PhD position on Drug Resistance in Advanced in Vitro Cultures of Epithelial Tissues (1.0 FTE)

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PhD position on Drug Resistance in Advanced in Vitro Cultures of Epithelial Tissues (1.0 FTE)

PhD position on Drug Resistance in Advanced in Vitro Cultures of Epithelial Tissues (1.0 FTE)

Job description

Become part of the new research consortium IMAGINE! (Innovative Microscopy And Guidance of cells In their Native Environment). Our programme aims to transform cell biology by developing and applying advanced microscopy and real-time molecular manipulation techniques to study cells in their natural complexity and diversity. The consortium will form a unique and highly interdisciplinary team that combines cell, organoid, and tissue biology, as well as chemical and optical cell manipulation to study cell behaviour in development, cancer, and targeted drug delivery.
In this PhD position at Utrecht University, you will develop methods to measure and mechanistically investigate drug resistance development in intestinal and mammary gland organoids cultured in microfluidics platforms. Numerous factors may contribute to drug resistance in chemotherapy, as cancers are inherently heterogeneous. Furthermore, genetic instability can lead to chemoresistance either to directly handle the cytotoxic drugs or to recover from their effects. You will work together with the groups within the IMAGINE! project who also work on these systems and contribute to similar analyses in vivo (The Van Rheenen Group of The Netherlands Cancer Institute and the Friedl Group at Radboud UMC). In collaboration with the Prins group (at Eindhoven University of Technology), you will work on the development of label-free sensing strategies for incorporation in a microfluidics device for studying chemoresistance processes. The overall goal is to “see drugs in action” within cells in tissue environment.


We are looking for a highly motivated and creative candidate to join us in this unique project. We would like you to bring:

  • a Master's degree (or equivalent) in Pharmaceutical or Biomedical sciences, or a related field;
  • a background in Cell Biology, Molecular/Organoid biology or Molecular Pharmacology;
  • analytical and problem solving skills;
  • proficiency in written and spoken English.

If you feel that this role is the perfect match, but you do not yet meet all the qualifications, we also welcome you to apply.

  • A position for 4 years.
  • A full-time gross salary that starts at €2,541 and increases to €3,247 per month (scale P of the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities (CAO)).
  • 8% holiday bonus and 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
  • A pension scheme, partially paid parental leave, and flexible employment conditions based on the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities.

In addition to the employment conditions laid down in the CAO for Dutch Universities, Utrecht University has a number of its own arrangements. For example, there are agreements on professional development, leave arrangements and sports. We also give you the opportunity to expand your terms of employment via the Employment Conditions Selection Model. This is how we like to encourage you to continue to grow.
For more information, please visit working at the Faculty of Science

About the organization

Utrecht University is a friendly and ambitious university at the heart of an ancient city. We love to welcome new scientists to our city – a thriving cultural hub that is consistently rated as one of the world’s happiest cities. We are renowned for our innovative interdisciplinary research and our emphasis on inspirational research and excellent education. We are equally well-known for our informal atmosphere and the can-do mentality of our people. This lively and inspiring academic environment attracts professors, researchers and PhD candidates from all over the globe, making both the University and the Faculty of Science a vibrant international and wonderfully diverse community.
At the Faculty of Science , there are six departments to make a fundamental connection with: Biology, Chemistry, Information and Computing Sciences, Mathematics, Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Physics. Each of these is made up of distinct institutes that work together to focus on answering some of humanity’s most pressing problems. More fundamental still are the individual research groups – the building blocks of our ambitious scientific projects. Find out more about the Faculty of Science .
This position is one of many PhD and postdoc positions available as part of the gravitational programme IMAGINE! (Innovative Microscopy And Guidance of cells In their Native Environment). IMAGINE! is an interdisciplinary programme combining cell, organoid, and tissue biology, as well as chemical and optical cell manipulation and analysis to study cell behaviour in development and cancer, and targeted drug delivery. Participating institutes are based throughout the Netherlands in Utrecht, Amsterdam, Delft, Rotterdam, Nijmegen, and Eindhoven. For more information on the individual positions, please visit the website of IMAGINE! .
This position is embedded in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Utrecht University. The Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences consists of five research divisions, which are organized within the Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences (UIPS). UIPS focuses on processes around discovery, development, and use of drugs and medical nutrition using molecular and technological principles from the Natural and Life Sciences. The department of Pharmaceutical Sciences coordinates the teaching of the Bachelor’s programmes in Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, as well as the Master’s programme Pharmacy. Furthermore, the department is responsible for the Master’s programme and PhD course Drug Innovation that are offered through the Graduate School of Life Sciences . Within this graduate school you have the opportunity to become part of a PhD network and are free to follow courses to improve your knowledge and skills. 
You will be working in the Experimental Pharmacology group within the Pharmacology division, led by Prof. dr. Roos Masereeuw. In this project you will closely collaborate with the assistant professors Dr. Manoe Janssen and Dr. Silvia Mihăilă. Research in this group is focused on understanding the pathways that can be pharmacologically triggered to enhance repair and regeneration processes after organ injury, aiming at elucidating novel bio-inspired therapeutic strategies.

Additional information

For more information about this position, please contact Roos Masereeuw via , Manoe Janssen via , or Silvia Mihăilă  via . 
Do you have a question about the application procedure? Please send an email to .


Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives. If you have become enthusiastic about this role, then simply respond via the "Apply now" button!
Please enclose:

  • your letter of motivation;
  • your Curriculum vitae;
  • reference letters are optional but appreciated

If you are interested in several positions of IMAGINE! we encourage you to apply for multiple positions (please indicate this by including the job title(s) and associated institute(s) in your application letter). Data Privacy note: Applications will be shared between participating institutes of IMAGINE! for the purpose and the duration of the recruitment process.
We highly encourage candidates from diverse backgrounds and nationalities to apply. We strive to create an open, diverse, and inclusive work environment for everyone. People of any gender identity, ethnicity or sexual orientation are welcome.
If this specific opportunity isn’t for you, but you know someone else who may be interested, please forward this vacancy to them.

The application deadline is
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