The Hubrecht Institute is a research institute of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. Presently there are 19 research groups with a total of about 350 employees and guest researchers. In addition to a highly interactive and international scientific environment, excellent research facilities are available for imaging and functional genomics. Moreover, several model organisms are present, including C. elegans, zebrafish and rodents. The institute is situated at the Utrecht Science Park. The Hubrecht Institute is affiliated with the University Medical Center Utrecht and has close connections with Utrecht University, e.g. in the graduate school Cancer, Stem cells & Developmental biology.

The group of Prof. Dr. Hans Clevers (Hubrecht Institute) and the group of Prof. Dr. Peter Deen (Radboud University Medical Center) have a vacancy for a

To work on a project concerning generation and screening of paraganglioma organoids for therapeutics

  • Full time (38 hours/week)
  • Starting date: as soon as possible
  • Location: Utrecht Science Park, De Uithof (18 months), Radboud University Medical Center Nijmegen (18 months)

Description of the project
Pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas (PGLs) are rare tumors of parasympathetic and sympathetic paraganglia. Besides being tumors, sympathetic PGLs secrete excess catecholamines, giving severe headache, panic attacks, arrhythmias and hypertension. Germline mutations in 12 genes confer susceptibility for PGL development in 25%-40% of sporadic tumors, which fall into two clusters leading to hypoxia-inducible factor-1/2α(HIF-1/2α)-dependent tumorigenesis. Most metastatic PGLs are associated with germline mutations in succinate dehydrogenase(SDH) subunit B (SDHB) and predispose to malignancy in 37-97% of the cases. Treatment for SDHB PGLs, however, is lacking and thus appropriate model systems and specific therapeutic targets for these tumors are urgently needed. Cancer-derived organoids have shown to increase our understanding of the etiology of processes deregulated in cancer and are good models to test drug response. Therefore, the goal of the present project is to generate and characterize PGL organoids from fresh tumors and to test them for potential therapeutics.

This project is part of an international consortium involving clinical and fundamental partners and is a collaborative project of the Hubrecht laboratory and the dept Physiology, Radboud University Medical Centre (UMC), Nijmegen. The Hubrecht laboratory has a strong expertise in developing tumor organoids and therapeutics screening, while the department of Physiology has a long-standing expertise in molecular, cellular and animal pathophysiology of PGLs. The applicant will be initially located at the Hubrecht Laboratory but is expected to commute and confer the organoid technique to the department Physiology at later phases of the project. The dept. Physiology is housed in the “Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences (RIMLS,”, which integrates diverse scientific expertise in molecular and medical science for the advancement and innovation in translational research.

Major research responsibilities for this position

  • Generation and maintenance of PGL organoids
  • Biochemical/genetic analysis for the PGL phenotype
  • Setting up a cellular screening system and screen for potential therapeutics
  • Data analysis and interpretation
  • Contribution towards preparation and submission of manuscripts and grants
  • Presentation of data and communication with research partners

We offer

  • An exciting and innovative project
  • A stimulating and productive scientific environment in an international setting.
  • Salary and contract is based on research experience and qualifications.

We ask

  • A PhD in molecular/cellular biology/physiology/endocrinology or related field
  • Preferably a permit to work with animals (art. 9)
  • Experience with (difficult) cell culture, and the use of CRISPR/Cas9 technology
  • Good track record of scientific publications
  • Structured working style
  • Good English writing and presentation skills
  • A strong motivation, flexibility, and willingness to learn
  • The ability to work independently and collaborate with others in an energetic and supportive manner

Initially one year with a possibility to extend after positive evaluation

According to “CAO-Nederlandse Universiteiten” (CAO-NU) salary scale negotiable, depending on experience scale 10 excluding 8% holiday allowance and an 8,3% year-end bonus. We offer an extensive package of fringe benefits.

Additional information about the vacancy can be obtained from Dr. Kai Kretzschmar ( and/or Prof. Peter M.T. Deen (
Detailed information about the groups involved can be found at and

Please send your application including: cover letter (outlining special interest in the position, overall related qualifications, experience and career goals), curriculum vitae and contact details of professional references as soon as possible (before August 1st, 2018) to, stating vacancy HUBR-2018-14 in the subject line.

Any acquisition further to this advertisement will not be appreciated.

Keywords: Vacancy, fulltime, Research, Biomedical, PhD, Molecular biology, Cellular biology, Physiology, Endocrinology, Utrecht, Nijmegen, Gelderland.