PhD student on the development of oncolytic viro-immunotherapy for treatment of patients with pancreatic-, prostate and brain cancer.

PhD student on the development of oncolytic viro-immunotherapy for treatment of patients with pancreatic-, prostate and brain cancer.

Published Deadline Location
15 Jan 29 Jan Rotterdam

You cannot apply for this job anymore.

Browse the current job offers or choose an item in the top navigation above.

Job description

Objective: In the last few decades tremendous progress has been made in the treatment of cancer thereby improving the prognosis of many cancer patients. Despite the progress in the treatment of cancer, there are still only limited effective treatment options for various aggressive cancer types such as pancreatic cancer, advanced prostate cancer and glioblastoma. New treatment options are desperately needed. Oncolytic viro-immunotherapy, based on oncolytic viruses constitutes such a novel treatment option. Viro-immunotherapy results in direct tumour cell killing and local inflammation, which in turn leads to activation of the adaptive immune system.

To rapidly develop and implement viro-immunotherapy as a treatment modality for cancer, we collaborate in the Dutch Oncolytic Viro-Immuno Therapy consortium (OVIT) in which the necessary expertise in virology, immunology, immunotherapy and the clinic is bundled. The aim of this consortium is to develop an efficacious and safe viro-immunotherapy for patients with pancreatic-, prostate and brain cancer, using three oncolytic viruses: Newcastle disease virus, reovirus and adenovirus. The efficacy of oncolytic viro-immunotherapy varies between patients, depending on the tumor type and the applied oncolytic virus. The observed heterogeneous anti-tumor responses to oncolytic viruses emphasize the clinical need for better stratification of cancer patients for viro-immunotherapy by selecting the most promising candidate OV in future clinical trials.

The PhD project, focusing on pancreatic tumors and Newcastle disease virus, is part of the StratiVIR program. This program aims to develop and implement assays that contribute to better stratification of individual cancer patients for future clinical virotherapy studies. Within the PhD project, you will manipulate and generate viruses with aid of reverse genetics techniques, evaluate selected viruses for efficacy and safety in in vitro and in vivo models for the afore mentioned tumours. In parallel, you will establish near-patient-disease models for pancreatic cancer, i.e. organoids and/or ex vivo tumor slices, for which you will conduct molecular profiling to identify predictive tumor gene expression signatures for the selection of the best available OV for treatment of individual patients.

The PhD project is funded by Support Casper, which is a crowdfunding organisation for treatment of patients with pancreatic tumors.


Erasmus MC (University Medical Center Rotterdam)


Your are a PhD student who is enthusiastic and highly motivated and with a MSc degree or equivalent from an accredited academic program in Biology, Biomedical or Molecular Sciences, Immunology, or (veterinary) Medicine. Demonstrable experience with cell culture and various molecular and/or and virological techniques are necessary. You have an excellent command of the English language, both oral and written. To be appointed, you should possess or be willing to obtain article 9 authorization for animal handling. Candidates are expected to obtain their PhD in 4 years, with Prof. Dr. R.A.M. Fouchier as promotor.

Being able to present a certificate of good conduct, a valid proof of identity, diploma's and/ or relevant registration such as BIG/ RGS are conditions for the appointment.

Conditions of employment

You will receive a temporary position for 4 years. The gross monthly salary is € 2.422 ,- in the 1st year and increases to € 3.103,- in the 4th year (scale OIO). The terms of employment are according to the Collective Bargaining Agreement for Dutch University Medical Centers (CAO UMC).


Erasmus MC

Erasmus MC stands for a healthy population and excellence in healthcare. By conducting groundbreaking work, we aim to push boundaries through leading the way in research, education and healthcare. We have access to the latest equipment and techniques in a state-of-the-art environment.

The Department of Viroscience employs more than 110 employees of different disciplines and runs an extensive experimental research program on the epidemiology, pathogenesis, prevention and treatment of infections by human and animal viruses. All necessary equipment to carry out the research proposed in the projects is available within the setting of the department. The Department of Viroscience harbors well-equipped clinical and experimental virology labs, in which all the virology, molecular biology, pathology and immunology techniques necessary for these projects are operational.


  • PhD
  • Health
  • max. 36 hours per week
  • €2422—€3103 per month
  • University graduate
  • 03.03.20.TDA-P585806-1


Erasmus MC (University Medical Center Rotterdam)

Learn more about this employer


's-Gravendijkwal 230, 3015 CE, Rotterdam

View on Google Maps