ESR 1: Understanding biology of hyperthermia in the context of cancer treatment via multi-omics approach.

PhD research

Host: Dr. Przemek M. Krawczyk

Recruiting organisation: Amsterdam University Medical centers, location AMC, Department of Medical Biology, Meibergdreef 9, 1105AZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Duration: 48 months

Background

Hyperthermia is a proven clinically effective radiosensitizer, though its working mechanisms are not fully understood as hyperthermia is a pleiotropic and multipotent agent that affects proteins, membranes, cellular (sub)compartments and pathways at various levels of complexity. These nano- and micro-scale effects feed into tissue- and organ responses, ultimately determining therapy outcomes in clinical settings. We propose here a multi-omics approach for obtaining global, in-depth understanding of how hyperthermia interacts with clinical cancer treatments, and in particular with radiotherapy.

Approach 

Studying such complex interactions is extremely challenging and requires a comprehensive approach and methods that became available only recently. The PhD candidate will apply, among others, high-throughput drug screening, CRISPR KO screening, gene expression analysis, mass spectrometry, epigenome analysis techniques and other state-of-the-art omics and big data analysis methods to systematically explore the effects of heat on (cancer) cells (1) under unperturbed conditions and (2) in combination with radio- and chemotherapy. This approach is unprecedented in the hyperthermia field and we believe that it will provide novel insights into the biology of hyperthermia that can be translated into new clinical strategies in the long term.

Our research team

The AMC is a leading institute on clinical, pre-clinical and technical research on hyperthermia combined with radiotherapy or chemotherapy. The candidate will learn from, and collaborate with, two other PhD students who focus on various preclinical and translational aspects of hyperthermia. The multidiscplinary research team further includes experts on clinical radiotherapy and hyperthermia, radiotherapy physics and biology. The research group is embedded Cancer Center Amsterdam, in the department of Medical Biology that houses an advanced microscopy facility, and collaborates with the Laboratory for Experimental Oncology and Radiotherapy and the Department of Urology. We also have ongoing collaboration on hyperthermia with the Dept. of Molecular Genetics of Erasmus MC in Rotterdam.

Your experience

  • Candidates should have a Master’s degree in (Molecular) Biology or other related fields
  • Excellent higher education track record and strong, broad scientific curiosity 
  • Excellent analytical and communication skills
  • Documented practical lab skills in relevant discipline(s)
  • Demonstrable fluent spoken and written English skills

In addition, the following experience would be helpful, but not essential:

  • Some practical experience with omics techniques and big data analysis in relevant programming environments (e.g. R, Matlab, Python)

We seek a highly motivated scientist who enjoys an interdisciplinary environment and an interdisciplinary project, able to work independently but also as part of a team. The research project should result in a PhD thesis.

Our offer

This 4-year PhD position is funded by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions of the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 955625.  You will be appointed as fulltime PhD for 4 years with Amsterdam University Medical Centers, location AMC, and part of the University of Amsterdam. The Marie Skłodowska-Curie (MSCA) programme offers a highly competitive and attractive salary and working conditions. The successful candidates will receive a salary in accordance with the MSCA regulations for early stage researchers. Exact salary will be confirmed upon appointment [Living Allowance = €37.320/year (correction factor to be applied per country) + Monthly mobility allowance = €600. An additional monthly allowance of €500 is applicable depending on family situation. In addition to their individual scientific projects, all fellows will benefit from further continuing education, which includes internships and secondments, a variety of training modules as well as transferable skills courses and active participation in workshops and conferences.

Your application

See recruitment procedure. You can apply using the online application form. For more information about the position you can contact the Dr. Przemek Krawczyk at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or +31 (0)20 56 68746.  

Amsterdam University Medical centers, location AMC

The AMC is one of the largest hospitals and foremost research institutions in the Netherlands with over 8000 employees, and part of the University of Amsterdam. Some 1500 staff members are fully or partially employed in medical research. Oncology, one of the 8 research themes of AMC, is embedded in the Cancer Center Amsterdam, one of the largest European cancer research institutes, established jointly by AMC and Free University Medical Center in 2016. The AMC houses high quality core facilities including an animal house, lab for Genome Analysis and Oncogenomics, Cell sorting, Van Leeuwenhoek Center for Advanced Microscopy, In vivo optical imaging, Proteomics facility, Metabolomics facility, Biobanking.