PhD student | ‘Genetic skeletal and cardiac muscle disease’
Many individuals are identified as carrier of a pathogenic gene defect (mutation). However, current treatment options for affected individuals are limited. Within the research projects we perform studies in stem cell-derived models and tissue form patient cohorts, to unravel disease mechanisms and test new interventions.
As a PhD student you will work in an internationally orientated research enviroment, where your main tasks and responsabilities are:
Test research hypotheses of the projects on genetic muscle diseases;
Train MSc and BSc students who work with you on your project;
Write and publish the results with the goal to receive your PhD.
We are searching for enthousiastic PhD students with the following characteristics:
MSc degree in Medical Natural Science, Biomedical Science, Medicine, or a related discipline;
Affinity with the fundamental aspects of research and translating these aspects to a clinical setting;
High level of independence and the ability to take ‘ownership’ of the project;
A good command, both spoken and written, of the English language.
Your work environment
You will be part of the PROPER THERAPY team, which involves a collaboration between 4 academic (Amsterdam UMC, Erasmus MC, UMC Maastricht, UMC Utrecht) and 3 industrial (CytoCypher, Ionoptix, InVitroSys GmbH) partners, and aims to build proof that the metabolic state of the heart underlies drug responsiveness in inherited cardiomyopathies. Experts in metabolism team up with experts in physiology to better define the link between contractile function and metabolism of stem cell-derived heart models.
The PROPER-THERAPY team uses hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, caused by mutations in structural (sarcomere) proteins and mitochondrial enzymes, as showcase to create better human heart models. Models will be subjected to metabolic stressors and drugs to showcase the effectiveness of stem cell-based models in patient-specific treatment strategies. Artificial intelligence will be applied to build a high-throughput system for future drug screening. We use our well-phenotyped patient cohorts to select extreme clinical phenotypes (mild versus severe disease) for production of patient-derived cardiomyocytes and a unique set of cardiac tissue samples. The latter patient material is key for the validation of stem cell-derived human cardiac muscles. Freshly cultured multicellular cardiac tissue slices (InVitroSys) from cardiac biopsies that are obtained during open heart surgery represent a unique opportunity to compare patient cardiac tissue with stem cell-derived heart tissues. The current project will shed light on the role of metabolism in maturity of human stem cell-derived heart models, and represents an important stepping stone in achieving our final aim: the application of human heart models for choosing the optimal therapeutic strategy tailored at the individual patient.
Working at Amsterdam UMC means working in an inspiring and professional environment in which developing one`s talents and skills is encouraged. We offer you ample opportunity for development, deepening and broadening, additional training and a place to grow!
Team members PROPER THERAPY: Jolanda van der Velden, Riekelt Houtkooper, Michiel Helmes, Andreas Dendorfer, Daphne Merkus, Magdalena Harakalova, Miranda Nabben, Diederik Kuster, Frank van Steenbeek.
Funding scheme: Human Measurement Models 2.0: for health research on diseases and prevention; NWO Domain Applied and Engineering Sciences (AES), the Association of Collaborating Health Foundations (SGF), ZonMw and Top Sector Life Sciences & Health (LSH; Health~Holland).
Salary Scale PHD: 2495 tot 3196 euro gross when employed full-time (depending on qualifications and experience).
The monthly wage will increase yearly to the maximum salary in the fourth year of 3,196 € gross per month.
In addition, we offer:
– Additional benefits include an 8.3% end-of-year bonus and 8.0% holiday pay.
– The opportunity to follow further training and development.
– Pension is accrued at the ABP. VUmc contributes a large part of the premium (70%).
– In addition to excellent accessibility by public transport, we reimburse 75% of your OV travel costs (commuting costs).
We offer an initial contract for 12 months that will be extended (after evaluation) for another 36 months.
For more information about our employment conditions, please visit our website.
For Dutch citizens it is mandatory to provide a VOG (Verklaring Omtrent Gedrag). Foreign citizens need to provide comparable police clearing certificates.
The preferred starting date is October 1, 2021. This date is negotiable.
Information and application
Don’t hesitate to call us!
If you’re interested about this position, you can contact Jolanda van der Velden, via telephone number 06-53626793.
If you need more information about the application procedure, contact Brend de Jong, corporate recruiter at 020-4448704.
You can apply till 6 September 2021 by using the apply button.
Acquisition based on this vacancy is not appreciated.