Postdoc in Genetic Mechanisms of Anti-Cancer Drug Resistance

Updated: about 1 month ago
Deadline: 31 Dec 2021

We offer a Postdoc position in the division of Cell Biology, Metabolism, and Cancer in the Department of Biomolecular Health Sciences at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Utrecht University. You will become part of a multidisciplinary research team of researchers led by Dr. Bart Westendorp (cell cycle & single cell analysis) and Prof. Alain de Bruin (molecular pathology & cancer). You will work on a project which aims to unravel novel genetic adaptation mechanisms that lead to resistance against anti-cancer therapeutics and explore strategies to block these mechanisms. Tumor cells are heterogeneous and individual cancer cells that become insensitive to therapeutics often causing disease relapse. This process resembles Darwinian evolution, but mounting evidence suggests that cancer cells can actively alter the genomes to accelerate this adaptation process. Understanding and targeting these processes may hold a promise for new therapeutic approaches to improve the prognosis of cancer patients.

In this Postdoc position, which is partly funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO), you will focus on two different putative genetic adaptation mechanisms: (1) horizontal gene transfer via extracellular vesicles and (2) endogenous gene duplication via polyploidization. The project has a strong cell biology component, and will involve FACS-sorting, isolation and characterization of extracellular vesicles, DNA analysis, CRISPR/Cas9 screening, confocal microscopy, and live cell imaging. The research team is part of the Regenerative Medicine Center Utrecht, and is located in the Hubrecht Institute. You will work in a very lively and inspiring research environment surrounded by outstanding research labs. In addition, you will have access to state-of-the-art research facilities including single cell analysis, imaging, flow cytometry, and biobanks with patient materials localized at the Utrecht Science Campus in the Netherlands.

We offer a challenging position in a dynamic and professional environment with plenty of room for initiative and entrepreneurship. This position offers many opportunities to develop your talents, which will benefit your career. You will receive coaching and feedback from your colleagues on a regular basis, and there are multiple opportunities to follow specific courses and training programmes within the Utrecht University Development programme.

In this position you will:

  • design and conduct the experimental work for this research project;
  • write high-quality research publications;
  • write and contribute to research proposals for receiving additional external research funding;
  • contribute to research projects of our other team members, and/or other research groups;
  • supervise research projects of Master's and Bachelor's students.

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