Post-doc researcher

Closing date

May 25th 2022

Contract hours per week

36 hours

About the position and department

Maastro lab (https://www.maastrolab.com), led by Marc Vooijs, conducts fundamental and translational research to provide the best and safest radiation combination treatment for every patient and is affiliated with the Maastro and the Maastricht Comprehensive Cancer Centre. The lab-department has four PI led groups with research themes in tumour cell metabolism, cell death, extracellular vesicles and Notch signaling and stem cell fate. Furthermore, we have core facilities for NextGen sequencing, iPSC facility, high resolution (live) optical and (cryo) electron microscopy and mass spectrometry imaging (M4I).

A new and exciting area in radiotherapy is the combination with Immunotherapy. Therapy induced senescence (TIS) is a growth arrest state frequently caused by anticancer agents. It results in the secretion of pro-tumourigenic factors that ultimately fuel tumour cell persistence, proliferation and (Immunotherapy) therapy resistance. This project aims to identify and remove treatment-induced senescent cells using an Immune checkpoint blockade (mAb-PD-L2). In this Eurostars project, you will collaborate with Rejuveron, Screenin3D, TAmiRNA and Crownbio to obtain preclinical data demonstrating the efficacy of mAb-PD-L2 and develop a companion diagnostic to forward into clinical studies.

In this position, your work package involves deriving and characterizing patient-derived normal and cancer organoids and establishing the conditions for inducing treatment-induced senescence and secreted (response) biomarkers. You will work in close contact with other teams within the Maastro lab using patient-derived models and other consortium members to combine PD-L2 targeting with immune cells to optimize the elimination of senescent tumour cells. Subsequently, the models will be used to demonstrate safety and efficacy in vivo by the consortium.

Who are we looking for?

We are looking for an ambitious postdoc highly motivated in translational oncology to work together with an international consortium to obtain proof of senescent cell targeting to improve immunotherapy combination treatments. Proficiency in English (minimum of IELTS 7 or equivalent), excellent communicative skills, and team player spirit are essential. You should be able to function independently, and prior experience with organoid culture and Immune-oncology is preferred. Besides running your research project, your responsibilities include the co-supervision of the laboratory work of (PhD) students and technicians.

Work location

You will be working at the Radiotherapy department (Maastro lab), in Maastricht, South of the Netherlands. The lab is situated at location of Maastricht University, but we closely collaborate with Maastro, institute for radiotherapy (www.maastro.nl). Within the lab, we have four PI-led teams focused on identifying actionable dependencies in tumour cells and the tumour microenvironment that can be targeted to enhance and prolong treatment response while preserving normal tissue function. Learn more about Maastro lab’s research groups at: https://www.maastrolab.com/

What does Maastro offer you?

We offer you a full-time contract (36 hours/week) for an initial period of one year, with the intention for an extension with another year. You will be employed by Maastro, where the Collective Labor Agreement for Hospitals (“CAO Ziekenhuizen”) applies. Your salary will be according to the salary scale FWG 60 (min. € 3.389,- max. € 4.964,- gross/month), depending on relevant work experience. Furthermore, you will receive an 8.33% holiday allowance and an 8.33% end-of-year bonus.

Also, we offer a wide range of options for personal development, including hard- and soft skills courses. We invest in the employability and vitality of our employees and offer discounts on, for example, sports subscriptions. Applications from abroad may qualify for the 30% tax rule and moving cost reimbursement. If a residence/work permit is required, our HR department will assist with the application.

Contact for more information

Prof. dr. Marc Vooijs
Head of Maastro Lab & Director Research at Maastro
+31 (0)88 44 55 600 (central phonenumber of Maastro)