Jobs

Multiple PhD and Postdoc positions available as part of IMAGINE!

Become part of the new research consortium IMAGINE! (Innovative Microscopy And Guidance of cells In their Native Environment). Our programme aims to transform cell biology by developing and applying advanced microscopy and real-time molecular manipulation techniques to study cells in their natural complexity and diversity. The consortium will form a unique and highly interdisciplinary team that combines cell, organoid, and tissue biology, as well as chemical and optical cell manipulation to study cell behaviour in development, cancer, and targeted drug delivery.

For this state-of-the art project we are looking for multiple PhD and postdoc candidates to join our team.


Diversity statement

We highly encourage candidates from diverse backgrounds and nationalities to apply. We strive to create an open, diverse, and inclusive work environment for everyone. People of any gender identity, ethnicity or sexual orientation are welcome.


Recruitment information

Positions are for 4 years (PhD) and 3 years (postdocs) and open in various fields (cell/tissue/organoid biology, optical microscopy, biophysics, computational analysis and modelling, cancer research and therapy) at different institutes in the Netherlands. Participating institutes are based in Utrecht, Nijmegen, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Delft and Eindhoven.

If you are interested in several positions of IMAGINE! we encourage you to apply for multiple positions (please indicate this by including the job title(s) and associated institute(s) in your application letter). If you feel that a position is the perfect match, but you do not yet meet all the qualifications, we also welcome you to apply.

All positions are advertised for 3.5 weeks. Interviews are planned to take place in November and December. Data Privacy note: Applications will be shared between participating institutes of IMAGINE! for the purpose and the duration of the recruitment process.

To apply and see more information on the individual projects please take a look at the project descriptions listed below.

This site will be regularly updated – more positions to come soon!


PhD positions

PhD: Microtubule Targeting Agents in Organoids

(1.0 FTE), 4 years

Location: Utrecht University

Description:
In this PhD position at Utrecht University you will develop methods to measure and mechanistically investigate cell type-specific effects of microtubule-targeting agents in intestinal, airway and mammary gland organoids.
You will work together with the groups within the IMAGINE! project who also work on these systems and contribute to similar analyses in vivo (The Van Rheenen Group of The Netherlands Cancer Institute and the Friedl Group at Radboud UMC). In collaboration with the Prins group (at Eindhoven University of Technology), you will work on the development of analytical methods to measure concentrations of microtubule-targeting agents in tissues. The overall goal is to “see drugs in action” within cells in tissue environment.
Your profile:

We are looking for a highly motivated and creative candidate to join us in this unique project. We would like you to bring:

  • a Master’s degree (or equivalent) in Biology or a related field;
  • a background in Cell Biology, Molecular Biology or organoid biology;
  • analytical and problem solving skills;
  • proficiency in written and spoken English.

Closed since 26.10.2022


PhD: Super-Resolution Visualisation and Control of Cellular Dynamics (1.0 FTE), 4 years

Location: TU Delft

Description:

As a PhD student in the Smith lab you will develop a novel optical instrument for event-driven super-resolution visualization and high-precision control that enables real-time manipulation of key aspects of cell and developmental biology (smart microscopy). Ultimately, the goal is to establish microscopy-guided automated real-time control of biological processes. This will enable the automatic identification of certain cellular states or events (e.g. a cell in mitosis, a cell moving out of a niche) within a tissue followed by the automatic and iterative light-driven perturbations that can alter the cellular state or event (e.g. altering the orientation of the mitotic spindle, directing cells to specific locations). You will apply the framework that you develop here to our biological aims, for example, to perform super-resolution microscopy of cell division or other cellular reorganizations that occur in developing organoids or tumor initiation in organoids. In this exciting project, you will collaborate with different research groups within the IMAGINE! project. For the biological systems, you will work closely with the Kapitein, and Rios labs and for the optical hardware, information processing, and control algorithms with the Stallinga, Carroll, and Smal labs.

What are you going to do?

