Universiteit Leiden

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PHD candidate, Mathematical modeling for prediction of liver toxicity

Omvang (fte)
Geplaatst op
27 oktober 2020
16 november 2020 Vacature gesloten

The Faculty of Science and the Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research (LACDR) is looking for a

PhD candidate, Mathematical modeling for prediction of liver toxicity

Project description
Human exposure to new chemicals and drugs can result in liver failure, and we urgently need strategies that can predict such failure. In this PhD project, we aim to achieve this by utilizing mathematical models of cellular networks involved in resolving molecular stress. These models will be combined with physiologically-based pharmacokinetic models that predict concentrations of substances within human livers. The models will be based on and fitted to various experimental data quantifying gene expression (imaging, sequencing) and cellular responses (metabolomics, biochemical measurements), acquired by experimental collaborators in the project. The aim is to deliver a data-driven mechanistic model that describes activity within multiple stress pathways and predicts in vivo adversity of chemicals based on this activity.

Selection criteria

  • Master's degree in a mathematical or computational discipline, preferably in computational biology;
  • Strong interest or experience in biological questions;
  • Experience with analysis of large data sets (imaging, gene expression);
  • Experience with analysis of differential equation models;
  • Proficient in spoken and written English;
  • An independent and creative team player.  

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 organised in eight institutes. These institutes offer eight bachelor’s and twelve master’s programmes. The faculty has grown strongly in recent years and now has more than 2,200 staff and almost 4,200 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 150 researchers. The research conducted at the LACDR is clustered within the divisions of BioTherapeutics, Drug Discovery & Safety and Systems Biomedicine & Pharmacology. The various research topics carried out within these themes are ideal for executing interdisciplinary research from a strong monodisciplinary basis. The Beltman lab (Image-based Computational Biology) is involved in multidisciplinary research at the interface of mathematics, computation and biomedicine. For more information see our website.

Terms and conditions 
We offer a full-time 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 € 2.395,-  to € 3.061,- gross per month (pay scale P, in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities).

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. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break. For more information, see the website.

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.

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

Enquiries can be made to Joost Beltman, email j.b.beltman@lacdr.leidenuniv.nl.

To apply for this vacancy, please send an email to Marjolijn Lugthart, email m.j.l.lugthart@lacdr.leidenuniv.nl. Please ensure that you upload the following additional documents quoting the vacancy number:

  • A detailed curriculum vitae;
  • A cover letter explaining your motivation, background, and qualifications for the position;
  • Copies of diplomas and a list of your courses taken and grades obtained;
  • Contact details of at least three persons who can be contacted for reference (and have agreed to be contacted).

Only applications received no later than 16 November 2020 can be considered.

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