PhD student position in cancer biology: Inflammatory signaling in breast cancer

36 hours a week
€ 2.631 - € 3.336

Closing date: December 12

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Working environment

A PhD position for 4 years is available in the research group of Prof. Marcel van Vugt. The lab is focused on cell cycle regulation and DNA damage responses in cancer cells in relation to inflammatory signaling. The research group is embedded in the Department of Medical Oncology of the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG) in the Netherlands, where oncological patient care is coordinated with preclinical and fundamental research on the biology and treatment of cancer. The Department of Medical Oncology participates in the Groningen Cancer Research Center (GCRC) graduate School of the University of Groningen, in which molecular biologists, pharmacists and clinicians work closely together creating an optimal and excellent environment where the biological behavior of cancer cells, molecular imaging of tumors and novel approaches of cancer targeting are studied.

Click here for more information on current research topics.

A property of many cancers is defective genome maintenance. This is particularly prominent in triple negative breast cancer (TNBC). We have recently described that defective DNA repair in these cancers leads to inflammatory signaling. In order to escape clearance by the immune system, these tumor cells need to suppress inflammatory signaling. The current project aims to elucidate how cancers, in particular TNBC, can suppress inflammatory signaling, and if these mechanisms can be therapeutically targeted. This project is funded by a recently awarded grant from the Dutch Cancer Society (KWF), and will involve cell biological, biochemical, microscopy and genetic approaches. As part of this project, we will validate our findings in patient material. Of note, this project is part of a collaboration with the research group of Prof. Jos Jonkers at the Netherlands Cancer Institute.

What do we need

The PhD student will be part of an enthusiastic and multidisciplinary research group and should have the following requirements:

  • education/skills: MSc in Life Science (Biology, Molecular Biology, or related);
  • relevant experience in molecular and cell biology techniques (e.g. cell culture, microscopy etc);
  • an enthusiastic and ambitious team player.

The UMCG has a preventive Hepatitis B policy. The UMCG can provide you with the vaccination, should it be required for your position.
In case of specific professions a ‘Certificate of Good Conduct’ is required.

What do we offer

It concerns a full-time appointment (36 hours a week) for a period of 4 years to be concluded with a PhD examination. After one year,the performance of the candidate will be evaluated to decide whether there is sufficient progress to expect a successful completion of the PhD thesis within the coming three years. Duration of the contract: one year with possibility for extension (funding available for four years). Your salary will be a minimum of € 2.631,- gross per month in the first year and a maximum of € 3.336,- gross per month (scale PhD) in the final (4th) year, based on a full-time appointment. In addition, the UMCG will offer you 8% holiday pay, and 8.3% end-of-year bonus. The conditions of employment comply with the Collective Labour Agreement for Medical Centres (CAO-UMC).

The starting date is envisioned to be in February/March 2023.

For questions about the position

Any questions? Do contact us.

How to apply

Please use the the digital application form at the bottom of this page - only these will be processed.
You can apply until 12 December 2022.
Within half an hour after sending the digital application form you will receive an email- confirmation with further information.


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Do you have any questions?

We would like it if you would contact us if you have any questions about working at UMCG.

Nina van Venrooij
Nina van Venrooij Team Recruitment