PhD student on ´innate tumor immunology´

PhD student on ´innate tumor immunology´

Published Deadline Location
4 Jul 1 Aug Amsterdam

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Sanquin Research offers a new position for a PhD student on ´innate tumor immunology´.

Job description

The PhD position bridges Research Programs of the two Medical Priorities Immunotherapy and Immunity & Inflammation, consisting of several PhD students and technical support within Sanquin. The project investigates the role of neutrophils and complement activation in cancer. Although numerous data support a pro-tumor role of activated neutrophils as so-called myeloid derived suppressor (MDSC) activity, the role of complement in cancer has been less well studied, and the interaction within the tumor microenvironment (TME) between these two pillars of innate immunity is totally unclear.

The position
The PhD student will investigate the presence of activated neutrophils and complement proteins within tissue sections of various tumors by state-of-the art multicolor confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM Airy2-can), and determine the contribution of local complement production, activation and regulation by cells in the TME, or extravasation of complement proteins from plasma into the TME. Since in many studies the TME is believed to be low in oxygen, we will study how hypoxia might influence MDSC activity, complement activation and complement regulation on the cells to give insight into how these processes may impact innate immunity within the TME landscape as well. Various techniques will be used, including ELISA’s, PCRs, functional characterization of antibodies, cell culture, complement and neutrophil activity tests, and multi-color flow-cytometry and imaging.

Research group
Over the last two years, the neutrophil research and the complement research groups of Sanquin have worked together with the clinical oncology and pathology departments at the National Cancer Institute (Dr. Jan Paul de Boer; Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, NKI). The PhD student will be part of both research groups at Sanquin while working closely together with the NKI, benefiting from the specific expertise of each member. The ground work on studying the TME immune landscape at the Imaging Center at Sanquin makes it possible to now proceed and answer the research question on complement within the TME. Evidence obtained can lead to the application of complement blocking agents to improve the efficacy and success of current immunotherapies in the treatment of solid cancers further.


Sanquin Blood Supply Foundation (Sanquin)


  • A Master degree in Biomedical Sciences or a similar education level, with special interest in immunology.
  • Knowledge of immunology is required and a proven track record in research in immunology will be a plus.
  • Team player with good communication skills and passion for research.

Conditions of employment

  • Sanquin provides a lively, internationally oriented, scientific environment
  • Excellent research-infrastructure for highly advanced studies
  • Weekly scientific meetings, journal clubs and work discussions
  • Salary and conditions conform Sanquin Collective Labor Agreement
  • 8.33% end-of-year bonus; i.e. a thirteenth month in case of full-year employment.
  • Partial reimbursement of travel costs
  • Pension plan with Pensioenfonds Zorg & Welzijn (PFZW);
  • At fulltime employment (36 hours) with 201 hours of leave per annum.



The mission of Sanquin is: “Together with the donor we ensure a better life for patients”. Sanquin is a knowledge-driven not-for-profit organization that supplies life-saving products and services, as well as involved in blood transfusion medicine- and immunology-related research.


  • PhD; Research, development, innovation
  • Health
  • max. 36 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • 294


Sanquin Blood Supply Foundation (Sanquin)

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Plesmanlaan 125, 1066 CX, Amsterdam

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