PhD-student: Single-cell dynamics in intestinal organoids
Organoids are miniature organs that display the striking ability to grow and self-organize from single adult stem cells. Recently developed techniques are now making organoids an exciting system for quantitative (biophysics) studies. You will use advanced 3D fluorescence time-lapse microscopy (confocal and light-sheet), machine-learning enabled tracking of individual cells, statistical data analysis methods, and organoid growth technology, to follow all cellular lineages in time and space over multiple generations and to hence elucidate how organoids form and function.
Specifically, this project focusses on a class of rare cell types (enteroendocrine, Tuft, and microfolds cells). These cell types are poorly understood, yet are thought to play crucial roles in hormone production and immune defense, and hence are implicated in conditions including allergies, obesity, depression, and auto-immune diseases. You will study the yet-unknown dynamics of these cell types: their shape changes, movement, spatial organization, differentiation from other lineages, and notably, their interaction with bacteria and immune cells. These data will give unprecedented insight into these remarkable cell types and their functions.
About the group
This project will take place jointly in the Tans and van Zon labs at AMOLF Amsterdam. It is part of a larger program together with the Snippert lab at the University Medical Center Utrecht (UMCU), the Van Rheenen lab at the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI) and the Clevers lab at the Hubrecht institute, the ten Wolde lab at AMOLF, and the Simons lab in Cambridge, and hence brings together a range of cutting-edge approaches in organoid technology, genetic engineering, in-vitro and in-vivo microscopy, single-cell sequencing, data analysis, and mathematical modelling.
We are looking for an outstanding experimental physicist, chemist, or biologist with skills in handling complex data and an interest in fundamental questions about development, and a strong drive to excel in a competitive international environment. You will need to meet the requirements for an MSc-degree, to ensure eligibility for a Dutch PhD examination. Prior experience with quantitative (light-sheet) microscopy, organoid/tissue culture or quantitative analysis of single-cell behavior is not required, but is considered a plus.
Terms of employment
The position is intended as full-time (40 hours / week, 12 months / year) appointment in the service of the Netherlands Foundation of Scientific Research Institutes (NWO-I) for the duration of four years, After successful completion of the PhD research a PhD degree will be granted at Delft University of Technology. Several courses are offered, specially developed for PhD-students. AMOLF assists any new PhD-student with housing and visa applications and compensates their transport costs and furnishing expenses.
Group leader Quantitative Developmental Biology
Phone: +31 (0)20-754 7100
Prof.dr. ir. Sander Tans
Group leader Biophysics
Phone: +31 (0)20-754 7100
Please annex your:
– Motivation on why you want to join the group (max. 1 page).
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