PhD Student GROW-School for Oncology and Developmental Biology, Department of Radiotherapy

Aug 22, 2016
Nov 22, 2016
Organization Type
University and College
Full Time

PhD position for an ERC advanced grant funded immunotherapy project


Job Specifications 

Solliciteer binnen 13 dagen op deze vacature

Job Description

A PhD Research opportunity exists in the group of Prof Lambin in the Radiation Oncology department at Maastricht University as part of his ERC advanced grant for period of 4 years.

The ERC advanced project HYPOXIMMUNO aims to advance our understanding of the interaction of immunotherapy with hypoxia, hoping to open novel routes for effective therapeutic intervention with immunotherapy and radiotherapy to improve the outcome of cancer treatment. HYPOXIMMUNO will investigate the specific area of the effects of the tumour microenvironment leading to altering the immune response to the tumor. 

In this position you will be responsible for carrying out basic and translational research focused on hypoxia targeting combined with immunotherapy and radiotherapy. Recent data obtained by our group show a great synergy between the various treatment modalities (watch the animation: and you will continue this research, trying to unravel important molecular mechanisms underlying the antitumor response. You will perform in vitro and in vivo experiments, using genetic models and unique drugs and investigating local tumor control, tumor control at distance (metastases), immunological memory mechanisms against tumors cells and the influence of hypoxic areas within the tumor that may prevent adequate immune responses. The new preclinical findings will be translated in early clinical trials (e.g. NCT02086721). This PhD offers you to participate in international courses and attend international meetings.


We are looking for a candidate with a MSc degree in molecular/cell biology/immunology. Experience and strong interest in immunology, molecular biology, preclinical research and in vivo work is necessary. Excellent verbal and written skills in English are required. We are looking for a positively minded scientist with excellent analytical, organizational and communicative skills, motivated to learn new approaches and ready to work hard to build a scientific career in translational medicine.


Temporary employment for 4 years.

Your salary would be € 2.191 gross per month in the first year up to € 2.801  gross per month in the fourth year according to the PhD-student salary scale.

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 , Support/UM employees/Employment conditions.


Temporary, 4 years


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 16,000 students and 4,000 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 Humanities and Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience.


GROW - School for Oncology and Developmental Biology

GROW focuses on research and teaching of (epi)genetic, cellular and (micro)environmental factors and mechanisms underlying normal (embryonic and fetal) and abnormal (cancer) development, with emphasis on translational research aiming at innovative approaches for individualizing prevention, patient diagnostics and treatment.

MAASTRO, Maastricht Radiation Oncology, is a co-operation between MAASTRO clinic, the University of Maastricht (UM) and the University Hospital Maastricht (azM) (see MAASTRO consists of several divisions, including MAASTRO Clinic, which offers state-of-the-art radiotherapy to more than 3500 cancer patients each year from the mid and South Limburg area in the Netherlands. In addition, research and training at MAASTRO is carried out in MAASTRO Physics, MAASTRO Trials, MAASTRO School, and MAASTRO Lab.

MAASTRO Lab (see is a basic and translational research laboratory embedded within the GROW research institute of the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences at Maastricht University. Research carried out in the past has been focused on the tumour microenvironment, in particular hypoxia, autophagy and NOTCH signaling, all of relevance to radiation oncology. MAASTRO Lab has made several important discoveries in these fields, including demonstration that targeting hypoxia responsive mechanisms sensitizes tumors to irradiation. In addition, we have initiated translational and clinical studies based on these results.

The lab has 5 permanent scientists, 5 technicians, more than 15 PhD students and Post-Docs and is fully equipped for cell culture, molecular and cellular biology (e.g. flow cytometry, hypoxia, gene expression, proteomics and microscopy) and working with mouse models (optical imager, an advanced small animal irradiator with cone beam CT and BLI, MRI 7 Tesla and micro-PET). MAASTRO lab has set up the necessary infrastructure for controlled exposures to hypoxia and hypoxia/reoxygenation, including development of novel equipment that allows rapid and controlled changes in oxygenation. Access to expertise, equipment and resources within the much larger GROW research institute and other facilities in the University are also readily available including advanced microscopy, and the animal facility.

Additional Information

Information by Ludwig Dubois ( and Philippe Lambin (