PhD Candidate Development of Chemical Tools towards Improved Protein Quality Control in Neurodegeneration

You have 34 more days to apply

Do you have a chemistry background and would you like to develop and apply chemical tools in neurodegenerative disorders? And are you interested in being part of a larger national program? Then we would like to meet you!

About your role

We are looking for a PhD candidate that is interested in being part of a larger national program (Nederlandse Wetenschaps Agenda, project CureQ) aimed for a better prediction of disease onset and progression of and developing therapeutic interventions for polyglutamine (polyQ) diseases, in particular Huntington’s disease (HD) and spinocerebellar ataxias -1 and -3. These autosomal dominantly inherited neurodegenerative disorders are caused by a CAG repeat expansion in the disease-related gene, leading to the production of mutant proteins. The garbage collectors of our cells, which clean up these kinds of wrong proteins, do not recognize these proteins because their marking is not correct. As a result, they are not being cleared. This project will focus on the development of chemical tools to identify and manipulate the enzymes involved in quality control to ultimately prevent the formation of toxic aggregates.

About you

• You have obtained your MSc degree in (organic) chemistry or chemical biology (or will do so on very short term);
• You have a keen interest in protein modifications, and experience with, peptide and/or protein chemistry;
• Furthermore, you must be fluent in English, pro-active and performance driven, structured and accurate, and have good communication and writing skills. 
• Lastly, you will work in a multidisciplinary, international and academic setting.


Our offer

Getting better by breaking new ground; that's our mission. This applies not only to healthcare, but also to our employees. In order to be able to continue to learn and develop, we offer internal and external training. You are also entitled to an end-of-year bonus (8,3%), holiday allowance, sports budget and bicycle scheme. In addition you can make use of our pension scheme at ABP, where LUMC pays no less than 70% of your pension premium, causing your net salary to be higher.

See all employment conditions of the LUMC.

About your workplace

You will be embedded in the department Cell and Chemical Biology (CCB) at the LUMC. This offers a perfect environment to conduct the proposed research as it houses excellent facilities for molecular and cell biology, microscopy, organic and protein chemistry and proteomics. You will be embedded in the Chemical Biology and Drug Discovery group under the supervision of Monique Mulder, as part of this collaborative project.

The research group is specialized in the development of novel techniques to profile cellular enzymatic activities associated with ubiquitin and ubiquitin-like proteins. Ubiquitination is best known as a signal for proteasome-mediated protein degradation. Within the Mulder group we are interested to gain a detailed understanding on proteasomal degradation in neurodegenerative disorders by studying and manipulating the enzymes involved in ubiquitination. We use an organic synthesis driven approach in order to gain further understanding of the cellular processes under investigation by preparing small molecule-activity modulators and synthetic protein-  reporters on enzymatic activities by both rational design and by en masse screening of small molecule libraries followed by hit-optimization and subsequent development of research tools.

More information

  • You will be given an employment contract for the production of a PhD thesis for the duration of the program with a maximum of four years. The salary amounts to € 2,789 gross per month in the first year, up to a maximum of € 3,536 in the last year with fulltime employment (scale Pro, CLA UMC).
  • Applications from employment/recruitment agencies will not be considered.