PhD-student: The physics of 3D single cells dynamics in organoids

Date posted April 11, 2018
Type PhD positions

Cells in multicellular organisms possess a remarkable capacity to self-organize in ways that surpass other forms of active matter. These include coherent motility, self-healing, and branching phenomena that are controlled and timed in a programmed manner. The recent discovery of organoids, mini-organs that can be grown outside of the body, now allows one to study the underlying dynamics of these key processes directly for the first time. In this project you will use advanced confocal and light-sheet microscopy, as well as imaging analysis and mathematical modeling to track cells inside intestinal or lung organoid systems in 3D. Fluorescent labeling will be used to follow cell movement and division in space and time, both on the cellular and sub-cellular level. The aim of this project is to uncover the fundamental mechanisms responsible for the spatial cell fate patterns and coordinated motility seen in these systems. These highly quantitative data will provide a unique insight into the dynamics that underlies complex 3D cellular organizations. This is a joint project between the Tans and van Zon labs at AMOLF Amsterdam and is in collaboration with the Clevers lab at the Hubrecht institute, and HUB Organoid Technologies in Utrecht.

About the group

Biophysics, Quantitative Development Biology


We are looking for an outstanding (bio)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. 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. You will need to meet the requirements for an MSc-degree, to ensure eligibility for a Dutch PhD examination.

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 one of the universities in the Netherlands. 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.

Contact info

Prof. dr. ir.  Sander Tans
Group leader Biophysics
Phone: +31 (0)20-754 7100

Dr. Jeroen van Zon
Group leader Quantitative Development Biology
Phone: +31 (0)20-754 7100

You can respond to this vacancy online via the button below.
Please send your:
–  Resume;
–  Motivation on why you want to join the group (max. 1 page).
It is important to us to know why you want to join our team. This means that we will only consider your application if it entails your motivation letter.

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