Two PhD Candidates: the Role of Chromatin in DNA Replication Stress at Leiden University Medical Center


The Van Attikum laboratory is searching for two PhD students interested in studying how chromatin functions during the cellular response to DNA replication stress in yeast and human cells. Are you eager to study mechanisms that prevent genome instability and cancer? Do you like to be part of a young and dynamic team? If yes, then please read this vacancy!

Summary of the required skills

  • You received your MSc in molecular biology or a related field
  • You have hands-on experience in standard molecular biology techniques
  • You are highly motivated to study chromatin function in DNA replication and genome stability maintenance
  • You have experience with yeast and/or human cell models
  • You have an organized and independent work style and possess excellent communication skills

What are you going to do?

As a PhD student you will study the role of chromatin in the cellular response to DNA replication stress. For this, you will perform CRISPR-Cas9 and proteomics screens in combination with bioinformatics, super/high resolution microscopy, and state-of-the-art genomics and molecular biology techniques.

Your workplace

The Department of Human Genetics is a broadly-oriented research department focusing on the genetic aspects of monogenic, multifactorial and acquired diseases, and the translation into clinical relevance. The department consists of 22 research units, embedded in four overarching research themes. You will work in the research group led by Prof. dr. Haico van Attikum, which is embedded in the research theme ‘Genome instability and cancer’. Research in his group aims at elucidating the fundamental mechanisms of DNA damage repair in the context of chromatin to better understand how defects in DNA damage repair underlie cancer development and can serve as a target for cancer therapy.

Your career at the LUMC

The LUMC facilitates the education and development of the employee with a number of tools including internal as well as external courses. Personal development is supported with mobility and career advice.

What we ask?

You are an enthusiastic and driven person who likes to work in a young and dynamic team, unravelling fundamental and mechanistic research questions related to genome stability maintenance and cancer. You have hands-on experience in common molecular biology tools (yeast and/or mammalian cell culture, molecular cloning, western blotting, co-immunoprecipitation, fluorescent microscopy and flow cytometry). Experience with CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome editing, mass spectrometry and/or bioinformatics is an advantage, but not a requirement. You are organized, accurate and able to work independently, as well as within a team. You have a flexible attitude, possess excellent communication skills and are fluent in written and spoken English.

More information

You will be employed on the basis of a 36-hour week. Appointment is for a maximum of four years (upon positive evaluation after year one), to be completed with a doctoral thesis. Your salary is a maximum of € 2.357,- gross per month in the first year, amounting to a maximum of € 3.020,- in the final year (scale Pro, CLA UMC).

Two references are requested and you will be asked to give a presentation as part of the application procedure.

PhD students will enrol in the graduate school of the LUMC.

Read more about the research group of Prof. dr. Haico van Attikum.

Find publications of the research group of Prof. dr. Haico van Attikum.

Read more about the research theme ‘Genome instability and cancer


If you have any questions, or if you want more information about this position, please contact Prof. dr. Haico van Attikum, professor, Department of Human Genetics, telephone +31-71-5269624, email:

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