03/11/2020
Logo of Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

INsTRuCT: Call for applications from Early Stage Researchers for Doctoral (PhD) Training Position in Translational Cellular Immunology


  • ORGANISATION/COMPANY
    Cimaas BV
  • RESEARCH FIELD
    Biological sciences
    Medical sciencesOther
  • RESEARCHER PROFILE
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
  • APPLICATION DEADLINE
    05/12/2020 23:00 - Europe/Brussels
  • LOCATION
    Netherlands › MAASTRICHT
  • TYPE OF CONTRACT
    Temporary
  • JOB STATUS
    Full-time
  • HOURS PER WEEK
    40
  • OFFER STARTING DATE
    08/01/2021
  • EU RESEARCH FRAMEWORK PROGRAMME
    H2020 / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions
  • MARIE CURIE GRANT AGREEMENT NUMBER
    860003

OFFER DESCRIPTION

INsTRuCT is an Innovative Training Network (ITN) funded by the European Union Horizon 2020 Programme. The INsTRuCT Consortium is a research network of leading European scientists from academia and industry focused on fundamental research and clinical translation of myeloid regulatory cell (MRC)-based immunotherapies. A total of 15 doctoral research projects (PhD projects) for Early Stage Researchers (ESR) have been offered across 13 institutes in Europe. Research topics range from fundamental to translational science, all at the forefront in the field of MRC-based immunotherapies. The successful applicant will  receive expert training in basic immunological research, preclinical pharmacological development, manufacturing processes, clinical trial design, healthcare economics, ethics and marketing. The interaction of biologists, computational scientists, physicians and engineers is central to INsTRuCT and will challenge ESR to explore complex issues in bench-to-bedside research from different perspectives. Graduates of INsTRuCT will be well-prepared to enter the workplace with an innovative and beyond state-of-the-art view on fundamental and translational science of cell-based therapies that will accelerate the future of the field.

Participating in INsTRuCT offers early stage researchers many unique opportunities, including:

  • A project as Marie Skłodowska Curie trainee in one of the participating institutions with the intention of receiving a doctoral degree (PhD).
  • State-of-the art, exciting research in an international consortium with highly integrated research projects.
  • Expert training in preclinical and clinical development of cell-based medicinal products.
  • At least two months of research training in the lab of another consortium member, mostly in a different EU country than the country where most of the project will take place.
  • Training in both academic and commercial research environments.
  • Salary according to EU guidelines for Marie Skłodowska Curie trainees, including mobility payments and family allowances where applicable.

Eligible candidates must:

  • hold a Master’s degree or equivalent in a field of science relevant to their chosen project (see below)
  • demonstrate a history of academic excellence
  • demonstrate an affinity for Basic Immunology, Computational Biology or translational research
  • speak and write fluently in English
  • have less than 4 years’ previous research experience and not hold a doctoral (PhD) title
  • have not been resident in the country where the host institution is located for more than 12 months in the 3 years before recruitment.
  • be available to start their project no later than 8thJanuary, 2021.

Individual project

ESR8 Development of DC-based immunotherapy for cancer

Hosting Institution: CiMaas BV, The Netherlands

Supervisor Dr. GERMERAAD, Wilfred

Email address for the applications w.germeraad@cimaas.com

Subject area: Translational Research; Cellular Immunology

Project-specific selection criteria: Strong background in Immunology; Interest in product development; main competencies: flexibility, creativity, can-do mentality

Introduction: This proposal has the central question of how we can optimize a dendritic cell vaccine for cancer. To be successful as a clinical product, DC’s should be strong activators of tumor specific cytotoxic T cells which can be accomplished be proper polarization of Thelper cells and activating NK cells, which in turn positively stimulate Th and CTL’s. Furthermore, a GMP compliant culture system is necessary (and available), including good quality control. In this project we aim to optimize the DC’s and measure the T cell responses induced in vitro.

During the project the ESR will also be trained in the GMP working environment..

Aims: A1a: To measure intracellular /extracellular vitamin C and extracellular vitamin D followed by studying the role of Vitamin C and Vitamin D (tolerizing DC) on DC - T cell and NK cell interactions A2: To reduce the IL-10 production in Dendritic cells to promote better Th1 polarization and preventing immune suppression. A3: To characterize the MHC class II peptide presentation profile by mRNA electroporated DC and Determine whether MHC class II targeting improves Thelper responses to generate better CTLs. Finally the ESR will be trained to in a GMP environment. This project exemplifies how INsTRuCT can accelerate innovation in MRC-based therapy through commercial adoption of basic scientific discoveries. Cimaas already exchanged know-how with SQ, UA, UHREG and OSR. SB has minimized project implementation risks through detailed planning of collaborations and ensuring sufficient redundancy in scientific deliverables.

