Universiteit Leiden

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PhD candidate Metabolomics of blood vessels-on-a-chip to study diseases

Omvang (fte)
1.0 FTE
Intern, Extern
Geplaatst op
17 december 2018
23 januari 2019

Vacature gesloten

The Faculty of Science and the Division of Systems Biomedicine and Pharmacology at the Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research (LACDR) is looking for a PhD candidate Metabolomics of blood vessels-on-a-chip to study diseases(1.0 FTE).


Key responsibilities

This PhD position is part of the EU-funded Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network (ITN) ‘Molecular logic lab-on-a-vesicle for intracellular diagnostics - Logic Lab’ (www.logiclab-itn.eu). 

The aim of your PhD project is to develop an advanced analytical platform for metabolic characterisation of vascular function of blood vessels-on-a-chip. You will establish miniaturized metabolomic methods and technologies to profile metabolites from in-vitro as well as ex-vivo cell experiments and develop methods for the functional metabolic assessment of endothelial function, which includes oxidative/nitrosative stress, endothelial activation, inflammation and immune function. Blood samples from patients with defined endothelial phenotypes will serve as reference, and blood samples will be perfused through blood vessels-on-a-chip. You will use tracer-based metabolomics technique, and you will aim to study individual cells in your organ-on-a-chip models. To validate results, you will analyse metabolic profiles in combination with other phenotypic readout and omics  and sensors. Finally, you will aim to translate the developed strategies into a diagnostic assay to screen blood samples using metabolomics and blood vessels-on-a-chip. To achieve your goals, you will collaborate with several other PhD students in this ITN program.

Selection criteria

  • Master/Engineering degree in Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biology or Biomedical Engineering preferably with majors in Analytical Chemistry;
  • Interest in the field of metabolomics, pharmacology, microfluidics and chemometrics applied to biological samples is desired;
  • Knowledge in the field of (bio)chemical sensing and endothelial biochemistry are great assets.
  • Good to excellent proficiency in English is required (as proven by IELTS:  6.5 or TOEFL: internet based 90, or equivalent);
  • Ability to work independently in a multidisciplinary environment;
  • Meeting the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Early Stage Researcher eligibility criteria is required. In particular, at the time of appointment candidates must have had less than four years full-time equivalent research experience and must not have already obtained a PhD. Additionally, they must not have resided in The Netherlands for more than 12 months in the three years immediately before the appointment;
  • Planned start date 1st July 2019 (or earlier).

Our organisation

The Faculty of Science is a world-class faculty where staff and students work together in a dynamic international environment. It is a faculty where personal and academic development are top priorities. Our people are committed to expand fundamental knowledge by curiosity and to look beyond the borders of their own discipline; their aim is to benefit science, and to make a contribution to addressing the major societal challenges of the future.
The research carried out at the Faculty of Science is very diverse, ranging from mathematics, information science, astronomy, physics, chemistry and bio-pharmaceutical sciences to biology and environmental sciences. The research activities are organized in eight institutes. These institutes offer eight bachelor’s and twelve master’s programs. The faculty has grown strongly in recent years and now has more than 1,300 staff and almost 4,000 students. We are located at the heart of Leiden’s Bio Science Park, one of Europe’s biggest science parks, where university and business life come together.

The Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research (LACDR) is a leading institute dedicated to world-class research and education in drug discovery and development. LACDR comprises a diverse and international team of approximately 160 researchers and is ideally located at the Leiden Bio Science Park, the largest life science cluster in The Netherlands.

Within the LACDR there is a growing focus on using (translational) metabolomics and patient derived organ-on-a-chip systems in the areas of drug research, translational disease research, systems pharmacology, computational modeling and biostatistics, and integration with epidemiological studies, genetics and clinical studies. You will work closely with the Leiden Centre for Data Science.

The Analytical Biosciences and Metabolomics Group (www.analyticalbiosciences.nl) at the Division of Systems Biomedicine and Pharmacology at the LACDR has a world-leading reputation in the field of metabolomics, and has a track record in developing novel analytical and microfluidic methods.

Terms and conditions

We offer a position for initially one year. After a positive evaluation of the progress of the thesis, personal capabilities and compatibility the appointment will be extended by a further three years. Salary range from €2,266 to €2,897 gross per month (pay scale P in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities). Mobility and family allowances as applicable according to Marie Skłodowska-Curie PhD fellowship scheme for early career researchers.

Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3 %), training and career development and sabbatical leave. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. For international spouses we have set up a dual career program. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break. More at https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/working-at/job-application-procedure-and-employment-conditions.  

All our PhD students are embedded in the Leiden University Graduate School of Science. Our graduate school offers several PhD training courses at three levels: professional courses, skills training and personal effectiveness. In addition, advanced courses to deepen scientific knowledge are offered by the research school. The PhD candidate will benefit from a personal career development plan with targeted training measures and participation in a range of network activities with other Logic Lab consortium partners.


Leiden University is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from members of underrepresented groups.


For more information on this position, please contact Professor Thomas Hankemeier, email hankemeier@lacdr.leidenuniv.nl.
If you have any questions about the procedure, please contact Mrs. Loes Beijersbergen, email l.beijs@lacdr.leidenuniv.nl, telephone +31 71 527 4220.


To apply for this vacancy, please send your application no later than 23 January 2019 by e-mail to Professor Thomas Hankemeier at hankemeier@lacdr.leidenuniv.nl and Dr Amy Harms at a.c.harms@lacdr.leidenuniv.nl. Please ensure that you quote the vacancy number in the subject header and including the following additional documents quoting the vacancy number:
• Application letter;
• CV.

Enquiries from agencies are not appreciated

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