PhD-student cell biology of inhibitory immune receptor signalling

PhD-student cell biology of inhibitory immune receptor signalling

Published Deadline Location
9 Nov 22 Nov Utrecht

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A position as PhD-student on a collaborative project between the Inhibitory Receptor Lab (UMCU) and the Physics of Cellular Interactions group (AMOLF). You will address long standing fundamental questions on inhibitory immune receptor signalling.

Job description

A healthy immune system clears microbes without damaging the body. For this purpose, immune cells are regulated by inhibitory receptors that serve as a break on activation. The exact mechanism of how inhibitory signals are sensed by immune cells and how inhibitory signals can dampen more than one type of activation signal is not understood. In this project, funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO) Science domain, immunologists team up with biophysicists to visualize and follow individual receptors in immune cells using single-molecule microscopy. In this way, the fundamentals of inhibitory signalling will be resolved, which will support development of drugs that target inhibitory receptors in cancer and inflammation.

For this project, we are recruiting two PhD students; one in the UMCU (this vacancy, you) and one in the group of Kristina Ganzinger at AMOLF, Amsterdam. You will actively collaborate with the AMOLF-PhD student, and will frequently visit AMOLF.

You will help to unravel how inhibitory receptors suppress activation over larger distances within cells, and how non-cell bound ligands activate inhibitory receptors. You will develop and use cell-based assays such as reporter systems, signalling assays, imaging flow cytometry and optogenetics.


University Medical Center Utrecht (UMC Utrecht)


We invite highly motivated candidates with interest in addressing fundamental questions on intracellular signalling and membrane organization using novel technologies.

Required skills
  • Intrinsic interest and motivation for basic science.
  • Master of Science’ degree, or equivalent, in immunology, biochemistry or a related discipline is a must.

Preferred skill:
  • Affinity with immunology.
  • Experience with assay design and trouble shooting.

Conditions of employment

The maximum salary for this position (36 - 36 hours) is € 3.677,00 gross per month based on full-time employment.

In addition, we offer an annual benefit of 8.3%, holiday allowance, travel expenses and career opportunities. The terms of employment are in accordance with the Cao University Medical Centers (UMC).


You will join the Inhibitory Receptor Lab led by Prof. Linde Meyaard and Dr. Michiel van der Vlist. The Inhibitory Receptor Lab is hosted in the Center for Translational Immunology (CTI), UMC Utrecht and is part of the Oncode Institute for cancer research. At the CTI, ~200 people study immunity in all their facets. We have state-of-the-art facilities for flow cytometry, imaging, and protein and antibody generation, all set up to facilitate the best immunological research possible.

The Inhibitory Receptor Lab is dynamic and international team. We study how immune inhibitory receptors work in health and disease. Our basic research focuses on identification and characterization of inhibitory receptors, their ligands and mechanism of action.

Our mission is to use the full potential of inhibitory receptors to cure inflammatory disease and cancer. We aim to be a world-leading inhibitory receptor laboratory that unveils immunological concepts and biological mechanisms of inhibitory receptors. We maximize translation of our research with advanced in vitro models when suitable, in vivo models where needed. We maximizes valorisation by obtaining public and private funding, and we train future generations of immunologist with diverse career paths.

We perform ‘team science’. We value a combination of disciplines in our team. We embrace diversity and cherish uniqueness of every individual. We are kind to the person, but tough on the data.


  • Research, development, innovation
  • Health
  • max. 36 hours per week
  • max. €3677 per month
  • University graduate
  • 2023-4013


University Medical Center Utrecht (UMC Utrecht)

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Heidelberglaan 100, 3584CX, Utrecht

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