PhD student Immunotherapy

UMC Utrecht

UMC Utrecht

Regio Utrecht
Vaste aanstelling
Niet nader bepaald


The immunotherapy group received 550 k euro from KWF for the use of IgA as new isotype for the treatment of lymphoma and neuroblastoma, in combination with innate checkpoint inhibition. Antibody therapy is a great addition to our arsenal to treat cancer. Very encouraging results are seen, but not all patients respond to this therapy and often relapses occur. Also, sometimes severe side effects are seen. At the moment, all antibody therapeutics are of the IgG isotype. The last 15 years, the Immunotherapy group of Jeanette Leusen explores IgA as a different isotype to treat cancer. IgA recruits a different type of leucocyte, i.e. neutrophils. These white blood cells are very potent in killing cancer cells, and we have evidence this can even further be enhanced with the block of inhibitory receptors on these cells. In lymphoma patients we hope to overcome the resistance we see with the IgG antibodies, and for children with neuroblastoma IgG often leads to severe neuropathic pain, and with IgA we don’t see any of this pain in pre-clinical models. Although at this moment no patients are treated with IgA, with this KWF grant we hope to get closer to the clinic for this application.


The Laboratory for Translational Immunology (LTI) is interested in fundamental immunology, but also in the application of this knowledge in patients. Within the LTI, the immunotherapy group is actively involved in the in vivo studies of therapeutic antibodies using several mouse models. A unique panel of Fc receptor knock-out and transgenic animals has been developed and obtained over the past decades (e.g. Immunity, 2001; Cancer Research 2006, J. Immunol, 2014). Supported by grants from KWF and AICR, the lab has generated and characterized a new transgenic mouse reconstituting FcR expression but incapable of ADCC. Interestingly, in both lymphoid and solid tumor models, therapy with several mAbs was completely abrogated in our ADCC-deficient model (Cancer Research, 2010, J. Immunol, 2014). More important for this project, we strongly believe in IgA as a different isotype of antibody for treatment of both malignant as infectious disease. For this project, we will focus on the combination with neutrophil checkpoint blockade, such as the CD47/SIRPa axis (Nature Medicine, in press).


We are looking for a highly motivated PhD student who can be a strong team player. Curiosity-driven research is a key to bring cancer therapy to the next level.

The maximum salary for this position (100%) is € 2.992,00 gross per month based on full-time employment (work week 36 hours). This job is based on a temporary position for 4 years with a probationary period of 1 year.

In addition, we offer an annual benefit of 8.3%, holiday allowance, travel expenses, career opportunities and personal budget. The terms of employment are in accordance with the Cao University Medical Centers (UMC).

More information

If you have any questions about this vacancy, please contact Mrs.Dr. Jeanette Leusen, Associate Professor via phone contactinformatie (telefoonnummer) 8 or email

Acquisition based on this jobopening is not appreciated.


Meer vacatures in de zorg bekijken?

Direct de laatste relevante vacatures in uw mailbox ontvangen?

Vacature alerts