Expected Results: R1: Whether Vitamin C enhances DC-T cell/NK cell interactions. R2: Optimized Dendritic cells capable of generating potent T cells, better Th1 polarization and lower immunosuppression. R3: Profiling of peptides in MHCII molecules expressed by mRNA electroporated DC.

Planned secondment: The ESR will undertake a 2-month secondment at UHREG to learn about immune monitoring. The ESR will undertake a 2-month secondment at Sanquin to master DC-CD4 T cell co-cultures and optimized release assays (ie. MHC-II multimer analyses) to develop antigen-specific release assays for electroporated DC.

Enrolment in Doctoral degree(s): University of Maastricht

Project-specific selection criteria: Strong background in Immunology; Interest in product development; main competencies: flexibility, creativity, can-do mentality

Recommended reading: [1] Oth T., et al. Pathogen recognition by NK cells amplifies the pro-inflammatory

cytokine production of monocyte-derived DC via IFN-γ. BMC Immunol. 2018 Feb 13; 19(1):8. [2] Oth T., et al. Pathogen- Associated Molecular Patterns Induced Crosstalk between Dendritic Cells, T Helper Cells, and

Natural Killer Helper Cells Can Improve Dendritic Cell Vaccination. Mediat Inflammat: 2016; 2016:5740373. [3] Oth T., et al. Potency of Both Human Th1 and NK Helper Cell Activation is Determined by IL-12p70-Producing PAMP-Matured DCs. J Interferon Cytokine Res. 2015 Sep;35(9):748-58. [4] van Gorkom GNY, Klein Wolterink RGJ, Van Elssen CHMJ, Wieten L, Germeraad WTV, Bos GMJ. Influence of Vitamin C on Lymphocytes: An Overview. Antioxidants (Basel). 2018 Mar 10;7(3):41. doi: 10.3390/antiox7030041.

 

More Information

Benefits

ESR will be given an employment contract for 48 months by the host institution. ESR will be entitled to full employee benefits and inclusion in social security schemes of the host nation. ESR will be compensated according to the general conditions of the EC Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions and specifically those conditions relating to ESR participating in ITN.

Eligibility criteria

Experience eligibility requirement:

Eligible applicants must:

  • hold a Master’s degree or equivalent in a field of science relevant to their chosen project (see below)
  • demonstrate a history of academic excellence
  • demonstrate an affinity for Basic Immunology, Computational Biology or translational research
  • speak and write fluently in English
  • have less than 4 years’ previous research experience and not hold a doctoral (PhD) title

Mobility eligibility requirement: The fellow must not have resided in the country where the research training activities will take place for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the recruitment date (and not have carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in that country).

Other requirements:

  • be available to start their project no later than 8th January, 2021.

Selection process

INsTRuCT will select ESR8 through a 2-step recruitment process.. Applications (in English) should include a CV, a Letter of Motivation and a Letter of Recommendation from two appropriate referees. The closing date for applications is December 5th, 2020. Application documents should be sent by email to Mrs. Christine Bayer, Project Administrator (christine.bayer@ukr.de) and to the project supervisor by email Wilfred Germeraad (w.germeraad@cimaas.com). Applicants are advised to familiarise themselves thoroughly with project for which they apply and be ready to answer questions on their chosen topics. After reviewing all applications, the supervisor will contact selected applicants to organise an initial screening interview by videoconferencing. The most promising candidates will then be invited to a preferably live interview depending on the actual COVID-19 travel opportunities.

Offer Requirements

  • REQUIRED LANGUAGES
    ENGLISH: Excellent

Skills/Qualifications

Strong background in Immunology; Interest in product development; main competencies: flexibility, creativity, can-do mentality

Specific Requirements

Project-specific requirements are detailed in the individual project description

Map Information

Job Work Location Personal Assistance locations
Work location(s)
1 position(s) available at
Cimaas BV
Netherlands
Netherlands
MAASTRICHT
6229 EV
OXFORDLAAN 70

EURAXESS offer ID: 573961

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