The PhD candidate will combine experimental and computational approaches to dissect the cellular crosstalk between niche and haematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPCs) in myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) with the goal to identify niche dependencies that can be exploited for disease interception. The project will make extensive use of innovative 3D Human Organotypic Marrow Environments (3DHOMEs) to functionally evaluate niche dependencies and perform screens to identify druggable modules that promote the fitness and progressive clonal dominance of malignant MDS cells. Results will be confirmed using patient-derived xenograft models and primary patient samples.
To achieve this the successful candidate will use a large panel of wet lab techniques, including primary cell culture, multiparameter flow cytometry, various imaging platforms, CRISPR/Cas9 mediated genetic engineering and animal work. Additionally, the candidate will use single cell RNA sequencing approaches, to carry out a comprehensive and spatially resolved analysis of the composition and priming of both the MDS and the stromal compartment. As such, preference will be given to candidate(s) with experience/background in computational science/bioinformatics.
Supervisor: Hind Medyouf (visit website here).
Envisioned secondments: To further broaden the expertise of the PhD candidate and support the project, two secondments of 3 months at GenomeScan B.V. (Leiden, The Netherlands) and 2 months at University of Bergen (Bergen, Norway), will be offered as an integral part of the PhD project.
Application deadline: 30 June 2021 (midnight CEST). Applications will be solely accepted through the INTERCEPT-MDS online application form and must be in English.