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  3. PhD candidate ‘Circulating tumour DNA’

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PhD candidate ‘Circulating tumour DNA’

We are looking for a highly motivated PhD candidate with demonstrated interest in performing translational, clinically relevant research on cancer patients. …

5 maanden geleden


Geert Grooteplein Zuid, Nijmegen, Gelderland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
36 - 36 uur
€ 2495 - € 4615 per maand


We are looking for a highly motivated PhD candidate with demonstrated interest in performing translational, clinically relevant research on cancer patients. This research will primarily be performed on longitudinally collected blood samples of patients with genitourinary cancer. Will you join our team?

The unique and individual patient is always the center of care at the Radboudumc. Unique characteristics include the genetics, biology and physiology, but also the psyche, social environment and wishes of the individual. The Department of Medical Oncology aims to personalize anti-cancer treatment for its patients with cancer; we are striving to improve patient stratification for targeted therapy and immunotherapy by matching optimal treatment based on their tumour biological characteristics within the framework of multidisciplinary molecular tumour boards (MTB).

We are also attempting to further optimize early response assessment and to improve early detection of disease recurrence, in a non-invasive manner utilizing serial blood tests. For this we closely work together with the Departments of Human Genetics and Pathology.

You will work within the Department of Human Genetics on introducing state-of-the art next-generation sequencing (NGS) assays (hybrid capture-based panel and shallow whole-genome sequencing) to non-invasively assess mutations, copy number alterations and molecular signatures from the cell-free circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA). This will be done in samples collected within our biobank, in the context of a prospective clinical trial in patients with prostate cancer (PROMPT, clinicaltrails.gov number NCT04746300) and in the context of urothelial cancer patients within an Eurostars Project 'PRECISE - First multi-modal liquid biopsy IVD to predict response to immune checkpoint inhibitors in cancer'.

For the analyses of NGS, you will be working closely together with fellow PhD students in the 'Liquid Biopsy' group and bioinformatic team at the Department of Human Genetics in collaboration with your supervisors from both the Department of Medical Oncology and Department of Human Genetics.

This PhD project is in part funded by the Eurostars Fund. Within this multidisciplinary framework your thesis will focus on non-invasive predictive biomarker discovery and validation. These results will form the basis of your PhD research. The research should result in a PhD thesis.

Tasks and responsibilities
  • Test, optimize and utilize a ~60-gene NGS panel on the ctDNA from plasma samples from prospectively collected patient samples (genitourinary cancer patients).
  • Optimize bioinformatic analyses pipeline for assessment of mutations, copy number alterations, mutational signatures and ctDNA tumour content.
  • Validate clinical utility of longitudinal ctDNA assessment by correlative studies with prognosis and outcome from cancer therapy.
  • Provide support and oversee the logistics and datamanagement of patients included in the Eurostars and PROMPT program.


We are looking for an enthusiastic PhD candidate who is keen to join the Department of Medical Oncology to help us in our mission to provide a more personalized therapy for patients with cancer. The PhD candidate can either be a MSc or a medical doctor (MD) with strong interest in performing translational cancer research.

You have a great interest in molecular cell biology, tumour genetics, next-generation sequencing platforms and immune-oncology. You also have strong motivation, initiative and ambition to perform complex data analyses and publish in high-impact journals. You are able to work both independently and interdisciplinary.

Furthermore you recognize yourself in the following profile:
  • Excellent communication skills, contributing to a pleasant working atmosphere.
  • High level of proficiency in English.
  • Ambitious.
  • Empathic and social.
  • Strong analytical behaviour.
  • Proof of excellent writing skills.
  • Excellent collaborator.


The salary depends on education. Scale 10 will be offered to MSc medical graduates; those holding degrees in other disciplines will be offered scale 10A.

Working at Radboud university medical center means that you are ahead of the curve and working together on the healthcare of the future. And there is more. Our secondary terms of employment are impressive. These are fully tailored to you thanks to our Employment Conditions Selection Model. At Radboud university medical center, you will be given trust, and you will take the responsibility to handle everything together. We provide annual courses, both professional and personal.
  • In addition to your monthly salary and an annual vacation allowance of 8%, you will receive an end-of-year bonus of 8.3%.
  • If you work irregular hours, you will receive an allowance.
  • As a full-time employee (36 hours per week), you are entitled to approximately 168 vacation hours (over 23 days) per year.
  • Radboud university medical center pays 70% of the pension premium. You pay the rest of the premium with your gross salary.
  • You get a discount on health insurance as well: you can take advantage of two group health insurance plans. UMC Zorgverzekering and CZ collectief.
In addition to our terms of employment, we also offer employees various other attractive facilities, such as childcare and sports facilities. Want to learn more? Take a look at the Cao UMC.

Additional information

All additional information about the vacancy can be obtained from Dr. Niven Mehra, Medical Oncologist, from Prof. Marjolijn Ligtenberg, Full Professor or from Drs. Jeu de la Haye, manager. Use the Apply button to submit your application.