Quick facts

    • Delft
  • Full time
  • Recruitment


  • Biochemistry
  • Physics


  • Postdoc
  • Researcher

Apply by: 2022-07-04

Post-Doctoral Researcher on cancer mechanobiology

Published 2022-06-08

We are seeking a highly motivated postdoctoral researcher (2-year position) with an interest in cross-disciplinary research to join our "living soft matter group" at TU Delft.

  1. Are you inspired by the potential to use personalized “tumor-on-a-chip” and biophysical tools for the assessment of cancer?
  2. Are you fascinated by using microfluidics to unravel the mechanism of cancer cell invasion?
  3. Are you passionate to develop a new personalized cancer-on-a-chip for point-of-care cancer diagnostic devices?
  4. Are you eager to work in a high-end collaborative and interdisciplinary research environment related to cancer treatment?
  5. Are you our next ambitious Postdoc in unraveling the mechanisms of cancer invasion?
Metastasis, the spread and invasion of tumor cells into the body’s healthy tissues is responsible for over 90% of cancer-related deaths. The metastatic process requires the coordinated migration of invasive tumor cells into the surrounding complex tumor microenvironment. Unfortunately, the underlying mechanisms behind cancer invasion within the tumor microenvironment remain elusive.  Both biophysical and chemical cues play crucial roles in steering cancer cell migration (via adjusting the direction, speed and migration modes of cancer cells under different physical conditions). Recently, 3D microfluidics models have been developed to recapitulate the complexity of the tumor microenvironment under physiological conditions (close to in vivo conditions).

In this project, you will develop a novel tumor-on-a-chip model to unravel the underlying migration mechanisms adopted by cancer cells in a physiologically relevant microenvironment. You will answer fundamental questions regarding the 1) impact of biophysical and cellular cues on dynamic cancer cell migration, 2) the interaction between tumor cells and tumor microenvironment, including the interplay with cancer-associated fibroblast, and 3) the design of a new generation of 3D microfluidics for cell invasion studies. You will use a range of advanced biophysical tools (e.g. optical tweezers, AFM, confocal microscopy), and microfluidics manufacturing tools to characterize the cancer cell migration under different physiological conditions. The scope of the project will be within the framework of our ERC-COG research project, aiming to understand how different physical and chemical factors regulate cell invasion within a complex tumor microenvironment, with a focus on cancer metastasis. You will have the opportunity to work in a cutting-edge, fast-paced research environment, interact with researchers from many different disciplines, learn about fundamental biophysical and biological processes in solid tumors, and interact with world-class collaborators. This highly interdisciplinary project is a collaboration between the Boukany Lab at the Chemical Engineering Department at TU Delft and Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) and Erasmus University Medical Center (Erasmus MC).

We are looking for candidates that meet the following criteria:
  • PhD degree in Physics, (Bio-)Engineering, Biophysics, Biochemistry, Materials Science or similar;
  • Prior experience with microfluidics, fluorescence imaging, confocal imaging, AFM imaging or mammalian cell culture is highly desirable;
  • Creative, open-minded and proactive;
  • Excellent experimental and analytical skills;
  • Good team player to mentor other students and independent researcher;
  • Good English communication and writing skills.
Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged.

For international applicants we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation. An International Children's Centre offers childcare and there is an international primary school.

Delft University of Technology

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context. At TU Delft we embrace diversity and aim to be as inclusive as possible (see our Code of Conduct). Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale.

Challenge. Change. Impact! 

Faculty Applied Sciences

With more than 1,000 employees, including 135 pioneering principal investigators, as well as a population of about 3,400 passionate students, the Faculty of Applied Sciences is an inspiring scientific ecosystem. Focusing on key enabling technologies, such as quantum- and nanotechnology, photonics, biotechnology, synthetic biology and materials for energy storage and conversion, our faculty aims to provide solutions to important problems of the 21st century. To that end, we train students in broad Bachelor's and specialist Master's programmes with a strong research component. Our scientists conduct ground-breaking fundamental and applied research in the fields of Life and Health Science & Technology, Nanoscience, Chemical Engineering, Radiation Science & Technology, and Engineering Physics. We are also training the next generation of high school teachers and science communicators.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Applied Sciences.

For more information about this vacancy, please contact Dr. Pouyan Bouakny, e-mail: p.e.boukany@tudelft.nl.