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PhD and Postdoc positions to study transcription at the single-molecule level in group of Tineke Lenstra

Function description

We are looking for highly motivated and enthusiastic PhD and postdoc candidates to join Dr Tineke Lenstra’s team. The main interest of the Lenstra lab is to understand the regulatory mechanisms and dynamics of eukaryotic transcription. Precise regulation of transcription is essential to ensure that the correct genes are expressed in the correct tissue at the correct time. Yet, even when a gene is expressed in a certain tissue, within single cells in that population, a gene is not always "on", but is transcribed in bursts of high activity, interspersed by periods of inactivity. How these bursts are regulated remains largely unknown. In our lab, we have expertise in a range of cutting-edge single-molecule microscopy techniques to directly visualize and quantify these transcriptional fluctuations inside living cells. With these powerful tools, we have tested how different mechanisms shape transcriptional bursting patterns, including transcription factor binding dynamics, transcription factor clustering, enhancers, chromatin, and DNA supercoiling (e.g. Pomp, Mol Cell, 204, Patel, Mol Cell 2023, Brouwer, Nature Struc & Mol Biol, 2023., Donovan, EMBO J, 2019, Lenstra, Mol Cell, 2015). To push the field forward, we also develop and apply novel single-molecule microscopy techniques and kinetic analysis tools in both yeast and mammalian model systems. By studying transcription dynamics in single cells, we aim to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of transcription regulation.

Job requirements

We are looking for ambitious PhD or postdoc candidates with a strong background in molecular biology, biophysics, systems biology or quantitative biology. The candidate should be creative, independent, and have a problem-solving attitude. Good communication skill and the ability to work in a multi-disciplinary team are essential. Previous experience in the field of transcription regulation, or advanced (live-cell) microscopy or image analysis would be advantageous.

Scientific environment
Located in Amsterdam, the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI) is an internationally renowned institute dedicated to fundamental, translational and clinical cancer research, and the only comprehensive cancer center in The Netherlands. It is a dynamic institute accommodating over 50 research groups and many excellent facilities, including for microscopy, flow cytometry, protein expression and purification, genomics, proteomics and many more. The laboratory is part of the Division of Gene Regulation with multiple groups of complementary expertise.


We offer a stimulating and interactive research environment, free use of all state-of-the-art facilities, a competitive salary. The gross salary per month can range from € 4.324 to € 4.842 (postdoc, conform FWG55) or € 3.355,- to € 4.073,- (salary PhD scale, according to the Collective Labour Agreement General Hospitals), depending on your experience. In addition, you will receive 8,33% holiday pay and end-of-year bonus (8,33%). The appointment is for a period of at least two years (postdoc) or four years (PhD student). You will have the opportunity to follow high-quality courses offered by the OOA oncology graduate school (PhD) or by the NKI postdoc career development program (postdoc).

Your travel expenses will be reimbursed at € 0,19 per km. Free parking at the Antoni van Leeuwenhoek is also part of the package. Personnel is stimulated to use public transport and bicycle and therefore we offer an interesting arrangement for bikers and/or discount on the NS-business card. 

How to apply
For further information and addresses visit our websites (  and or contact Tineke Lenstra ( Applications should include your CV, a motivation letter, your transcripts (for PhD position) and contact information of at least 2 references, and can be submitted via the portal (

The NKI values diversity and is committed to creating an inclusive work environment that stimulates the best in each individual. Applications of all individuals are welcomed regardless of age, ancestry, religion, disability, distance from the labor market, sexual orientation or gender identity.


  • Hours per week: 36
  • Salary level: Dutch Collective Labour Agreement for Hospitals
Mylene van der Velden

Mylene van der Velden

Tineke  Lenstra

Tineke Lenstra

Junior Groepsleider

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