PhD student position in cancer biology: Inflammatory signaling in breast cancer

Updated: 2 months ago
Job Type: Temporary
Deadline: 13 Dec 2022

A PhD position for 4 years is available in the research group of Prof. Marcel van Vugt. The lab is focused on cell cycle regulation and DNA damage responses in cancer cells in relation to inflammatory signaling. The research group is embedded in the Department of Medical Oncology of the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG) in the Netherlands, where oncological patient care is coordinated with preclinical and fundamental research on the biology and treatment of cancer. The Department of Medical Oncology participates in the Groningen Cancer Research Center (GCRC) graduate School of the University of Groningen, in which molecular biologists, pharmacists and clinicians work closely together creating an optimal and excellent environment where the biological behavior of cancer cells, molecular imaging of tumors and novel approaches of cancer targeting are studied.

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A property of many cancers is defective genome maintenance. This is particularly prominent in triple negative breast cancer (TNBC). We have recently described that defective DNA repair in these cancers leads to inflammatory signaling. In order to escape clearance by the immune system, these tumor cells need to suppress inflammatory signaling. The current project aims to elucidate how cancers, in particular TNBC, can suppress inflammatory signaling, and if these mechanisms can be therapeutically targeted. This project is funded by a recently awarded grant from the Dutch Cancer Society (KWF), and will involve cell biological, biochemical, microscopy and genetic approaches. As part of this project, we will validate our findings in patient material. Of note, this project is part of a collaboration with the research group of Prof. Jos Jonkers at the Netherlands Cancer Institute.

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