently awarded KWF grant allows us to expand our team with a technician who will support the PhD student on the project.

Tasks and responsibilities

It is Tuesday. This day starts with the general research seminar where you listen to a presentation on the single cell analysis of one of the solid tumors. After that, you quickly move to the lab to prepare your cells for tomorrow’s drug screening assays. Before you load samples on a western blot you first start the flow cytometer in preparation of the sorting of GFP positive cells that you hope to find in the culture that was transduced with lentivirus last week. Once your protein blot is incubating in the primary antibody you grab a quick coffee and join a meeting with other technicians to discuss the current shortage of laboratory plastics. Next, while the flow cytometer is busy sorting 10 million GFP positive cells you take that time to organize the lab. After lunch with the other group members in the restaurant there is a one-on-one meeting with one of the PhD students where you discuss your most recent results and make plans for the coming experiments. This results in a shift of focus that forces you the reschedule your experiments. You quickly design a new drug-interaction study and move to the culture lab to plate the cells. The remaining time of the afternoon you use to fill out your digital labjournal and make a planning for the coming week.


  • A Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in biomedical sciences, applied science, biology or an equivalent thereof, and a clear interest in pre-clinical cancer research
  • Extensive hands-on experience with cell culture and molecular biological techniques
  • Excellent technical, analytical, and problem-solving skills
  • Candidates with a legal permission and experience with mouse experimentation or experience with data analysis software like R are desirable

Soft skills

  • Team player
  • Self-initiative and eagerness to learn.
  • Well organized and a sense of responsibility
  • Given the international composition of the team, we seek a candidate with excellent communication and presentation skills in English

Working at the Princess Maxima Center for Pediatric Oncology

We offer a temporary position for a maximum 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. Your gross monthly salary will depend on experience and background, maximum scale 45, with 8.33% holiday allowance and 8.33% end of year bonus. The Princess Máxima Center operates according to the collective labor agreement ‘cao algemene ziekenhuizen’.

Apply for this position?

You can apply for this position until 28 February 2023 by pressing the “apply” button on this screen. For more information please contact Dr. Frank van Leeuwen.

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

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