PhD student Developmental, Stem Cell and Cancer Biology

Updated: about 2 months ago
Job Type: Permanent
Deadline: 15 Mar 2021

Are you fascinated by fundamental questions in the area of developmental, stem cell and cancer biology and looking for an opportunity to perform challenging research in this area? Would you like to investigate how the same molecular signals can be used over and over again with vastly different outcomes depending on the time and place of their activity? Are you eager to resolve the molecular mechanisms that control these tissue-specific signaling responses? This might be the chance to satisfy your curiosity. We are looking for a PhD student to study the tissue-specific initiation and interpretation of WNT/CTNNB1 signaling.

You will be embedded in the Developmental, Stem Cell and Cancer Biology group (led by dr. Renée van Amerongen), which is part of the Cell & Systems Biology cluster of the Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences (SILS)  in the Faculty of Science at the University of Amsterdam.

Research in our group aims to understand how complex tissues are built and maintained. We study this at multiple different levels – 'from man or mouse to molecule' – using a variety of experimental approaches and with a specific focus on WNT signal transduction, mammary gland biology and breast cancer. See our website for more details: .

The goal of this particular research project is to functionally dissect the cis-acting enhancers that control mammary-specific Wnt gene expression. This project is part of our larger research effort to understand the (epi)genetic regulatory mechanisms that allow individual Wnt genes to display dynamic, but tightly controlled expression patterns in different tissues. Time permitting, you will also help determine how the mammary-specific WNT/CTNNB1 target gene repertoire is activated as part of our larger research effort to understand how WNT signaling activates different gene sets in different tissues.

What are you going to do?

You are expected to:

  • use different experimental approaches (including molecular biology, (primary) cell culture, in vivo fat pad transplantation assays and proximity labeling techniques);
  • perform your experiments in a systematic and well controlled manner;
  • keep accurate records by properly documenting and organizing your work;
  • stay on top of the relevant scientific literature;
  • discuss your work in our lab meetings, incorporate feedback and also give input to others;
  • supervise BSc and MSc internship students;
  • combine your practical and analytical skills to write (and ultimately publish) one or more research articles as part of completing a PhD thesis.

You will get the opportunity to:

  • present your work at (inter)national meetings in talks or posters;
  • continuously hone your academic, professional and personal skills.

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