Research Technician – Sequencing technologies and molecular techniques (Group van Heesch)

The Princess Máxima Center for Pediatric Oncology is a new research hospital concentrating healthcare, research and education with regard to cancer in children in a single location in Utrecht. The institute aims to provide the highest level of care for all children with cancer and has the ambition to cure all children of cancer and significantly reduce unwanted side effects. The center brings together the best possible care and scientific research, creating a unique interdisciplinary institute for pediatric oncology in Europe.

Sebastiaan van Heesch and his group are looking for a highly enthousiastic and motivated research technician with experience in sequencing technologies to join their team.

The van Heesch group
In our group, we study the role of RNA translation, the process by which ribosomes produce protein from RNA template, in the development and progression of childhood cancer. Although RNA translation is an integral part of gene expression regulation, very little is known about how, when and where specific RNA molecules are being translated and – more importantly – how often this goes wrong in childhood malignancies. We have a particular interest in discovering yet unknown ‘microproteins’ that newly originate in tumor tissue through unconventional translational activity. We study these small regulatory proteins mechanistically to understand their functions, and aim exploit their tumor-specificity for (immuno)therapeutic applications. The van Heesch lab is positioned at the intersection of fundamental and clinical science, for which we rely heavily on both wet lab and computational approaches. Through creative thinking, clear communication, active collaboration and keeping an open mind for new and exciting ideas, our primary aim is to develop our discoveries into clinically relevant diagnostic and therapeutic applications that directly benefit the patient.

Tasks and responsibilities
You will work in close collaboration with other lab members toward our global aim of better understanding RNA translation and microprotein functionality in childhood cancer. You will be in charge of the wet lab side of our group, where we make use of state-of-the-art of ribosome profiling (or “Ribo-seq”) sequencing technology to generate translatome-wide views of active mRNA translation (e.g. van Heesch et al., Cell 2019). This technology allows us to see where ribosomes go in small pieces of tissue, helping us visualize which RNA molecules are being translated into what protein products. Your primary responsibility will be the isolation of (ribosome-bound) RNA from solid tumor tissue biopsies or organoid cultures, and the subsequent preparation of Ribo-seq libraries. Downstream applications will cover a wide range of technologies that you will help organize and set up, including (stem) cell culture systems and molecular biology techniques such as Western blot, cloning, qPCR, immunoprecipitation, immunofluorescence, and CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing. Lastly, you will be responsible for organizational and lab management tasks.

Education and skills

  • The candidate should hold a Bachelor’s (HLO-diploma) or Master’s degree in biomedical sciences, molecular/cellular biology, or an equivalent thereof, and a clear interest in pre-clinical cancer research;
  • Knowledge of, and experience with sequencing technologies (library preparation) and (basic) molecular biological techniques is a plus;
  • The candidate should be well-organized and willing to execute organizational and lab management tasks;
  • The candidate should have good communication skills, be flexible, versatile, a team player, and have good command of the English language.

What can we offer you?
We offer a full-time position based on 36 hours per week. You will start on a temporary position for the duration of one year that – after positive evaluation – will be extended. Your gross monthly salary will depend on experience and background, starting in scale 45 with 8,33% gross monthly salary holiday allowance and 8,33 % end-of-year bonus. The Princess Máxima Center operates according to the collective labour agreement ‘cao algemene ziekenhuizen’.

Applying for this position?

You are welcome to contact Dr. Sebastiaan van Heesch ( for additional information about the vacancy. Detailed information about the Princess Máxima Center for Pediatric Oncology can also be found at

You can apply for this position until April 7th 2020 by pressing the orange apply button “solliciteer direct” on this screen .
Personal interviews with selected candidates are planned for May 2020, the starting date for this position is mid July 2020.
When we receive sufficient applications prior to the application deadline, we reserve the right to close the application early.

applying is only possible through our own website

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

Solliciteer direct

Help jij onze missie verder te brengen?

Wij zoeken gedreven Kinderverpleegkundigen met díe specifieke drive en unieke spirit die ons centrum zo kenmerken. Natuurlijk neem jij de vakkennis mee die nodig is om dit bijzondere werk te kunnen doen.

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