Postdoctoral Researcher: Microbial Metabolite Biomarkers for Immunotherapy Outcome

Updated: 3 months ago
Deadline: 17 May 2024

1 May 2024
Job Information

Radboud University
Research Field

Researcher Profile

Recognised Researcher (R2)

Application Deadline

17 May 2024 - 00:00 (UTC)
Type of Contract

Job Status

Not Applicable
Hours Per Week

Is the job funded through the EU Research Framework Programme?

Not funded by an EU programme
Is the Job related to staff position within a Research Infrastructure?


Offer Description

Are you fascinated by the way our gut microbiome affects immunotherapy outcome, and are you looking for a project at the interface of analytical biochemistry, microbiology and clinical practice? The Department of Microbiology of the Radboud Institute for Biological and Environmental Sciences (RIBES) is looking for a Postdoctoral Researcher who is enthusiastic about discovering microbial metabolites that predict the outcome of lung cancer immunotherapy using targeted and untargeted LC-MS methods.

Immunotherapy has become the treatment of choice for many cancers but the treatment is expensive and the outcome variable. Biomarkers that predict treatment outcome are thus highly desired.

Several studies have shown that our gut microbiome affects the response to and toxicity of cancer immunotherapy. The mechanism underlying this correlation can be mediated by direct or indirect interactions between gut microbes and the immune system, but microbial metabolites are thought to be key mediators.

Among the microbial metabolites found in humans, small chain fatty acids (SCFAs) such as butyrate have emerged as potential mediators affecting response, but validation studies in large cohorts are lacking. In this project, you will validate the predictive value of plasma SCFAs for cancer immunotherapy response in a large cohort of non-small cell lung cancer patients and provide a solid basis for clinical implementation of these promising biomarkers.

Even though SCFAs have consistently emerged as predictive metabolites, the spectrum of microbiome-derived metabolites in humans is much wider and remains largely unexplored. In this project, you will use untargeted metabolomics to discover other microbial metabolites that could serve as predictive biomarkers and entry point into new immunomodulatory mechanisms.
In this project, you will develop and validate quantitative LC-MS methods for microbial metabolites with suspected immunomodulatory activity (eg. SCFAs). You will apply these methods to plasma samples collected in the ongoing multicentre DEDICATION (NVALT 30) study coordinated by the Radboud university medical center. You will also analyse these samples using untargeted metabolomics to search for new predictive microbial metabolites.

You will communicate your results at interdisciplinary DEDICATION meetings and at international meetings and in scientific journals. To help our postdoctoral researchers receive training, develop their personal and professional skills and prepare for the future, they are organised through an institutional Postdoc Platform.

Specific Requirements
  • You should hold a PhD in bioanalytical chemistry or a related field.
  • You have experience with or look forward to learning untargeted metabolomics.
  • You have good communication skills.
  • You enjoy working in an interdisciplinary team.
  • Experience with microbiome research is a plus but not required.

Additional Information
  • We will give you a temporary employment contract of one year with the prospect of an indefinite contract.
  • Your salary within salary scale 10 depends on your previous education and number of years of (relevant) work experience. The amounts in the scale are based on a 38-hour working week.
  • You will receive an 8% holiday allowance and an 8,3% end-of-year bonus.
  • You will be able to use our Dual Career and Family Support Service . The Dual Career Programme assists your partner via support, tools, and resources to improve their chances of independently finding employment in the Netherlands. Our Family Support Service helps you and your partner feel welcome and at home by providing customised assistance in navigating local facilities, schools, and amenities. Also take a look at our support for international staff page to discover all our services for international employees.
  • You will receive extra days off. With full-time employment, you can choose between 30 or 41 days of annual leave instead of the statutory 20.

Work and science require good employment practices. This is reflected in Radboud University's primary and secondary employment conditions . You can make arrangements for the best possible work-life balance with flexible working hours, various leave arrangements and working from home. You are also able to compose part of your employment conditions yourself, for example, exchange income for extra leave days and receive a reimbursement for your sports subscription. And of course, we offer a good pension plan. You are given plenty of room and responsibility to develop your talents and realise your ambitions. Therefore, we provide various training and development schemes.

Additional comments

You can apply no later than 17 May only via the button below. Address your letter of application to Robert Jansen. In the application form, you will find which documents you need to include with your application.

The first interviews will take place on 29 May. Any second interview will take place on 5 June. You will preferably start your employment on 1 July 2024.

We can imagine you're curious about our application procedure . It describes what you can expect during the application procedure and how we handle your personal data and internal and external candidates. If you wish to apply for a non-scientific position with a non-EU nationality, please take notice of the following information .

Website for additional job details

Work Location(s)
Number of offers available
Radboud Universiteit
Postal Code
Houtlaan 4

Where to apply



Houtlaan 4
Postal Code

6525 XZ


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