PhD candidate on development of immunotherapy for cancer, Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, School GROW - Department of Internal Medicine

PhD candidate on development of immunotherapy for cancer, Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, School GROW - Department of Internal Medicine

Published Deadline Location
1 Dec 21 Dec Maastricht

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Participate in a KWF-sponsored project according to the LSH-TKI regulation for public and private partnership that aims to develop second generation cellular immunotherapy for breast cancer.

Job description

We are recruiting a PhD candidate and a technician to develop chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) natural killer (NK) cells and to study their application in breast cancer.

NK cells are effector cells of our immune system that can kill malignant cells. We have demonstrated clinical efficacy of NK cells, both in models for M. Myeloma and breast cancer. In a consortium we will further explore the role of NK cells in metastatic (lobular) breast cancer, bringing groups together to combine knowledge on NK cells and preclinical breast cancer models. The anti-tumor effect of NK cells will be studied in mouse (PDX) models and human patient-derived tumor organoid (PDO) models. In the project, we will develop second generation NK cells, like Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR)-NK cells or siRNA inhibition of these cells, to optimize NK cell effectivity. The PDX and PDO models are expected to be predictive for clinical effects of NK and CAR-NK cells.

The successful applicants will work under the supervision of Prof. dr Gerard Bos (Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences and CEO of CiMaas BV)), Dr. Wilfred Germeraad (Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences and CSO of CiMaas BV), Dr Lotte Wieten (Maastricht University Medical Center+) in collaboration with Prof dr. Patrick Derksen (Utrecht University Medical Center), on a translational project using new DNA constructs, virus production, in vitro cell culture, animal models and GMP production of clinical grade (CAR)-NK cells.


Maastricht University (UM)


We are looking for a talented and ambitious PhD candidate with initiative, motivation and endurance. You are keen to invest in the growth of both yourself and our team. You should have:

  • A MSc degree (or equivalent) in a relevant Life Science discipline: (medical) biology, biomedical sciences;
  • Strong interest in (tumor)-immunology and the application potential of new anti-cancer therapies;
  • Previous experience with in vivo/vitro models is an advantage;
  • Excellent communication skills in English.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 4 years.

Temporary employment for 4 years. The first year will be a probation period, after a positive assessment the position will be extended for another 3 years, which happens in the vast majority of cases.
Your salary would be € 2.434,- gross per month in the first year up to € 3.111,- gross per month in the fourth year according to the PhD-candidate salary scale. An 8% holiday and an 8.3% yearend allowance is also provided. Each year an evaluation will take place.

The terms of employment of Maastricht University are set out in the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO). Furthermore, local UM provisions also apply. For more information look at the website > About UM > Working at UM.


Maastricht University

Maastricht University is renowned for its unique, innovative, problem-based learning system, which is characterized by a small-scale and student-oriented approach. Research at UM is characterized by a multidisciplinary and thematic approach, and is concentrated in research institutes and schools. Maastricht University has around 20,000 students and 4,700 employees. Reflecting the university's strong international profile, a fair amount of both students and staff are from abroad. The university hosts 6 faculties: Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Faculty of Law, School of Business and Economics, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience. For more information, visit


Department of Internal Medicine

The scientific research of the department of Internal Medicine combines basic science with translational and clinical research. Our research group has strong links with clinical departments within the Maastricht UMC+ as well as many (inter)national collaborations with academic and industrial partners. CiMaas BV is a spinoff from the department and founded in 2015 by Gerard Bos and Wilfred Germeraad and is currently located on the Brightlands Chemelot Campus where it operates research and GMP manufacturing laboratoria.

Within this project, the candidate will collaborate with the department of Pathology from the UMC Utrecht to perform organoid cultures and animal models with (CAR)-NK generated NK cells.


  • PhD
  • Health
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2434—€3111 per month
  • University graduate
  • AT2021.471


Maastricht University (UM)

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Universiteitssingel 40, 6229 GR, Maastricht

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