In this fully-funded 4-year project, you and your team members will:

  • be embedded in a communicative interdisciplinary team that is formed by a collaboration between research groups at University of Utrecht, Princess Máxima Center for Pediatric Oncology, Erasmus Medical Centre and the TU Delft;
  • build on our experience with optical design and instrumentation to design and build a novel microscope combining imaging and ontogenetic control;
  • develop/apply simulations and data analysis routines to predict and verify instrument functionality;
  • have the opportunity to obtain teaching experience and improve your leadership skills while guiding students;
Your profile:

We are looking for a highly motivated and creative candidate to join us in this unique project. We would like you to bring:

  • A master’s degree or equivalent in Master of Science in Photonics, (bio)physics or similar;
  • Experience in programming;
  • Prior experience in artificial intelligence/machine learning is a plus, but not required;
  • Intellectual curiosity for biology and the life sciences.

If you feel that this role is the perfect match, but you do not yet meet all the qualifications, we also welcome you to apply.

Doing a PhD at TU Delft requires English proficiency at a certain level to ensure that the candidate is able to communicate and interact well, participate in English-taught Doctoral Education courses, and write scientific articles and a final thesis. For more details please check the Graduate Schools Admission Requirements.

For more information on the job offer and to apply follow this link.

Closing date: 30.11.2022


PhD: Deciphering ‘on-the-fly’ the functional behaviour of T-cell based cancer immunotherapy (1.0 FTE), 4 years

Location: Princess Máxima Centre, Utrecht

Description:
Background: The highly dynamic nature of tumour-targeting by T-cell based Cancer Immunotherapy is a crucial, yet underexplored area to enhance clinical outcomes for solid tumours that have so far been disappointing. We recently developed BEHAV3D, a technology platform that provides a unique resolution into the dynamic sequence of tumour targeting in a patient-personalized manner using the organoid technology and exploits of T-cell dynamics to enhance therapy response.

For next-generation BEHAV3D, you will develop deep-learning approaches capable of detecting and segmenting single cells and subsequent tracking to monitor cell dynamics and classify behaviour in real-time.

In collaboration with the Kapitein lab these robust computational methods will form the foundation for developing smart microscopy systems. Ultimately, such systems will allow for real-time analysis of complex dynamic scenario and light-driven selection of single cells with specific dynamics and perturbations to alter the cellular state. This project is in collaboration with other members of the IMAGINE! consortium including the Smith lab.

Your profile:
  • Master’s degree (or equivalent) in Biology or similar
  • background in: computational science
  • highly motivated and creative
  • skill set: problem solving, analytical thinking
  • fluent in written and spoken English
  • interest to work in a highly collaborative and interdisciplinary environment

For more information on the job offer and to apply follow this link.


PhD: Real-Time Image Analysis for Smart Microscopy (1.0 FTE), 4 years

Location:

Erasmus MC, University Medical Center, Rotterdam

Description:

In this PhD position at Erasmus MC – University Medical Center Rotterdam, you will develop methods and algorithms for image processing and data analysis based on Bayesian statistics and modern AI approaches to enable fully automated functioning of a smart microscopy system.

You will work together with the groups within the IMAGINE! Project. In collaboration with the groups of Prof. Kapitein, Prof. Stallinga and Dr. Smith, the goal is to establish methods for real-time analysis of (sub)cellular dynamics to facilitate on-the-fly optimisation of acquisition parameters as well as automated control over biological processes. The developed image processing techniques will enable real-time tracking of cells and intracellular objects, and classification of motion patterns in terms of healthy, diseased or suspicious behaviour or function.

Your profile:

We are looking for a highly motivated and creative candidate to join us in this unique project. We would like you to bring:

  • a Master’s degree (or equivalent) in Computer Science, Applied Mathematics, Statistics, Nanobiology, Biophysics or a related field;
  • a background in computer vision, statistics and machine learning, programming in Python, Java and C/C++;
  • analytical and problem solving skills;
  • proficiency in written and spoken English.

You can no longer apply for this position.


PhD: Cancer metastasis and immunotherapy – monitoring drug effects in vivo (1.0 FTE), 4 years

Location: Radboudumc, Nijmegen

Description:

In this PhD position at Radboud University Medical Centre, Nijmegen, you will study the fundamental cell biology and molecular effects of therapies against tumour cells in vivo, using intravital microscopy. Targeted interventions will include inhibitors of the cytoskeleton (microtubules, small GTPases) and other targets developed by collaborators. You will not only analyse the effect on tumour cells, but also on cytotoxic immune cell attack and macrophage functions against tumour cells. Molecular reporters and targeting of macrophages will be performed in collaboration with the  Verdoes group. Perturbing cytoskeletal pathways will be in collaboration with the Akhmanova team of Utrecht University and Van Rheenen Group of The Netherlands Cancer Institute. We further will explore disrupting membrane microdomains in collaboration with the van Spriel lab. The overall goal is to “see drugs in action” within cells in tissue environment.

