Postdoctoral researcher: Testing enhanced CAR T cell technology in 3D multiple myeloma culture models

Updated: 4 months ago
Deadline: 20 Jun 2023

31 May 2023
Job Information

University Medical Center Utrecht (UMC Utrecht)
Research Field

Medical sciences
Researcher Profile

Recognised Researcher (R2)

Application Deadline

20 Jun 2023 - 21:59 (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

As a postdoctoral researcher, you will be responsible for conducting independent research projects in the field of biomedical sciences, contributing to ongoing research projects, and collaborating with a team of scientists and clinicians. You will have access to state-of-the-art research facilities and resources and will be expected to publish research findings in high-impact scientific journals.

The project:
Tumor cell killing by T cells is nature's answer to prevent development of cancer. However, the fact that tumors do develop is a sign that sometimes this T cell-mediated tumor immunosurveillance is not effective enough. Different strategies are being deployed using gene engineered T cells to eradicate cancer, including chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells. CAR T cell therapy is one of the most promising anti-cancer immunotherapies but is not always curative due to primary resistance and disease relapse. This is especially seen in BCMA CAR T cell therapy in patients with the bone marrow cancer multiple myeloma (MM). Responses are high but nearly all patients eventually relapse, even those achieving minimal residual disease (MRD)-negative disease. Therefore, tumor cell killing by CAR T cells must be improved for a curative potential.
We developed a technology, coined optimized killing (OK) technology, that boosts tumor cell killing by CAR T cells, thereby bypassing resistance mechanisms in tumor cells. We previously found that BCMA CAR T cells equipped with this technology show improved MM cell killing in vitro and in a mouse xenograft model.
As a postdoctoral researcher on this project you will test and optimize this technology using established predictive 3D culture models with primary MM cells and pave the way for clinical application.

Publications from the research group that are relevant for this project:

  • Cuenca M, Van Nieuwenhuijzen N, Moesbergen LM, Bloem A, Minnema MC, Peperzak V.
  • Targeting B-cell maturation antigen increases sensitivity of multiple myeloma cells to MCL-1 inhibition. Haematologica. 2022 Apr 1;107(4):980-983.

  • Slomp A, Moesbergen LM, Gong JN, Cuenca M, von dem Borne PA, Sonneveld P, Huang DCS, Minnema MC, Peperzak V. Multiple myeloma with 1q21 amplification is highly sensitive to MCL-1 targeting. Blood Adv. 2019 Dec 23;3(24):4202-4214.
  • Kimman T, Slomp A, Martens A, Grabherr S, Li S, van Diest E, Meeldijk J, Kuball J, Minnema MC, Eldering E, Bovenschen N, Sebestyén Z, Peperzak V. Serpin B9 controls tumor cell killing by CAR T cells. J Immunother Cancer. 2023 Mar;11(3):e006364.

  • Requirements
    Specific Requirements

    The successful candidate will have a PhD in biomedical sciences, molecular biology, or a related field, with a strong background in cellular and molecular biology techniques. Experience with (3D) culture models and/or immunotherapy is desirable. Excellent communication and organizational skills are essential, as is the ability to work independently and as part of a team.

    This is a full-time position, initially for a period of one year with possibility of a 2-year extension. Salary and benefits are competitive.

    If you are passionate about biomedical research and eager to join a dynamic and collaborative team, please submit your CV, cover letter through our online application system. We look forward to hearing from you.

    Additional Information

    The maximum salary for this position (36 - 36 hours) is € 5.088,00 gross per month based on full-time employment.

    In addition, we offer an annual benefit of 8.3%, holiday allowance, travel expenses and career opportunities. The terms of employment are in accordance with the Cao University Medical Centers (UMC).

    Additional comments

    Contact our colleague:
    Monique Minnema


    Website for additional job details

    Work Location(s)
    Number of offers available
    UMC Utrecht
    Postal Code
    Heidelberglaan 100

    Where to apply



    Heidelberglaan 100
    Postal Code

    3584 CX

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