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PhD candidate on organoid technology and gene expression analysis in pancreatic cancer

Apply before: 25 November 2019
Type of Employment: Fixed Term Contract
Working hours: 36 hours per week
Discipline: AMC Medical Research (AMR)
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What you are going to do

Of all common solid cancers, pancreatic cancer has the worst prognosis. Despite intense research efforts, the prognosis of this disease has only minimally improved over the last decades and it is clear that novel research approaches are required. The recently established PRECODE European consortium aims to leverage organoids as a novel experimental model system to better understand key processes that underlie pancreatic cancer progression and metastasis. In pancreatic cancer, the collective of non-tumor cells in a cancer called stroma, is suspected to contribute to poor outcome by driving aggressive tumor cell behavior. In this project, the PhD candidate will identify and target candidate genes suspected to mediate tumor-stroma crosstalk and assess their potential as biomarkers in the context of organoid (co)cultures. The PhD candidate will contribute to the generation of organoids for the consortium by accruing patients and culturing biopsy material at the Amsterdam UMC (location AMC), and in collaboration with the other PhD candidates in the consortium, establish the optimal culturing conditions that allow meaningful drug screening and other experimental manipulations. Several gene expression-based classification methods have been described that identify subgroups of pancreatic cancer. These also relate to tumor-stroma crosstalk and bear relevance for treatment outcome. To enable meaningful and uniform classification of the pancreatic cancer organoids to be used in the consortium, the applicant will develop a classification method to accurately assign organoids to molecular subgroups and assess the stromal contributions to these. The overarching aim of this basic and translational research is to improve the outcome of a devastating disease.

What we expect from you

You have a master’s degree in life sciences, other (bio)medical sciences, or a related topic. We are looking for an intelligent and eager young researcher. Experience in cell culture, bioinformatics, and basic knowledge on pancreatic cancer is preferred. Applicants can have any nationality, but the MSCA-ITN mobility clause applies (more than 24 months of the past 3 years were spent outside of the Netherlands). Please provide your CV in Europass format.

Where you are going to work

The PhD candidate will be working in the Bijlsma group (www.bijlsmalab.com) at the Laboratory for Experimental Oncology and Radiobiology (department head: Jan Paul Medema) at the Amsterdam UMC, location AMC. This department has an excellent track record, with numerous high-impact publications in the field of gastrointestinal cancer, and is supported by prestigious funding frameworks. The research team consists of mostly (molecular) biologists and medical doctors. For this particular project, the PhD candidate will work closely together with clinical colleagues from departments such as Surgery, Pathology, but also internationally with the other members of the PRECODE MSCA-ITN consortium (precode-project.eu; www.facebook.com/precodeproject; twitter.com/PrecodeP; www.linkedin.com/company/precode-project/).

What we offer you

We offer you ample opportunity for development, deepening and broadening, additional training and a place to grow! Working at AMR means working in an inspiring and professional environment where development is encouraged in every respect.

• The maximum gross monthly salary based on a 36-hour work week is € 3.103,- (scale OIO CAO UMC).
• The base salary does not include holiday pay (8%) and a year-end bonus (8.3%).
• We offer a contract for 36 months, with the prospect of extending the contract for a maximum of 12 months. 
• In addition to excellent accessibility by public transport, AMC also has a sufficient number of parking spaces for employees.
• Pension is accrued at Be Frank.

For an overview of all our other terms of employment, see https://werkenbijamc.nl/arbeidsvoorwaarden-amr/

Let’s meet

If you would like to apply directly, please use the ‘apply’ button on this page.
If you would like more information, please feel free to contact Maarten Bijlsma (Principal investigator), via 020 – 56 64824 or m.f.bijlsma@amsterdamumc.nl.

After the vacancy closes, resumes will be judged by the local selection committee who will then select several candidates for interviews shortly after, and possibly an introduction to the lab and future colleagues. Following this, the identity and resumes of shortlisted candidates will then be communicated to the EU consortium’s Supervisory Board who will then provide final approval. Note that this information can also be shared between consortium members at an earlier stage should the candidate profile be a better match with an institute other than the Amsterdam UMC. 

We look forward to meeting you!

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