Pre-clinical drug development for paediatric cancer is very complex, resource intensive and requiring multi-disciplinary expertise and innovative approaches. “VAGABOND Validation of Actionable Genomic ABerrations in a paediatric Oncology Network for Doctorate students” aims to create a multidisciplinary and multi-sectoral program to validate new therapeutic interventions in paediatric cancer. The program is funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 programme (Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions Innovative Training Network) and offers 15 fully funded PhD positions. The successful candidates will be hosted by a member of a European Consortium of universities, research institutions and companies in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, United Kingdom, Italy, Austria, Switzerland and France.
This network will be sustainable embedded in the ITCC (Innovative Treatments for Children with Cancer) Consortium. The VAGABOND ITN will focus on 15 cutting-edge research projects studying molecular, epigenetic and immunological targets. All projects will (partly) include target identification, in vitro and in vivo validation, compound testing and preparation for clinical implementation. This consortium will highly stimulate international education and multi- disciplinary exchange of expertise in the different steps of pre-clinical drug development. This setting provides an opportunity for a unique European training network in which Early Stage Researchers (ESRs, PhDs) are equipped with a broad knowledge in pre-clinical drug development. Through this network PhD students will gain access to other leading academic research groups, specialized multi-sectoral companies and the most innovative techniques and insights in the complexity of translational medicine to prepare them for future challenges in their career pathway. In this collaboration we will increase the commune expertise on tumour types and technical expertise for target validation. This will improve the implementation of interventions across paediatric cancer and strongly reduce the timeline from bench to the bedside.
PhD position 1 (Utrecht): Immune interventions from scRNAseq analysis from debulked neuroblastoma tumours
PhD position 2 (Utrecht): Synergy between precision medicines/repurposed drugs and conventional chemotherapy to outsmart precursor B-cell leukaemia and lymphoma
PhD position 3 (Utrecht): Epigenetic processes underlying paediatric renal and rhabdoid tumourigenesis
PhD position 4 (Paris): The role of the SWI/SNF complex in paediatric cancers:
PhD position 5 (Paris): Targeting the surface-ome landscape of paediatric brain tumours
PhD position 6 (Heidelberg): R-loops in paediatric brain tumours
PhD position 7 (Heidelberg): Targeting the extracellular matrix (ECM) in therapy resistant paediatric tumours
PhD position 8 (Vienna): Druggable pathways in EMT-like transition of Ewing sarcoma
PhD position 9 (München): Targeting ATRX-deficient hepatoblastoma
PhD position 10 (Zurich): Targeting transcriptional core regulatory circuit by epigenetic dependencies
PhD position 11 (London): Development of therapies targeting the oncogenic and immunologic activity of MYCN in neuroblastoma
PhD position 12 (Berlin): CAR and TCR T cell therapy - competitors bundle forces. A combinational approach to prevent tumour escape by antigen loss.
PhD position 13 (Bologna): Exome-associated miRNAs as circulating biomarkers of chemotherapy resistance in bone tumours (Ewing Sarcoma and Osteosarcoma): Liquid Biopsy and in vitro studies
PhD position 14 (Gent): Preclinical validation of DNA copy number driven non-mutated dependency genes RRM2 and BRIP1 as novel drug targets in neuroblastoma
PhD position 15 (Utrecht): In-depth anti-tumour reactivity against haematological and solid tumour cells of αβ-Tcells engineered to express a defined γδTCR (TEGs)
VAGABOND website: https://vagabondnetwork.com/career/
The selection and recruitment processes of the PhD student will be in accordance with the European Charter and Code of Conduct of the Recruitment of Researchers. The recruitment process will be open, transparent, impartial, equitable, and merit-based. There will be no discrimination based on race, gender, sexual orientation, religion of belief, disability or age.
The applications will be analysed by the Coordinator for eligibility and completeness. Afterwards, the applications will be distributed to the hosting institutes. In the pre-selection phase applicants will be rated using a scoring system by the hosting institutes. A first shortlist of qualified applicants will be interviewed online to further assess their qualifications and skills according to the predefined selection criteria (mid-December). The best qualified applicants will be invited for the joint recruitment day in Utrecht, the Netherlands (or online in case of COVID-19 measures). During the joint recruitment days candidates will be asked to present their previous research or plans/ideas for the VAGABOND program. The selection committee consists of the respective local supervisors and complemented during the joint recruitment day by other supervisors from the consortium.
The application should contain the following documents (all provided in English language):
All documents should be submitted online and not send by e-mail!
In case of general questions about the VAGABOND program or recruitment procedure contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Required Education Level
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