PhD Candidate Polycystic Kidney Disease

Teaching & research staff

Your position

The department of Human Genetics is looking for a PhD candidate for DRUGtrain: an EU MSCA-funded research training network. The research focuses on unraveling the mechanisms regarding polycystic kidney disease, with the aim to develop therapies. Sounds interesting? Apply for this vacancy!

In short

• You will join DRUGtrain to identify and functionally characterize critical molecular pathways and test potential drug candidates for polycystic kidney disease
• You will be one of nine early stage researchers within the DRUGtrain project
• You hold a master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences, Molecular Biology, Biopharmaceutical Sciences or equivalent

What you do

Polycystic kidney disease is characterized by the formation of many fluid-filled cysts in the kidneys. The number and size of cysts increase over time, finally causing renal failure. The main focus of our research is to unravel the disease mechanism with the aim to develop therapies. To this aim, mouse models, cell lines and organoids are being used with (tissue-specific) disruption of the gene involved, in combination with molecular biological, genetic and drug identification strategies. You will participate in the identification and functional characterization of critical molecular pathways involved in cystic kidney disease, with the goal to identify and validate key molecules and drug candidates. You will apply molecular-biological techniques combined with sequencing and proteomics, bioinformatics, cell biology, microscopic analyses and animal studies. You publish and present scientific articles at international journals conferences, and contribute to educational activities. You will also engage in collaborations with colleagues across domains. DRUGtrain is an EU MSCA-funded research training network that offers a timely paradigm for multidisciplinary research on the improvement of drug repurposing and development of compound strategies, with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) as an example. DRUGtrain offers innovative, multidisciplinary and intersectoral training to nine early stage researchers (ESR), introducing them to the field of drug repurposing and discovery to enhance career perspective in an expanding area that underpins innovative technological development across a range of diverse disciplines. Nine ESR research projects have been defined to address the following key challenges: Identifying potential drug targets and drug candidates for repurposing through innovative bio-informatics and cheminformatics approaches; performing drug tests/drug screenings in advanced in vitro and in vivo models, ultimately leading to the testing of new treatment strategies; and clarifying drug mechanisms, and identifying and reducing adverse events using state-of-the-art technologies from in silico and wet lab methodologies. Six universities, four private sector companies and one non-governmental organization (NGO) will join forces to train a next generation of multidisciplinary researchers in biomedical and (bio)pharmaceutical sciences.

What we ask

You hold a master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences, Molecular Biology, Biopharmaceutical Sciences, or a related field. You have demonstrable experience with molecular and cell biological techniques, lab skills, and you have affinity with bioinformatics. You are a critical thinker, independent and flexible, and able to work in a multidisciplinary team. You are an efficient worker and possess excellent English communication skills (both in writing and speech). Experience with animal research is beneficial. To be eligible for recruitment, you must – at the date of recruitment – be within the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of your research career and not have a doctoral degree. In addition, you must not have resided or carried out your main activity (such as work or studies) in the Netherlands for more than twelve months in the three years immediately before your recruitment date. Holidays are not counted. You may be required to provide documentation proving your eligibility for recruitment.

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 € 2,495 gross per month in the first year, up to € 3,196 in the last year with fulltime employment (scale Pro, CAO UMC).

The DRUGtrain project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement N° 955879. Website:

References may be requested as part of the procedure.

For more information on the research group and on the DRUGtrain project.

Leoni Abendstein

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Your workplace

The Department of Human Genetics is a broadly oriented research department, with a focus on the (epi)genomic contribution to monogenic, multifactorial and acquired diseases, and the translation into clinical relevance. The department consists of 23 research units, embedded in four overarching research lines. The research group ‘Molecular basis of inherited kidney disorders and tissue regeneration’, led by prof. Dorien Peters, encompasses a multidisciplinary state-of-the art program to understand the mechanism and patho-physiology of polycystic kidney disease, aiming to develop therapeutic interventions. This project fits within the Human Genetics research line ‘Functional Genomics of Systemic Disorders' and is embedded in the LUMC Research Theme ‘Cells, tissues and Organs’.

Your career at the LUMC

The LUMC offers opportunities to maintain and develop your knowledge and skills. We offer internal courses and in-service training to help you with your personal development. We also offer services for mobility and career advice.

Contact: prof. dr. Dorien Peters, Human Genetics department
+31 (0) 71 526 9490