Vacancies 79121-PhD-candidate-Improving-treatment-decisions-in-colorectal-cancer-the-role-of-tumor-budding
  • 36 hours a week
  • Temporary
  • 4 years
  • Date of publication: 10 February 2020
  • Deadline: 2 March 2020
  • Scale 10A: min € 2422 - max € 3103 gross per year at full employment (incl. vacation bonus and end of year payments)
  • First interview scheduled: week 11
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Job description

Do you want to make a difference for patients with colorectal cancer? Then you should join our team! The Dutch Cancer Society (KWF) has awarded a large international consortium grant to our team at the Radboudumc to investigate and validate novel methods based on neural network to identify patients at risk for progressive disease. Together with collaborators from Switzerland, Germany, France, Ireland, Japan and the UK we are using multiple methods to improve the diagnostic workup of colorectal cancer patients.

Tumor budding is a phenomenon that occurs at the invasive front of tumors, and is associated with a poor outcome. From the biological point of view, the tumor buds may represent epithelial-mesenchymal transformation. From the clinical point of view, the tumor buds represent a high-risk feature. Within our team we develop algorithms to analyze histological slides of biopsies and resection specimen, we investigate the 3D structure of tumor buds and explore their biological background. There are several clinical scenarios where the presence of tumor budding is important in decision making: is preoperative neoadjuvant treatment necessary for this patient with rectal cancer? Is this patient, with an early colorectal cancer, at risk for lymph node metastasis? Is it necessary for this patient to undergo adjuvant systemic therapy to lower the risk on recurrent disease? Using large cohorts from our consortium partners, you will be able to answer these relevant questions.

In this 3-year PhD-project, you will investigate the role of tumor budding in various clinical scenarios. You will collect tumor samples, use artificial intelligence to study these samples and perform statistical analyses to determine the clinical relevance.  

This project is part of the Research Theme "Tumors of the Digestive Tract", one of the core themes of the Radboud university medical center. You will be part of a cross-disciplinary research team striving to do world-class science and answer many questions about hereditary cancer.


We are seeking a highly motivated candidate with (most of) the following qualifications:
  • Master's degree in Biomedical Sciences, (Medical) Biology, Medicine, or a relevant other discipline.
  • Interest in tumor genetics and pathogenesis.
  • Affinity with microscopic evaluations and analysis of large data sets.
  • Structured and accurate working style, demanding high quality of your own work.
  • Good English writing and presentation skills.
  • Strong self-motivation, flexibility, and persistence.
  • Well-developed skills to work in a multidisciplinary team.


You will join a multidisciplinary team at the department of Pathology lead by Prof. dr. Iris Nagtegaal (Pathologist), Dr. Jeroen van der Laak (computational pathology). The research team for this project consists of two additional PhD students and three postdocs. We will train and mentor you during the course of this project. You will join the PhD program of the Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences (RIMLS).

Research Institutes
At the moment there are more than 1,300 PhD candidates at our medical hospital. This number includes PhD candidates on our pay roll as well as external candidates (those employed somewhere else but researching on our premises).
  • Radboud Institute for Health Sciences: ± 700
  • Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences: ± 400
  • Donders Center for Medical Neurosciences: ± 200
Read what it is like to do a PhD at the Radboud University Medical Center.

Radboudumc strives to be a leading developer of sustainable, innovative and affordable healthcare to improve the health and wellbeing of people and society in the Netherlands and beyond. This is the core of our mission: To have a significant impact on healthcare. To get a better picture of what this entails, check out our strategy.

Read more about what it means to work at Radboudumc and how you can do your part.

Working conditions

Upon commencement of employment we require a certificate of conduct (Verklaring Omtrent het Gedrag, VOG) and there will be, depending on the type of job, a screening based on the provided cv. Radboud university medical center’s HR Department will apply for this certificate on your behalf.

Read more about the Radboudumc employment conditions and what our International Office can do for you when moving to the Netherlands.

Comments and contact information

All additional information about the vacancy can be obtained from Prof. Dr. Iris Nagtegaal, Professor of Gastrointestinal Pathology. Use the Apply button to submit your application.

Please apply before 2 March 2020.
Recruitment agencies are asked not to respond to this job posting.

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