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Research Associate



Utrecht, Netherlands
Posted on Thursday, October 26, 2023
Based in Utrecht, Netherlands, Xilis BV is a biotechnology company developing a precision oncology platform that aims to improve the treatment of (future) cancer patients by assessing drug effects on state-of-the-art patient-derived models. Xilis’ proprietary MicroOrganoSpheres (MOS) are miniature patient tumors that capture its microenvironment and heterogeneity while providing an automated and scalable solution for drug discovery & validation. Using MOS, high-throughput automation, and AI-driven algorithms, we believe MOS technology can enable high-throughput preclinical modeling and clinical patient selection.
Xilis BV is a subsidiary of Xilis Inc. which is based in Durham (North Carolina, USA). Xilis BV currently consists of 6 employees and is poised to grow exponentially in the coming years. As such, we’re looking for a candidate who is eager to work in a dynamic, fast-paced, and rapidly changing environment with a genuine passion for cancer research.
We are looking for a highly motivated and independent Research Associate (RA) to contribute to the laboratory work of Research Projects and help advance and maintain the Xilis’ Data Platform. The RA will process patient samples, and perform MOS drug screens or characterization using methods such as longitudinal image-based readouts and flow cytometry. To maintain BVs platform, the RA will work with our process and software engineers to build, develop, and maintain BVs platform components such as hardware (microscopes and liquid handlers) and software tools that enable our employees to analyze and review generated data. This platform ensures we run and analyze all our experiments in a standardized and module-based manner. In that regard, the RA will be a critical bridge between BV’s scientists and our (US-based) platform team and is required to be tech-savvy (e.g. well-versed in technology and computers).
The candidate we’re looking for holds previous experience with tissue culture of 3D models and primary tissue processing in a company setting (e.g. outside academia). Moreover, the candidate should have a strong affinity with technology and computers. The candidate will have to be able to work on large and complex experiments, has to be able to perform activities for different experiments in parallel, and as such, should present with excellent time-management skills and a high level of independence. In the small team that BV holds, all members hold a critical role and contribute to tasks such as ordering, aliquoting, or maintaining operations. By joining the team at an early stage, the candidate will have an outsized impact on fundamentally advancing precision cancer care therapy. In the next few months and years, the candidate will:


  • Run large and complex experiments in collaboration with Xilis’ Scientists.
  • Contribute to the maintenance and development of the Xilis Platform by working with our engineers on the configuration of our lab hardware.
  • Maintain key laboratory hardware of Xilis BV.
  • Participate in project planning, experimental design, and data analysis.
  • Contribute to document management: write, review, and edit standard operating procedures.
  • Process and maintain primary tissue and established organoids and generate MOS.
  • Operate successfully in a rapidly changing, fast-paced, mission-driven environment.
  • Share thoughts and ideas on how to improve performance in the lab and in the organization as a whole


  • M.S. degree in biological sciences, molecular biology, biomedical engineering, or equivalent.
  • 3+ years of laboratory experience in an academic or industrial setting.
  • Hands-on experience with processing and handling tissue samples and 3D tissue culture is a must.
  • A proven track record of independently and successfully running complex experiments.
  • A willingness to build Xilis BV into a one-of-a-kind biotechnology company, by actively participating in and contributing to improvement of procedures, protocols and meeting structures.
  • An eagerness to learn, improve and contribute to a growing company.
  • A strong sense of commitment, integrity, and ability to approach challenges collaboratively.
  • Experience and interest in a high-growth startup, where communication is key.
Xilis was created when its three founders — an engineer, a physician, and a biologist — decided to come together and commercialize their technology to transform cancer care. We are committed to building a team that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, and skills. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital status, disability, gender identity, or Veteran status. Furthermore, even if your work experience isn't perfectly aligned with what we've described above, if you're excited about what we're building then we want to talk to you!
Xilis offers comprehensive health, vision, dental & retirement plans, and unlimited PTO. We are a remote-friendly team: our headquarters are in Durham, North Carolina, but we have team members across the US (and beyond!).