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Postdoc - Defining and tackling immunotherapy resistance

Your function within the department

The NKI, located in Amsterdam, is the only comprehensive cancer center in The Netherlands. It is a well-organized and dynamic institute accommodating over 50 research groups and many advanced core facilities. It is an internationally renowned center dedicated to fundamental, translational and clinical cancer research.

The Peeper lab exploits powerful function-based, genome-wide experimental strategies to develop rational combinatorial cancer treatment, targeting both cancer and immune cells. By screening for novel therapeutic targets and predictive biomarkers, we aim to achieve more durable clinical responses for patients. 
The clinical outcome of late-stage lung cancer patients has improved considerably thanks to advances made for targeted therapy and T cell checkpoint modulation. However, still many patients fail to (durably) benefit mainly because of primary, adaptive, and acquired therapy resistance. For this project, we have put together a multidisciplinary team comprising molecular biologists, immunologists, bioinformaticians, protein chemists and medical oncologists who together aim, in collaboration with pharma, to improve clinical responses to immunotherapy (IT).

We will define the signaling pathways through which tumor cells are eliminated by, or instead cause resistance to, (IT-activated) T cell-mediated killing, to identify therapeutically tractable vulnerabilities to prevent therapy resistance. This will be done in defined culture systems and humanized mouse models, and by analysis of samples from IT-treated patients. Predictive biomarkers and therapeutic targets will be validated using functional genomics and therapeutic compounds in mouse models, and their mechanisms of actions will be investigated. Ultimately, we will set out to bring identified targets improving IT to the clinic.


Your profile

We seek an ambitious postdoc with experience in immunology and/or molecular biology, who wants to train in functional oncogenomics. A desire to translate the laboratory findings to the clinic is desired.


Your career opportunities and terms of employment

You will be part of the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI), a world-class cancer research institute with many international employees, residing under the same roof as the Antoni van Leeuwenhoek cancer hospital in the vibrant city of Amsterdam close to Schiphol airport. The NKI provides an open, interactive and stimulating environment with access to top-notch facilities, including high-performance computing and with many opportunities to interact with colleagues at social events, attend high-quality seminars and perform translational research. You will be employed for a period of a minimum of two years. The gross salary per month is € 3.375,- to € 4.111,- and depends on previous experience. The terms of employment will be in accordance with the CAO Hospitals.


For information please contact prof. Daniel Peeper, Division of Molecular Oncology & Immunology, Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam.

Select reading
- Vredevoogd et al., Augmenting Immunotherapy Impact by Lowering Tumor TNF Cytotoxicity Threshold,
  Cell 2019
- Boshuizen et al., Cooperative targeting of melanoma heterogeneity with an AXL antibody-drug conjugate
  and BRAF/MEK inhibitors. Nature Med. 2018
- Kong et al., Cancer drug addiction is relayed by an ERK2-dependent phenotype switch, Nature 2017