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Computational Tumor Immunologist

Your function within the department

Your role within the institute

The research groups of Dr Marleen Kok, Pia Kvistborg and Lodewyk Wessels, are looking for a motivated and talented Computational Biologist to join their teams at the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI).
The translational breast cancer immunology group of Dr Marleen Kok focuses on dissecting breast cancer-immune interactions, to optimize immunotherapy for breast cancer patients using novel combination treatments in clinical trials and the discovery of predictive biomarkers.

The T cell immunology group of Dr Pia Kvistborg focuses on understanding the state of tumor-specific T cells in cancer. We are currently investigating two aspects of the tumor-specific T cell response: 1) does the T cell state depend on which type of antigen the T cell is specific for (e.g. tumor-associated vs tumor-specific); and 2) what is the role of immunodominance in the development of the tumor-specific T cell response.

The Computational cancer biology group of Prof dr Lodewyk Wessels is focused on quantifying and understanding treatment response in model systems and patients. To this end we develop bespoke and novel computational methods focusing on data integration and tailored to new technologies. We actively collaborate with many research groups in the NKI and strongly believe in the power of ‘team science’.
With your expertise in computational life sciences and a very good understanding of onco-immunology, you will be involved in the following projects:

• Using exome, TCR sequencing data, whole transcriptome, immunohistochemistry/immunofluorescence of the tumor microenvironment as well comprehensive flow cytometry of peripheral blood, we are providing better understanding on how immune checkpoint blockade alone or in combination with chemotherapy affects the breast tumor microenvironment. In parallel, systemic immune response characteristics are studied using but not limited to flow cytometry. You will be a key player in a translational research team with clinicians and immunologists. The NKI is world-leading in the field of innovative clinical immunotherapy trials with a strong focus on translational endpoints.

• To study the state of T cells we are investigating tumor-specific T cell responses on population level as well as on single cell level using transcriptome analysis and high dimensional flow cytometry. On the basis of these data we want to understand how T cell populations differ in their gene expression and functional state depending on their antigen specificity and their place in the immunodominance hierarchy. We are currently working on transcriptome data obtained on population level but we are establishing technology to combine antigen-specificity, T cell receptor sequence and transcriptome on single cell level. For flow cytometry we are working in the 30 parameter space and moving towards 50 parameters.

Your profile

Your profile

You are an ambitious, creative computational biologist, with a strong commitment to translational research.
Candidates should hold a degree in bioinformatics, computer science or a related discipline, have experience in statistics and/or machine learning and be proficient in bioinformatics programming languages (e.g. R, Python).
We expect candidates to be team-players with strong communication skills.
General background knowledge in biology and immunology is essential, and experience with projects involving the use of genomics and immune profiling data to identifying candidate targets and biomarkers is a plus.

Your career opportunities and terms of employment

Your career opportunities and terms of employment
You will join a dynamic international research group.
You will collaborate with scientists and clinicians with expertise in different disciplines.
You will have the opportunity to follow high-quality courses offered by the NKI postdoc career development program.
Your temporary employment will be for a period of 2-4 years.
The gross salary per month will be from € 2.665,- to € 3.917,- according to the FWG-function group 55, and depends on previous experience.
The terms of employment will be in accordance with the CAO Ziekenhuizen (Collective Labour Agreement for Hospitals). Amsterdam is a very livable city with many cultural amenities.
The institute is located within a 20 minute tram or bicycle ride from the center of Amsterdam and within 20 minutes from Schiphol airport by car, bus or bicycle.


Want more information?
For further information please visit our home pages
Kvistborg group:
Computational Cancer Biology:
or contact
Marleen Kok, or
Pia Kvistborg, or
Lodewyk Wessels,