Universiteit Leiden

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PHD candidate, Computational modelling for drug safety prediction

Omvang (fte)
Intern , Extern
Geplaatst op
18 oktober 2022
19 november 2022 Vacature gesloten

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

PHD candidate, Computational modelling for drug safety prediction

Vacancy number: 22-676

Key responsibilities
Human exposure to new chemicals and drugs can result in adverse outcomes, and we urgently need strategies that can predict such failure. This PhD project is part of the ‘Partnership for the Assessment of Risk from Chemicals’ (PARC; co-funded by the European Union), which aims to contribute to the creation of such predictive approaches.

One of the concepts utilized in PARC will be so-called ‘Adverse Outcome Pathways’ (AOPs), which describes a sequence of molecular and tissue-level events that occur in response to chemicals and for which strong evidence exists. In this PhD project, such AOPs will be described in a quantitative manner that as much as possible take into account the dynamics and dose dependence of the responses. The PhD student will be responsible for construction of mechanistic mathematical models that quantitatively represent such AOPs, applied to the topics of fibrosis, genotoxicity, and endocrine disruption. Experimental data from public resources and acquired within PARC or within collaborating projects that represent ‘key events’ will be integrated into the models. We anticipate that the developed models will play an important future role in risk assessment.

Selection Criteria

  • Either an MSc degree in a mathematical or computational discipline (preferably in computational biology or computational toxicology), with a strong interest in or experience with biological/toxicological questions; or an MSc degree in a biomedical discipline, with computational/mathematical modeling experience (preferably in dynamical modeling approaches).
  • Experience with analysis of data sets (e.g., imaging, gene expression)
  • Proficient in spoken and written English
  • A creative thinker and team player that can work independently

Our organisation
Working at the Faculty of Science means being part of an exciting, dynamic scientific environment which sets high standards for its students and staff. The research carried out at the Faculty of Science is diverse, ranging from computer science, mathematics, astronomy, physics, chemistry and bio-pharmaceutical sciences to biology and environmental sciences.

The faculty has grown strongly in recent years and now has more than 2,300 staff and over 5,000 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. For more information, see https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/science .

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 Pharmacology & Pharmacy, and the research centre Metabolomics and Analytics Centre. 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, one year term position, with the possibility of renewal for an additional maximum of three year based on performance. Salary range from € 2,541.- to € 3,247.- gross per month for PhD (fulltime, pay scale P, depending on experience in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities), or € 2.960,- to € 4,670.- for postdoc (fulltime, scale 10, 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 ( https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/working-at/job-application-procedure-and-employment-conditions ), see the website. 

All our PhD students are embedded in the Leiden University Graduate School of Science www.graduateschools.leidenuniv.nl. 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.

Enquiries can be made to Dr. Joost Beltman (j.b.beltman@lacdr.leidenuniv.nl).

To apply for this vacancy, please send an email to Dr. Joost Beltman (j.b.beltman@lacdr.leidenuniv.nl) and Marjolijn Lugthart (m.j.l.lugthart@lacdr.leidenuniv.nl). Please ensure that you include 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 two persons who can be contacted for reference (and have agreed to be contacted).

Only applications received before 19 November 2022 can be considered.

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