Vacancy List Details

Vacancy List Details

Bioinformatician Position

Utrecht, The Netherlands

'Biomarker discovery for HexaBody-DR5/DR5 therapy'

Genmab BV, Utrecht, The Netherlands
The Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI), Amsterdam

Project description

How can we find better treatment strategies for solid cancers? How can we select the patient population or individual patients that will show exquisite response to these treatments? Genmab, an international biotechnology company is currently developing HexaBody®-DR5/DR5, a therapeutic antibody product targeting the DR5 death receptor protein in solid cancers. This agonistic antibody product mimics ligand-induced apoptosis by clustering of DR5. The general aim of this research collaboration is two-fold. First to find molecular biomarkers to identify HexaBody®-DR5/DR5-responsive patients. Second, to understand the mechanism of action of HexaBody®-DR5/DR5. Our strategy is to employ large panels of tumor cell lines and patient-derived xenograft (PDX) tumor models that have been molecularly profiled and screened for response to HexaBody®-DR5/DR5. Specifically, we have whole exome and RNA sequencing data as well as HexaBody®-DR5/DR5 response measurements across tumor cell lines spanning 14 tumor indications and PDX models covering 2 tumor types. To provide more mechanistic insight we also have access to data from functional genetic screens aimed at identifying modulators of HexaBody®-DR5/DR5 response.

Public-private collaboration
Genmab is an international biotechnology company specialized in the generation and development of differentiated antibody therapeutics for the treatment of cancer. DARZALEX® and Arzerra® are two approved drugs that were developed by Genmab. Genmab has a strong commitment to research and innovation with numerous external research collaborations akin to this one. The Computational Cancer Biology (CCB) group led by Lodewyk Wessels, has a strong track record in developing predictors of drug response from cell line panels, especially in collaboration with the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute culminating in the second release of the Genomics of Drug Sensitivity on Cancer (GDSC1000) cell line panel (Iorio et al, Cell, 2016). Together with Genmab, the successful candidate will develop machine learning approaches to integrate the molecular data from the cell lines and PDX models in order to find effective HexaBody®-DR5/DR5 biomarkers and shed light on the mechanisms of response and resistance. The successful candidate will be employed at the NKI but regular visits to and meetings with Genmab will ensure sufficient cohesion and momentum.

Candidate profile
We are seeking a highly motivated bioinformatician with:

  • A degree in bioinformatics, computer science or a related discipline
  • Experience with high-throughput data analysis, especially sequencing data
  • Proficiency in bioinformatics programming languages (e.g. R, Python)
  • Good cross-disciplinary collaborative and communication skills
  • Experience in statistics, machine learning and/or pattern recognition is a plus
  • Experience in cancer biology and clinical applications is a plus

Please send CV and motivation letter to Lodewyk Wessels ( and Jan-Hermen Dannenberg ( Please include the names and contact information of at least two references.

11 December 2017