Postdoc mechanobiology

Updated: 4 months ago
Deadline: 04 Feb 2022

The Gloerich group, based at the Center for Molecular Medicine, has 2 positions for postdoctoral researchers to investigate the role of mechanical forces in healthy epithelia and cancer.

Our research

Cells are continuously exposed to mechanical signals, including forces exerted by neighboring cells, which instruct cellular behavior. The overall aim of our research group is to understand how epithelial cells integrate mechanical signals to control tissue homeostasis, and how alterations in mechanical signaling networks contribute to tumor progression. We study this through a combination of bioengineering and genetic approaches in cell and organoid models, combined with live-cell imaging, molecular reporters, proteomics, single-cell sequencing, and molecular cell biology. We have previously shown that forces between epithelial cells are sensed by E-cadherin adhesions to control various aspects of cell division (Hart et al., PNAS 2017; Monster et al., JCB 2021; Donker et al., Biorxiv 2021). We aim to further understand the mechanically regulated link between E-cadherin adhesions and the cell cycle, as well as other cellular processes underlying epithelial homeostasis and cancer progression.

Job descriptions

Postdoctoral position 1: Interplay between mechano-sensitive E-cadherin adhesions and the cell cycle

A 2-year postdoc position funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO) to investigate the connection between mechanical forces and the cell cycle. This project revolves around identifying how force-sensitive changes in the cadherin complex and downstream signaling pathways impinge on cell cycle progression, or other cellular processes underlying epithelial homeostasis. Approaches and methodologies include cell and organoid culture, bioengineering, genome editing, advanced (live) imaging, proteomics and transcriptomics.

Postdoctoral position 2: Intercellular forces in healthy epithelia and cancer

A 3-year postdoc position, funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO) and part of a larger consortium (including other biologists as well as physicists from LUMC, Delft University, TU/e, Radboud University). In this project the candidate will visualize and modulate force transduction by E-cadherin adhesions in cell and organoid models to address how mechanical signals impact healthy epithelial tissues and contribute to tumor growth and invasion. Approaches and methodologies include cell and organoid culture, bioengineering, genome editing, advanced (live) imaging and molecular (force) sensors. 


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