Netherlands: PhD Position in Cell Biology at Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre

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 P120 catenin as master regulator of microenvironment-dependent plasticity of cancer cell dissemination and metastasisCancer mortality results primarily from metastatic disease. For metastatic evasion of tumor cells from  the primary tumor, downregulating cell-cell adhesions and gain of migration and invasion capability are initial rate-limiting events. Depending on local tissue, metabolic and signaling conditions, cells may use different strategies to disseminate. In this project we will test the hypothesis that p120, a central multifunctional intracellular adaptor and signaling protein which controls E-cadherin stability and Rho GTPases, is master regulator of cancer cell plasticity for invasion and metastasis. The role of p120 in cancer invasion will be addressed in vitro and in vivo in breast tumor cells using a combination of molecular, cell biological, and translational approaches, as well as high-resolution intravital imaging. As outcome of the project we ultimately expect to deliver candidate pathways that are critical in supporting cancer cell dissemination the targeting of which may improve anti-cancer therapy.

The project will be performed in the Cell Dynamics group (head: Prof. Dr. P. Friedl) under direct supervision of Dr. Mirjam Zegers.
The PhD student will be embedded in the NCMLS graduate school.


  • MSc degree (or equivalent) in molecular life science
  • Strong background in (molecular)cell biology
  • Experience in cell culture, molecular-cellular analyses and microscopy procedures
  • Motivation, initiative and ambition to publish in high-impact journals
  • Able to work and interact with group members, contribute to pleasant working atmosphere
  • A high level of proficiency in English is required

Conditions of employment

  • Temporary, 4 years
  • 36 hours per week
  • Scale 10A: max € 38699 gross per year at full employment (incl. vacation bonus and end of year payments)


Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre (RUN MC)


The department of Cell Biology

The department of Cell Biology of the Nijmegen Centre for Molecular Life Sciences combines a prominent role in research and teaching at the Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre. The department is part of the Nijmegen Centre for Molecular Life Sciences (NCMLS), a leading multidisciplinary graduate school within the domain of molecular mechanisms of disease in the fields of molecular medicine, cell biology and translational research. In a 4-year program funded by a grant from NCMLS, we have a position available for a PhD student in the Cell Dynamics Group.

Additional information

For more information please contact Dr. Mirjam Zegers, this email address only for information, for application use the Apply button.)

Qualified applicants only are requested to include a letter outlining their interest in the position, qualifications, experience and career goals, as well as a CV.
Review of applicants will begin August 27th.  2013 and continue until the position is filled.

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