Liver metastasis is a lethal state for multiple cancer types, and, to date, no cure is available against it. To develop effective therapies, the biological processes underlying the infiltration of cancer cells in the liver to possibly 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. In this project, we aim at identifying which factors are essential in this process, and more specifically, how CTCs trigger a cascade of events in the liver sinusoid favouring metastases. To this end, we will build an advanced human liver sinusoid model, in the form of an organ-on-a-chip (OoC) platform, that incorporates all essential structural, cellular, and functional features of this organ.
This project is a joined endeavour of Erasmus MC and University of Twente allying complementary expertise. The project is funded by NWO. At both institutions a PhD student will be working on the various aspects of the project. At Erasmus MC, we will focus on the liver metastasis biology using high-end molecular analyses while UTwente will be focus on the engineering aspects and the development of the OoC model. The project has shared and parallel tasks that require a close partnership between the PhD students. Joint meetings will be organized on a regular basis between the two institutions.
Erasmus MC (University Medical Center Rotterdam)
You are a highly motivated candidate with a university MSc degree. You have received excellent scientific training in the field of Bio(medical) Sciences, Cell-/Tissue Engineering, or related studies or related field.
A successful candidate will have a strong interest in the molecular biology of cancer and underlying signaling pathways, and has a good affinity for new engineering and technological developments. Besides a solid background in biology and sufficient in technology knowledge, hands-on experience in advanced 3D organoid culturing and microfluidics process applications will be considered as a strength.
You are pro-active with good experimental research skills. You have excellent communication skills in English, both in writing and speaking. You are a team-player and able to work in a collaborative environment with PhD students/researchers and supporting staff and you are flexible for short stays and joint experiments at the facilities of UTwente.
Conditions of employment
- You will receive a temporary position for 4 years. The gross monthly salary is €2.570,- in the 1st year and increases to €3.271,- in the 4th year (scale OIO).
- Excellent fringe benefits, such as a 13th month that is already paid out in November and an individual travel expense package.
- Pension insurance with ABP, we take care of approximately 2/3 of the monthly contribution.
- Special benefits, such as an in company physiotherapist and bicycle repairer. There is also a gym where you can work on your fitness after work.
The Erasmus MC is an internationally recognized center for high-quality, compassionate care, highly rated transfer of knowledge and high-quality knowledge development in the fields of illness and health. The Department of Experimental Urology is a multi-disciplinary group of (molecular) cell biologists and clinicians, dedicated to perform highly innovative experimental research in the field of urological cancers, predominantly prostate and bladder cancer. We focus on translational research with pillars in modelling, regulatory mechanisms of therapy resistance, metastasis, biomarker discovery, molecular imaging as well as compound screening and drug testing. This project is part of the research pillar on "modelling of prostate cancer" that is dedicated to establish human-based models to study metastasis and to replace current animal models by innovative experimental systems. The group consists of several postdoctoral fellows, PhDs students, lab technicians, and one biotechnical assistant. Multiple master and bachelor students are joining us to perform their internships throughout the year.
For more information about this position, please contact Dr. Ir. Wytske M. van Weerden, project leader, e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are excited by the thought of this position and would like to apply, please do so by using the application form on our website.