Tasks and responsibilities

  • The PhD candidate will design and perform scientific research in the area of cell biology, microscopy and molecular pharmacology.
  • Generates and analyses the data in order to contribute to scientific publications and presents findings at scientific meetings.
  • Works in a team with other students of the IMAGINE! consortium and scientists to discuss, plans and performs research in a stimulating environment.
  • Works in an international research group with fellows from many countries.
  • Completes the project with a scientific dissertation.
Your profile:

We are looking for a highly motivated and creative candidate to join us in this unique project. We would like you to bring:

  • a Master’s degree (or equivalent) in Biology or a related field.
  • a background in Cell Biology, Molecular Biology or organoid biology and great interest in advanced microscopy and preclinical cancer models (in mice).
  • analytical and problem solving skills.
  • proficiency in written and spoken English.
  • Article 9 Certificate for animal experiments, or equivalent.

For more information on the job offer and to apply follow this link.

Closing date: 11.11.2022


PhD: Design and synthesis of a molecular toolbox for expansion microscopy (1.0 FTE), 4 years

Location: Radboudumc, Nijmegen

Description:

In this PhD position in the group of dr. Verdoes at the Department of Tumor Immunology at the Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences (RIMLS), you will design and synthesize molecular tools, such as multi-functional fluorescent dyes, small molecule- and protein-based probes, as well as tracible metabolites tailored for Expansion Microscopy. These tools will improve and establish application-tailored protocols contributing to the overall goal, which is to “see drugs in action” within cells in tissue environment.

You will work together with the groups within the IMAGINE! project with advance imaging expertise to validate and apply these novel tools (you will collaborate with the Kapitein lab and van den Heuvel lab). The use of these tools will be expanded throughout the consortium.

Your profile:

We are looking for a highly motivated and creative candidate to join us in this unique project. We would like you to bring:

  • A Master’s degree (or equivalent) in Chemistry or a related field.
  • A background in Chemical Biology, Organic Chemistry and affinity with imaging and cell biology.
  • Analytical and problem solving skills.
  • Proficiency in written and spoken English.

For more information on the job offer and to apply follow this link.

Closing date: 02.12.2022


PhD: Imaging the molecular effects of therapeutic cancer antibodies (1.0 FTE), 4 years

Location: Radboudumc, Nijmegen

Description:

Background
Immunotherapy using antibodies targeting the cell surface has led to important clinical advances in patients with cancer. Still, clinical responses of antibody-based therapies are limited to approximately 20-30% of cancer patients even in conjunction with chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy. One of the major scientific challenges in the oncology field is to increase our understanding of the mechanisms driving tumour cell escape from therapeutic antibodies. We discovered that tumour cells contain altered membrane protein organisation compared to healthy cells.

The aim of this PhD project is to investigate membrane protein organization in tumour cells and their healthy counterparts. 

You will study the molecular effects of therapeutic antibodies that target membrane proteins on tumour cells using advanced imaging technologies. You will focus on antibody (-drug conjugates) targeting 4-transmembrane proteins (CD20, CD37) on lymphoma. Stable fluorescently labelled antibodies will be generated that allow imaging of antibody binding at super-resolution level (STORM and expansion microscopy) in healthy cells and lymphoma cells.

Effects on downstream signalling and the cytoskeleton will be performed in collaboration with the Akhmanova lab.  Effects in 3D cell models (organoids) will be established in collaboration with Maurice/Snippert lab, and therapeutic antibodies will be investigated in lymphoma mouse models using intravital imaging in collaboration with the Friedl/van Rheenen labs. This project will provide more insight into the working mechanisms of therapeutic antibodies targeting cancer, and into protein organisation in the plasma membrane of healthy versus tumour cells.

Your profile:

We are looking for a highly motivated and creative candidate to join us in this unique project. We would like you to bring:

  • Master’s degree in biomedical sciences/ biology/ biochemistry (or equivalent).
  • A background in: Cell Biology, Microscopy, Immunology.
  • You are highly motivated and creative. 
  • An interest to work in a highly collaborative and interdisciplinary environment.
  • Your skill set: problem solving, analytical thinking, fluent in English.

