PhD position on Modeling and understanding cancer metastasis in liver using an organ-on-chip

PhD position on Modeling and understanding cancer metastasis in liver using an organ-on-chip

Published Deadline Location
3 Nov 8 Dec Enschede

Job description

The AMBER (Applied Microfluidics for BioEngineering Research) group seeks a qualified candidate for a PhD position in the frame of a national project conducted in close collaboration between the University of Twente and the Erasmus Medical Centre.

The 4-year project is funded through the M2 Open Competition program of the Dutch Science Organization NWO and aims to elucidate the formation of a pre-metastatic niche in the liver, using advanced organ-on-chip models.
Liver metastasis is a lethal state for multiple cancer types, and, to date, no curative treatment is available. To develop effective therapies, the biological processes underlying the infiltration of cancer cells in the liver to establish metastases must be elucidated. However, the lack of accurate models of the liver anatomy has been a limiting factor to determine which parameters direct the fate of circulating tumour cells (CTC) in the liver.
The organ-on-chip model will be built stepwise by including successively more cellular and physiological elements of a liver sinusoid. At each developmental stage, interactions between CTCs and the model will be examined and the cell and liver model response characterized using advanced molecular analysis tools.

Your role in this project will focus on the engineering aspects of the design and fabrication of the organ-on-a-chip model and surrounding set-up, with its first-stage characterization in close collaboration with the other PhD candidate located at the Erasmus MC, whose focus will be on the advanced molecular analysis and characterization.


University of Twente (UT)


  • You have a MSc degree in engineering - either bio(medical) engineering with affinity for microfluidics / organ-on-chip models or mechanical engineering with strong affinity for biological/medical applications.
  • You are interested in organ-on-chip modelling.
  • You have interest and aptitude in modelling (not mandatory but desirable).
  • You have experience with cell culture and molecular analysis.
  • You are independent, pro-active, and have a well-structured working style.
  • You have excellent skills to work as part of a team.
  • You are proficient in English.

Conditions of employment

  • As a PhD student at UT, you will be appointed to a full-time position for four years, with a qualifier in the first year, within a very stimulating and exciting scientific environment;
  • The University offers a dynamic ecosystem with enthusiastic colleagues;
  • Your salary and associated conditions are in accordance with the collective labour agreement for Dutch universities (CAO-NU);
  • You will receive a gross monthly salary ranging from € 2.541,- (first year) to € 3.247,- (fourth year);
  • There are excellent benefits including a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary, an end-of-year bonus of 8.3%, and a solid pension scheme;
  • A family-friendly institution that offers parental leave (both paid and unpaid);
  • You will have a training programme as part of the Twente Graduate School where you and your supervisors will determine a plan for a suitable education and supervision;
  • We encourage a high degree of responsibility and independence, while collaborating with close colleagues, researchers and other staff.


You will work in the AMBER (Applied Microfluidics for BioEngineering Research) group, at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Sciences (EEMCS), University of Twente in close collaboration with the Department of Urology, Erasmus MC (Dr. Franziska Linke and Dr. Wytske van Weerden).

We are an internationally oriented group focusing on the development of innovative microfluidic and miniaturization strategies for biological and medical applications. Our activities include the development of devices for single cell and biological nanoparticle analysis, organ-on-a-chip (OoC) models for cancer research, and microfluidic solutions for reproductive biology and medicine. Ongoing research activities include analysis of molecular signals involved in cancer metastasis using a multi-OoC approach and adequate sensing strategies for molecules and single particles; analysis of the impact of plastic micro/nano particles on human health; modelling of fibrotic diseases; modelling of the female reproductive tract; and the incorporation of adequate mechanical stimulation of 3D cellular constructs in OoC models.

Additional information

Are you interested in this position? Please send your application via the 'Apply now' button below until December 8, and include:
  • an application letter emphasizing your specific interest and motivation, as well as your suitability for the position,
  • a detailed CV,
  • a list of grades (MSc level),
  • names/contact information for three or more references.
For more information regarding this position, you are welcome to contact Prof. Séverine Le Gac, via Email:


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • max. 40 hours per week
  • €2541—€3247 per month
  • University graduate
  • 888


University of Twente (UT)

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Drienerlolaan 5, 7522NB, Enschede

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Application procedure

Application procedure

Make sure to apply no later than 8 Dec 2022 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).