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PhD student on the improvement of PRRT of NETs by Targeted Alpha/Auger Therapy

  • 15.17.19.TDA
  • 36 hours per week
  • Radiologie en Nucleaire Geneeskunde

Job description

Neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) usually share a common feature related to the overexpression of the somatostatin receptor subtype 2 (sstr2), and it is allowing to target specifically NETs with radiolabeled somatostatin analogs for imaging or therapeutic purposes. Consequently, peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT) of NETs has been successfully applied in patients for more than two decades. However, the overall response rates after treatment are still insufficient and a better treatment is needed. In this project, we are aiming to improve the outcome of sstr2-based PRRT by replacing the conventional β-emitting radionuclide (i.e. 177Lu) with a highly cytotoxic alpha emitter (212Pb) or Auger emitter (195mPt). The PhD candidate will be directly responsible for the synthesis, radiolabeling and in vitro testing of somatostatin analogs for targeted alpha/Auger therapy of NETs. Identified lead compounds will then be evaluated in vivo in preclinical models to visualize tumor lesions and to determine their therapeutic efficacy. If successful, translation to NET patients will be considered.

Work environment

Erasmus MC stands for a healthy population and excellence in healthcare. By conducting groundbreaking work, we aim to push boundaries through leading the way in research, education and healthcare. We have access to the latest equipment and techniques in a state-of-the-art environment.

This position is funded by a regional development plan Kansen voor West, which is aiming at the application of novel radionuclides in medicine. The candidate will be positioned at the Department of Radiology & Nuclear Medicine. Our department is known for its forefront research and its state-of-the-art facilities, such as the Applied Molecular Imaging Erasmus MC (AMIE) platform. The concept of PRRT was introduced in our department and several radiopharmaceuticals were developed and tested from bench to bedside. The candidate will work with the Radiopharmaceutical Chemistry group, which is developing multimodality imaging probes and theranostics, the SPECTRIM group, specialized in Molecular Imaging and Targeted Radiotherapy, and the medical physics group, which has extensive experience in dosimetry studies, multidisciplinary at its best. The candidate will also have to strongly and closely interact with the other research partners of the “Advancing Nuclear Medicine Field Lab” Kansen voor West consortium. Within this consortium small scale production is possible for GMP-grade radiopharma-ceuticals of your lead compound at the translational GMP facility of NRG in Petten, enabling to start early phase clinical testing soon after its discovery.

Qualifications and skills

You are a highly motivated candidate with an university MSc degree. You have received excellent scientific training in the field of Chemistry, Biochemistry, Pharmaceutical Sciences or a related field. Experience with radiolabeling techniques and/or in vitro and in vivo biological studies will be considered an advantage. You have outstanding theoretical and experimental research skills. You are well-organized and result-driven with a strong team spirit. The successful candidate will have strong English language skills (written and oral).

Being able to present a certificate of good conduct, a valid proof of identity, diploma's and/ or relevant registration such as BIG/ RGS are conditions for the appointment.

Terms of employment

You will receive a temporary position for 4 years. The gross monthly salary is € 2.357,- in the 1st year and increases to € 3.020,- in the 4th year (scale OIO). The terms of employment are according to the Collective Bargaining Agreement for Dutch University Medical Centers (CAO UMC). The position is available from May 1st, 2019.

Information and application

For more information about this position, please contact Dr. Mark Konijnenberg, e-mail:, Prof. Dr. Ir. Marion de jong, e-mail: or Dr. Yann Seimbille, e-mail: For queries regarding your application, please contact Jerry Chandansingh, Recruiter, phone number: +31 (0)6 500 310 06.

If you are excited by the thought of this position and would like to apply, please do so by using the application form on our website. Please include the following documents in your application: cover letter (explaining your motivation and suitability for the position), CV/resume (including your final marks, research projects or internships and relevant courses), names and contact details of two references willing to provide a recommendation letter on enquiry.

Selection will be based solely on academic excellence and research potential. Short-listed applicants will be interviewed either in person or via video conference call.

No agencies please.