PhD candidate position in melanoma biomarkers

PhD candidate position in melanoma biomarkers

Published Deadline Location
20 Feb 3 Mar Maastricht

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Research Institute for Oncology and Reproduction | Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences

Job description

Within the framework of the recently acknowledged KWF project “Validation of the clinical performance and cost-effectiveness of LY75 promoter methylation in identifying high risk stage I-III cutaneous melanoma lesions”, the research group of prof. dr. Manon van Engeland is looking for a highly motivated PhD student focusing on melanoma biomarkers. The group aims to identify and validate biomarkers for early detection and risk stratification in melanoma skin cancer. The long-term goal is to develop biomarkers that can be used in clinical practice to aid and ease the decision-making processes in the management of cutaneous malignant melanoma.

Job description
The current project is built upon extensive previous knowledge generated to further improve and validate prediction models for the risk stratification of early-stage melanoma patients. The previous identified prognostic DNA methylation biomarker Ly75 will be validated in a large scale study cohort and multiple clinico-pathological variables will be scored. The goal of this project is to develop a clinical prediction model based on all collected clinical, molecular and pathological variables, in order to precisely predict the risk of disease recurrence or developing metastases in early-stage melanoma patients.

Activities within this project include the testing and validation of the biomarker Ly75 from formalin fixed and paraffin embedded (FFPE) tissues using highly sophisticated PCR-based techniques. In addition, you will be involved in evaluating H&E slides for multiple clinicpathological features. Affinity with pathology and/or experience in pathology work is preferred. In collaboration with the department of Clinical Epidemiology and Medical Technology Assessment (KEMTA), a Health Technology Assessment is planned.

This project is a unique project in a research group with ample experience in the research field of biomarkers in cancer. It is part of a collaboration between different departments and research groups of the academical centers of Maastricht (MUMC+), Utrecht (UMCU) and Leiden (LUMC). You will be mainly embedded and located in the Pathology department of the Maastricht UMC+, in close collaboration with the department of Pathology in Utrecht UMC.


Maastricht University (UM)


We are looking for an enthusiastic, highly motivated and dedicated PhD student who is excited about translational research in cancer, with a particular interest in pathology. You are pro-active, capable of working independently and a team player. A Master degree in a relevant field, such as Medicine, Biomedical Sciences or Medical Biology is a prerequisite. Some experience in evaluating histological slides, cancer prediction models and/or PCR techniques is an advantage. A very good command of English and Dutch in listening, speaking, reading and writing is necessary.

Conditions of employment

As PhD candidate position in melanoma biomarkers at Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, you will be employed by the most international university in the Netherlands, located in the beautiful city of Maastricht. In addition, we offer you:
  • Good employment conditions. The position is graded in scale P according to UFO profile Promovendus, with corresponding salary based on experience ranging from €2770,00 and €3539,00 gross per month (based on a full-time employment of 38 hours per week). In addition to the monthly salary, an 8.0% holiday allowance and an 8.3% year-end bonus apply.
  • An employment contract for a period of 12 months with a scope of 1,0 FTE. Upon a positive evaluation, an extension of 3 years will follow.
  • At Maastricht University, the well-being of our employees is of utmost importance, we offer flexible working hours and the possibility to work partly from home if the nature of your position allows it. You will receive a monthly commuting and internet allowance for this. If you work full-time, you will be entitled to 29 vacation days and 4 additional public holidays per year, namely carnival Monday, carnival Tuesday, Good Friday, and Liberation Day. If you choose to accumulate compensation hours, an additional 12 days will be added. Furthermore, you can personalize your employment conditions through a collective labor agreement (CAO) choice model.
  • As Maastricht University, we offer various other excellent secondary employment conditions. These include a good pension scheme with the ABP and the opportunity for UM employees to participate in company fitness and make use of the extensive sports facilities that we also offer to our students.
  • Last but certainly not least, we provide the space and facilities for your personal and professional development. We facilitate this by offering a wide range of training programs and supporting various well-established initiatives such as 'acknowledge and appreciate'.
    The terms of employment at Maastricht University are largely set out in the collective labor agreement of Dutch Universities. In addition, local provisions specific to UM apply.


Maastricht University

Why work at Maastricht University?

At Maastricht University (UM), everything revolves around the future. The future of our students, as we work to equip them with a solid, broad-based foundation for the rest of their lives. And the future of society, as we seek solutions through our research to issues from all around the world. Our six faculties combined provide a comprehensive package of study programmes and research.

In our teaching, we use the Problem-Based Learning (PBL) method. Students work in small groups, looking for solutions to problems themselves. By discussing issues and working together to draw conclusions, formulate answers and present them to their peers, students develop essential skills for their future careers.

With over 22,300 students and more than 5,000 employees from all over the world, UM is home to a vibrant and inspiring international community.

Are you drawn to an international setting focused on education, science and scholarship? Are you keen to contribute however your skills and qualities allow? Our door is open to you! As a young European university, we value your talent and look forward to creating the future together.


Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences

At the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences (FHML), everything revolves around healthy living. Our research and education are not solely focused on recovery, but place a strong emphasis on prevention, health preservation, and health promotion. Our aim is to use our knowledge and expertise to genuinely contribute to the well-being of individual people as well as society in total.

In, research, and healthcare, FHML is closely collaborating with the academic hospital in Maastricht, together forming the Maastricht University Medical Center (MUMC+). FHML is strongly connected in education, research, and care with the Maastricht academic hospital, together with which it forms the Maastricht University Medical Centre (MUMC+).

FHML, which is the largest faculty of Maastricht University, is formed by an (inter)national community of employees and students. The faculty offers a wide range of Dutch and English-taught bachelor's and master's programs in innovative educational concepts in which the emphasis is always on building bridges to practice.

The multidisciplinary research of the FHML focuses on a number of carefully chosen topical current themes. In addition to research aimed at gaining new insights, it also concerns research whose results can be directly translated into concrete applications and innovations. The implementation of the various research programs is organized in our six graduate schools and two institutes.


  • PhD
  • Health
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 620


Maastricht University (UM)

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P. Debyelaan 25, 6229HX, Maastricht

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