Erasmus MC

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Originele vacaturetekst

PhD candidate to study early cancer development

Job description

Cancer is often preceded by a chain of premalignant stages that differ in their potential for disease progression. Driver mutations provide hematopoietic stem cells with a growth advantage leading to clonal expansions which alone are insufficient for full-blown leukemia. Yet, dependent on age, the driver mutation and the degree of clonal expansion the risk that leukemia will develop with time is increased. The exact underlying mechanisms of clonal expansion and its subsequent progression to leukemia are still unknown. Individuals born with DNA repair deficiencies acquire far more mutations than normal resulting in more clonal expansion and early-onset cancer, making these individuals prime candidates for studying the early stages of cancer development.

This project builds on recent publications from our lab on early cancer development and DNA repair (Sanders et al., Blood 2019, 132(14): 1526–1534). Using cutting-edge molecular analysis and genome editing you will investigate clonal expansion in the context of DNA repair deficiencies in humans, animal models and cell lines. The aim is to understand what drives clonal expansion and to predict disease progression and relapse. You will work in an interdisciplinary research team that includes a comprehensive mix of relevant backgrounds, including molecular biology, genome editing, bioinformatics and cancer diagnostics.

Work environment

The Department of Hematology has pioneered innovative methods to understand the mechanisms of hematological disease on a molecular and cellular level. The department is engaged in a myriad of exciting research topics with the overall aim to delineate the pathogenesis of acute leukemia and multiple myeloma. Our research is well-supported by genomic and clinical specimens and data from thousands of patients, providing an unprecedented opportunity to perform innovative research. Combining cutting-edge technology with our vast well-annotated biobank is at the heart of our strategy to make discoveries that impact the routine practice of patient care.

Within the department the team aims to understand the underlying mechanisms that drive clonal expansion and the associated risk for developing cancer. We conduct hypothesis-driven research, develop and implement novel molecular technologies to uncover these mechanisms in collaboration with professionals in health and international scientific collaborators.

Qualifications and skills
  • You should have a Master of Science degree with a background in Biology, Molecular Biology, Medicine, Health Sciences or any other field that has affinity with basic or translational research.
  • You have affinity with quantitative research and want to acquire further experience in advanced data analysis and writing of scientific papers.
  • You have hands-on experience in standard molecular biological assays and cutting-edge technology, such as different forms of PCR, maintaining cell cultures and next-generation sequencing.
  • Experience with mouse models is beneficial, but not a must.
  • Fluency in spoken and written English is a prerequisite.
  • You are a highly motivated candidate that is able to work well both independently and within a team.
  • The department highly supports candidates who want to develop their skills in collaboration, leadership, goal-oriented working, creativity, initiative, engagement, vision, and visibility.

Before you apply please check our conditions for employment.

Terms of employment

You will receive a temporary position for 4 years. The gross monthly salary is € 2.495,- in the first year and increases to € 3.196,- in the 4th year (scale OIO). The terms of employment are in accordance with the Collective Bargaining Agreement for University Medical Centers (CAO UMC).

Information and application

For more information about this position, please contact the principal investigator Dr. Mathijs A. Sanders, phone number: +31 (0)6 391 905 31 or e-mail: For queries regarding your application, please contact Jerry Chandansingh, Recruiter, by phone number: +31 (0)6 500 310 06.

If you are excited by the thought of this position and would like to apply, please do so by using the application form on our website.

No agencies please.

36 hours
Type vacature:


  • Er is geen minimale opleiding vereist

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