As a PhD student you will be involved in a Dutch Cancer Society funded project studying whether GARP
(glycoprotein-A repetition predominant) plays a key role in immune suppression in head and neck cancer.
With the current treatment arsenal, half of the 900,000 patients that will yearly receive the diagnosis head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, will not survive 5 years. In the Netherlands, immunotherapy with immune checkpoint inhibitors targeting PD-1 have been introduced in 2018 for the treatment of patients with recurrent or metastatic head and neck cancer. While several remarkable responses have been observed, the majority of patients do not benefit this treatment, while side-effects can be severe and treatments are costly.
A clinical challenge is to improve efficacy of (immuno)therapy and identify biomarkers that can predict, prior to treatment, whether a patient is likely or unlikely to respond to treatment. Additionally, unravelling GARPs mechanistic role in suppressing the immune system, could provide leads for the development of novel combination therapies in the future. This project, funded by the Dutch Cancer Society aims to tackle this clinical challenge. This project is a collaboration between the Dept. of Otolaryngology | Head & Neck Surgery and the Dept. of Medical Oncology at Amsterdam UMC (location VUMC).
- You will set-up, plan and perform your own experiments and analyze your data. We have weekly Project meetings to discuss these with the team;
- Techniques include: spatial transcriptomics, multi-parameter flow cytometry, multiplex fluorescent immunohistochemistry and functional immune assays;
- You will supervise Bachelor and Master students during their practical internship or literature thesis;
- You will disseminate your data at (inter)national conferences and publish your work in peer-reviewed journals.