Careers And Study

PhD Student (OIO) or postdoc Medical or molecular biologist or related expertise

Function description

For the group of dr. Alfred H. Schinkel at the Division of Pharmacology we are seeking a fulltime PhD Student (OIO) or postdoc Medical or molecular biologist or related expertise.

Project information:
Knockout and transgenic mouse models have proved to be invaluable tools to elucidate factors that affect the susceptibility to (anticancer) drugs, toxins, and carcinogens. The Schinkel group has generated a unique collection of knockout and humanized transgenic mouse strains for genes that affect the behavior of these exogenous compounds, as well as endogenous compounds. These include mice that are knockout and/or transgenic for:
  • Active multidrug efflux transporters like P-glycoprotein (ABCB1) and BCRP (ABCG2).
  • Multispecific drug uptake transporters (e.g., OCT1-3, OATP1A/B).
  • Multispecific drug metabolizing enzymes of the CYP3A and CES families.
  • Combinations of the above to study their functional interactions.

Variation in activity of these so-called detoxifying systems due to genetic polymorphisms, or inhibition or induction by co-administered drugs or dietary compounds can result in dramatic alterations in the behavior of drugs. This can lead to altered resistance or susceptibility of tumors to chemotherapy, or to increased or decreased toxic side effects for the patient. As a consequence, these detoxifying systems are major players determining the therapeutic efficacy of drugs. Basic insights into the functioning of these systems obtained using the genetically modified mouse strains can be of great help in optimizing drug therapy in patients.

In addition to their roles in drug handling, these detoxifying systems also often have strong effects on the behavior of lipids, for which they also appear to have detoxifying functions. As a consequence, disruption of their function often results in obesity, increased levels of cholesterol and other lipids in blood, liver and adipose tissue, inflammation, and type 2 diabetes phenotypes, collectively known as “metabolic syndrome”. Metabolic syndrome is a major factor in the development of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, and thus in morbidity and mortality seen in developed societies.   

The aim of this project is to reach a better understanding of why these drug detoxifying systems often have this dual functionality in drug and lipid detoxification. For this purpose we will both perform pharmacological experiments, often with experimental anticancer drugs, and physiological experiments addressing the mechanistic background of the metabolic syndrome phenotypes. For the latter purpose we will for instance study the effects of modified diets, and/or analyze physiological changes using for instance clinical chemistry, histological, RNAseq and proteomics analyses.  

We hope that the results of these studies will both help in improving the development of new (anticancer) drugs, and increase our understanding of the factors contributing to the susceptibility to metabolic syndrome symptoms.  

This project is part of a larger collaborative research program at the Netherlands Cancer Institute, aimed at understanding and predicting the in vivo behavior of drugs, toxins and carcinogens. As we have demonstrated before, this knowledge can be translated into clinical applications to improve current chemotherapy and pharmacotherapy strategies. The person to be hired will participate in a team of 5 to 6 people working on related research lines. 

Job requirements

We are seeking a highly motivated candidate with a strong background in medical biology or related areas and an interest in in vivo physiological and pharmacological research questions. Animal experimentation forms an essential part of this project. Applicants should have, or be willing to obtain, an “Article 9” permit for the design and execution of animal experiments.


The temporary employment will be for a period of 4 years for a PhD student or 3 years for a postdoc. The gross salary per month will be from € 2.972,- to € 3.620,-  for a PhD student according to the FWG-function OIO (PhD student). Or from € 3.995,- to € 4.391  for a postdoc according to the FWG-function group 55, depending on previous experience. 
The terms of employment will be in accordance with the CAO Ziekenhuizen.

For information:
For further information please contact dr. Alfred H. Schinkel, telephone +31-20-5122046, e-mail:   

Applications can be submitted via the portal ( and should include your CV, a motivation letter, with a copy to . Inclusion of the names and (e-mail) addresses of one or more references would be greatly appreciated.

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
Nastassja  Drenthe

Nastassja Drenthe

Alfred  Schinkel

Alfred Schinkel

Group leader

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