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  3. PhD-student (ESR5): Targeted inhibition of novel immune checkpoints

PhD-student (ESR5): Targeted inhibition of novel immune checkpoints

This PhD student position offers an exciting and innovative research project that aims to uncover and develop new immune checkpoints for cancer immunotherapy …

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Hanzeplein, Groningen, Groningen
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht


This PhD student position offers an exciting and innovative research project that aims to uncover and develop new immune checkpoints for cancer immunotherapy and will result in a PhD thesis. The project is dedicated to the validation and therapeutic antibody-based targeting of new immune checkpoints recently identified at the UMCG using (single cell) RNA sequencing of tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes. Further, antibodies will be embedded in drug delivery systems based on nanoparticles, e.g. optimized for long-term circulation and targeting to the tumour site by passive EPR mechanism and active binding of antibodies/peptides to the surface of particles. This research project will end with a PhD thesis defense at the University of Groningen.

Keywords: immune checkpoints, RNAseq, bispecific antibody, drug-delivery, surface modification nanoparticles

Key Responsibilities:
- Multi-color IHC and flow cytometry on patient-derived material
- Development of novel immune checkpoint antibody-based therapeutics
- Preclinical in vitro and in vivo proof-of-concept studies using primary patient-derived cells
- Various nanoparticle encapsulation, release and surface modification activities
- Further optimization of the particle properties for long-term drug release and specific targeting
- Development and optimization of polymeric scaffolds for realistic cell growth conditions
- Ensuring controlled delivery of particles to targets and a controlled release of immobilized active material on-target via suitable triggers (pH, etc.)
- Operation, optimization and further development of a bioanalysis platform that uses functionalized microparticles (model tumor cells) as sensors (Measurement principle: Whispering Gallery Modes)
- Management, presentation and publication of research data


- You are in the first four years of your research career and not have a doctoral degree
- Residence duration in the Netherlands does not exceed 12 months in total within the last 3 years
- MSc in biochemistry, biology, biotechnology
- Collaboration skills, demonstrating agility and initiative. Ability to communicate fluently and effectively in English

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.


A PhD student position for 3 years as part of a Marie Curie Actions Innovative Industrial Doctorate training network. 1st Hosting institution: Location: UMCG, Groningen, Netherlands, duration: 18 months. 2nd Hosting institution: Location: Surflay, Berlin, Germany, duration: 18 months. Intended start date: June 2019. Benefits according to EU MCA regulations.

Applying for a job
Please send your application to i-direct@onco.umcg.nl as job application ESR5 Targeted inhibition of novel immune checkpoints. The application deadline is 30 April 2019.
(please do not use the digital application form)


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