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PhD candidate in Cellular neuroscience, Medical Biology, Biophysics, Physics – Vrije, Netherlands

The Netherlands

Department of Functional Genomics, part of the Center for Neurogenomics and Cognitive Research in Amsterdam and Human Genetics at the Amsterdam UMC, is seeking a PhD candidate in cellular neuroscience at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU), in the Netherlands – 2022

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General Info

Position: PhD
No. of Positions: 1
Research Field: , ,
Deadline to Apply: Expired
Joining Date: ASAP
Contract Period: 1 Year
Salary: 2,434 to 3,111 Euro/Month

Department of Functional Genomics

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU), the Netherlands


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Qualification Details

  • a master degree in (Medical) Biology, Biophysics or Physics, or similar degree
  • hands-on experience with the methods listed above
  • a strong motivation to pursue a career in science
  • hands-on experience with Matlab or Python is an advantage

Responsibilities/Job Description

Monogenetic neurodevelopmental disorders affect about 1 in 6 children in the EU, for which currently no general effective therapy exists. This project is part of a larger program “BRAINMODEL: Standardized, iPSC-based medicine for immediate application in monogenic neurodevelopmental disorders (mNDDs)”. BRAINMODEL is a multidisciplinary consortium, with partners in Nijmegen, Twente and Rotterdam, in which clinicians, neuroscientists, nanoscientists and patient organizations collaborate. Our goal is to develop new methods to identify biological causes for mNDDs with the aim to develop personalized medicine. For more information on the consortium, see www.brainmodel.nl.

In this particular project, we will use fluorescence imaging and patch-clamp electrophysiology. We study synaptic transmission and neuronal function in networks from inducible pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) derived neurons (in vitro) with mNDD-causing mutations. You specifically investigate cellular and synaptic parameters that affect the balance between excitation and inhibition (E/I) in these networks. One of the leading hypotheses is that E/I balance is disturbed in neurodevelopmental disorders, leading to altered information processing in the brain. Together we will test if and how cellular and synaptic parameters are changed in excitatory/inhibitory networks of these neurons.

You are part of (inter-)national research networks and exploit a variety of other analysis tools available. All the methodology, cell models, equipment, analysis software and viral vectors are available from the start of the project. You are trained on site and in specialized courses on campus. During the PhD you write several scientific publications that will be combined in a PhD thesis. The job offer is for 38 hours a week, with an initial contract for 1 year. If this year is successful, the contract will be extended for three more years.

As a PhD candidate your main tasks and responsibilities are:

  • investigating cellular and synaptic parameters in networks of human neurons from patients with neurodevelopmental disorders, using iPSC technology, genome editing, fluorescence imaging, and patch-clamp electrophysiology
  • publishing analyses in the best peer-reviewed journals and provide progress reports to funding sources
  • contributing to teaching activities, including supervision of BSc and/or MSc students during internships
  • presenting your work to the research community

How to Apply?

Application Method: Online Application
Ref. No.: -

Application Procedure

Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae and cover letter

About the Department/Section/Group

The Faculty of Science inspires researchers and students to find sustainable solutions for complex societal issues. From forest fires to big data, from obesity to medicines and from molecules to the moon: our teaching and research programmes cover the full spectrum of the natural sciences. We share knowledge and experience with leading research institutes and industries, both here in the Netherlands and abroad.

The department of Functional Genomics is part of the Center for Neurogenomics and Cognitive Research in Amsterdam (see www.cncr.nl), and the department of Human Genetics at the Amsterdamumc location VUmc. Our PhD candidates participate in the Neuroscience Graduate School Amsterdam-Rotterdam (see www.ONWAR.nl)

About the Employer:

Note or Other details

A challenging position in a socially involved organization. The salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel and amounts €2,434 (PhD) per month during the first year and increases to €3,111 (PhD) per month during the fourth year, based on a full-time employment. The job profile: is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 1 FTE.

The appointment will initially be for 1 year. After a satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, the contract will be extended for a total duration of 4 years.

Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:

  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • contribution to commuting expenses

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Contact details

Name: dr. Niels Cornelisse
Position: Supervisor, team leader at CNCR
E-mail: [email protected]
Telephone: 020 598 2835

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