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Maastricht University
Maastricht, Netherlands (on-site)
30+ days ago
Maastricht University
Maastricht, Netherlands (on-site)
30+ days ago


A fully funded postdoctoral position in the field of mass spectrometry imaging is available in the research group of Dr. Sebastiaan Van Nuffel at the Maastricht MultiModal Molecular Imaging (M4i) Institute, embedded in the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences (FHML) at Maastricht University.

Mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) is an exciting technique that is gaining popularity in the fields of biomedicine and medical diagnostics for its ability to chemically image tissues without the use of labels. MSI produces images of the locations of biochemical compounds that can help us understand and even better diagnose diseases such as cancer. Combining MSI with immunohistochemistry (MSI-IHC) is a new and rapidly growing technique that also enables targeted imaging of proteins at high spatial resolutions and can greatly improve the quality of the images; with much higher multiplexing than for example immunofluorescence microscopy [1]. Unfortunately, typical MSI instruments are slow, limiting the throughput and field of view for MSI-IHC experiments. For example, it can take many hours or days to image 1 cm2 of tissue at a high spatial resolution. Last year, researchers at M4i developed fast mass microscopy (FMM), a technique that enables speeding up MSI more than 1,000 times — now experiments that would take a day can be done in a few minutes [2]. The development of FMM poses challenges and opens opportunities for instrument and method development, validation, and optimization. One such opportunity is pairing FMM with IHC, which has not been done yet. With FMM-IHC, researchers could feasibly image hundreds to thousands of tissues in the time it takes to image a single tissue now while providing highly relevant biological information.

This postdoctoral position will focus on the methodological development of MSI-IHC for use in combination with FMM. In particular, the project aims to optimize the tissue sample preparation using metal-labelled antibodies, the instrument parameters for a PHI nanoTOF II Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) instrument as well as data analysis procedures [3]. This position will work within a team of dedicated researchers at the M4i Institute and collaborate with partners at Penn State and ETH Zürich. At M4i, you will have a partner postdoctoral researcher who is dedicated to the further improvement of the FMM instrumentation itself for FMM-IHC. In the second half of the project, you and your partner postdoctoral researcher will collaborate to conduct a large screening of many biological tissue samples to demonstrate and validate the combined FMM-IHC technology. You will present your findings at leading international conferences at least once a year and will publish in peer review journals with open access unlocked for all publications.

The postdoctoral position will be supervised by Dr. Sebastiaan Van Nuffel and co-supervised by Dr. Ian Anthony. The anticipated start date is June 1, 2023, but reasonable accommodations can be made for the right candidate. The funding for this position is provided by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) under the project title “Fast Mass Spectrometry Imaging for Immunohistochemistry”.

[1] Bodenmiller, B. Cell Systems 2016, 2, 225. 10.1016/j.cels.2016.03.008 [2] Körber, A. et al., Anal Chem. 2022, 94, 14652-8. 10.1021/acs.analchem.2c02870 [3] Van Nuffel, S. et al., Anal. Chem. 2020, 92, 12079. 10.1021/acs.analchem.0c0281

More information:



  • A PhD degree in Chemistry, Physics, Materials Science, Chemical Engineering, Biochemistry or a related subject;
  • Lab experience with mass spectrometry imaging (MSI);
  • A publishing record with at least one first-author publication;
  • Proficiency in English (C1 or higher);
  • Capacity to quickly acquire new knowledge and master new skills;
  • Interest in both hands-on research activities and data analysis;
  • Ability to work independently and as a member of a research team;
  • Problem solving skills and creativity.

Preferred (if you have a couple of these, you are more likely to succeed):

  • Lab experience with Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (ToF-SIMS);
  • Lab experience with histological techniques such as immunohistochemistry (IHC);
  • Lab experience with optical microscopy techniques;
  • In-depth knowledge of basic statistics and image data processing.

Desired (not vital, but highly appreciated):

  • Programming skills.

Job Information

  • Job ID: 68106366
  • Workplace Type: On-Site
  • Location:
    Maastricht, Netherlands
  • Company Name For Job: Maastricht University
  • Position Title: Postdoctoral Researcher
  • Industry: Bio-analysis,Elemental Analysis,Lipids,Proteomics,Surface Science
  • Job Function: Post-Doctoral Fellowship
  • Job Type: Full-Time
  • Job Duration: 1-2 Years
  • Min Education: Ph.D.
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