For more information on the job offer and to apply follow this link.

Closing date: 02.12.2022


PhD: Drug Resistance in Advanced in Vitro Cultures of Epithelial Tissues (1.0 FTE), 4 years

Location: Utrecht University

Description:

In this PhD position at Utrecht University, you will develop methods to measure and mechanistically investigate drug resistance development in intestinal and mammary gland organoids cultured in microfluidics platforms. Numerous factors may contribute to drug resistance in chemotherapy, as cancers are inherently heterogeneous. Furthermore, genetic instability can lead to chemo-resistance either to directly handle the cytotoxic drugs or to recover from their effects. You will work together with the groups within the IMAGINE! project who also work on these systems and contribute to similar analyses in vivo (The Van Rheenen Group of The Netherlands Cancer Institute and the Friedl Group at Radboud UMC). In collaboration with the Prins (at Eindhoven University of Technology), you will work on the development of label-free sensing strategies for incorporation in a microfluidics device for studying chemo-resistance processes. The overall goal is to “see drugs in action” within cells in tissue environment.

Your profile:

We are looking for a highly motivated and creative candidate to join us in this unique project. We would like you to bring:

  • a Master’s degree (or equivalent) in Pharmaceutical or Biomedical sciences, or a related field;
  • a background in Cell Biology, Molecular/Organoid biology or Molecular Pharmacology;
  • analytical and problem solving skills;
  • proficiency in written and spoken English.

For more information on the job offer and to apply follow this link.

Closing date: 24.11.2022


Postdoc positions

Postdoc: Automated Optogenetic Control of Cellular Dynamics (1.0 FTE), 3 years

Location: Utrecht University

Description:

In this postdoc position you will develop event-driven imaging and high-precision control strategies to enable real-time manipulation of key aspects of cell and developmental biology (smart microscopy). Ultimately, the goal is to establish microscopy-guided automated real-time control of biological processes. This will enable automatic identification of certain cellular states or events (e.g. a cell in mitosis, a cell moving out of a niche) within a tissue followed by the automatic and iterative light-driven perturbations that can alter the cellular state or event (e.g. altering the orientation of the mitotic spindle, directing cells to specific locations).

You will collaborate with different research groups within the IMAGINE! project. For the biological systems you will work closely with the Van de HeuvelAkhmanova and Rios groups. With the Smal and Smith groups you will collaborate to develop real-time analysis and control strategies.

Your profile:

We are looking for a candidate who is interested to work in a highly collaborative and interdisciplinary environment and is eager to become part of this unique project. We would like you to bring:

  • a PhD degree (or equivalent) in (bio)physics, biochemistry or cell biology;
  • expertise in programming and instrumentation control;
  • experience with cell biology and basic molecular biology;
  • analytical and problem solving skills;
  • proficiency in written and spoken English.

For more information on the job offer and to apply follow this link.

Closing date extended to: 09.12.2022


Postdoc: Optogenetic control of cell division and cell fate in C. elegans (1.0 FTE), 3 years

Location: Utrecht University

Description:

You will develop methods for laser-light mediated control of the orientation of cell division in the animal model C. elegans. In follow up studies, you will determine how the division orientation affects the fate and division pattern of daughter cells, based in part on super-resolution microscopy.

You will work together with the groups within the IMAGINE! project who also work on these systems and contribute to similar analyses in vivo (in particular the Kapitein Lab of Utrecht University). The overall goal is to acquire automated real-time (optogenetic) control strategies to steer processes within native cells in their tissue environment, as an important strategy for dissecting the molecular mechanisms and underlying principles of animal development.

Your profile:

We are looking for a highly motivated and creative candidate to join us in this unique project. We would like you to bring:

  • A PhD degree (or equivalent) in Biology, Biomedical Sciences or a related field;
  • high affinity for molecular biology;
  • previous experience with independent research, and preferably with genetic model organisms and advanced microscopy;
  • training in scientific writing, communication and presentation in English;
  • motivation to work on a challenging project in a multidisciplinary and international research team.

For more information on the job offer and to apply follow this link.

Closing date extended to: 16.11.2022