Marie Skłodowska-Curie PhD Fellowship in Myelodysplastic Syndromes/ Tumor Microenvironment

06/30/21   Germany   Institut for Tumor Biology and Experimental Therap  

Job description

The PhD candidate at Dr. Hind Medyouf´s research lab ( will combine experimental and computational approaches to dissect the cellular crosstalk between niche and haematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPCs) in myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) with the goal to identify niche dependencies that can be exploited for disease interception. The Project will make extensive use of innovative 3D Human Organotypic Marrow Environments (3DHOMEs) to identify modules that promote the fitness and progressive clonal dominance of malignant MDS cells. Results will be confirmed using patient-derived xenograft models and primary patient samples. 

To achieve this the successful candidate will use a large panel of wet lab techniques, including primary cell culture, multiparameter flow cytometry, various imaging platforms, CRISPR/Cas9 mediated genetic engineering and animal work. Additionally, the candidate will exploit single cell RNA sequencing approaches, to carry out a comprehensive and spatially resolved analysis of the composition and priming of both the MDS and the stromal compartment. As such, preference will be given to candidate(s) with experience/background in computational science/bioinformatics. 

To further broaden the expertise of the PhD student and support the project, two secondments of 3 months at GenomeScan B.V. (Leiden, The Netherlands) and 2 months at University of Bergen (Bergen, Norway), will be offered as an integral part of the PhD project.

This project is part of the INTERCEPT-MDS Innovative Training Network, that brings together 10 European public and private institutions in a European network of experts in leukaemia, epigenetics and single-cell approaches. Through a multidisciplinary and multisectoral approach, the INTERCEPT-MDS network will study disease interception in the context of clonal myeloid diseases.please visit for more information about the network. 


We welcome applications from PhD candidates from any country fulfilling the following criteria:

- Eligible candidates must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Germany for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to their recruitment.

- Eligible candidates shall at the date of recruitment (i.e. the starting date indicated in the employment contract/equivalent direct contract) be in the first 4 years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers (from the date when the applicant obtained the degree which would formally entitle him or her to embark on a doctorate).

- Eligible candidates shall not have been awarded a doctoral degree.

- Eligible candidates must have a master’s degree relevant for the chosen position (e.g. Biology, Computational science) or its equivalent that would entitle them to a doctorate by the time they are recruited (July-October 2021), or must hold an official university qualification from a country of the European Higher Education Area with a minimum of 300 ECTs of official university studies. Applications are welcome from candidates who are currently finishing their master studies.

-Successful candidates must have a high level of proficiency in written and spoken English, which will be assessed with the motivation letter and the interview, respectively. 


How to apply

Applications are only accepted via the online application platform at the INTERCEPT-MDS website: Applications must be in English. 

Tentative start of the fellowship: Between July and October 2021