• 36 hours a week
  • Temporary
  • 3-4 years
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Job description

This post is available for a fixed term of 3 years (postdoc) or 4 years (PhD) to perform research in relation to Dravet syndrome, also known as severe myoclonic epilepsy of infancy. The research will be based at the Human Genetics department of the Radboud university medical center in close collaboration with the Academic Centre for Epilepsy (ACE) Kempenhaeghe and Maastricht University Medical Center. The aim is to develop an epilepsy ‘brain-on-a-chip’ model that captures the genetic and phenotypic heterogeneity found in Dravet syndrome making use of induced pluripotent stem cells. This brain-on-chip model will be developed as a predictive in vitro platform that can be used for personalized medicine.
 
Our research group at the Radboudumc is renowned for its genetic research in the field of neurodevelopmental disorders. Over the past years we have developed unique knowledge and resources, such human (patient) cell lines, including induced pluripotent stem cells to generate neurons. Here we propose to exploit our knowledge and resources to develop new strategies for intervention in Dravet syndrome in a two tier approach. First, we will model Dravet syndrome by differentiating hIPSCs to neurons on micro-electrode arrays and measure their neuronal network activity, using well-established neurophysiological parameters (synaptic activity, network activity) as readout. Second, we will perform a pharmaceutical screen based on retrospective data available through ACE Kempenhaeghe. 
 
Tasks and responsibilities
  • Responsible for setting up a pharmacological screen, based on the use of human induced pluripotent stem cells grown on micro-electrode arrays;
  • Set up novel neuronal and non-neuronal differentiation protocols;
  • Study the molecular mechanisms of Dravet syndrome caused by atypical Dravet syndrome genes;
  • Designs and performs scientific research;
  • Works in a team with PhD students, scientists and clinicians;
  • Discusses, plans and performs research in a stimulating environment;
  • Works in a highly international research group across two different sites: Radboudumc Nijmegen and ACE Kempenhaeghe.

Profile

  • Postdoc: PhD in molecular life sciences, biology, neurosciences or any related discipline.
  • PhD candidate:  Academic degree (MSc) in molecular life sciences, biomedical sciences, medical biology or a related discipline;
  • Experience with single cell electrophysiology and/or micro-electrode array (MEA) technology;
  • Experience with cell culture of primary neurons, astrocytes and induced pluripotent stem cells;
  • Experience with neuronal differentiation protocols;
  • Experience in molecular methodologies including gene editing;
  • A strong background in molecular and cellular neuroscience;
  • Good command of English;
  • Highly motivated to work in an interdisciplinary environment at the cutting edge of science;
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills are essential;
  • Willingness to work flexibly.

Organization

The research project will be based at the Department of Human genetics and the ACE Kempenhaeghe/Maastricht. We provide a stimulating work environment within a group of enthusiastic clinical and non-clinical researchers with a strong national and international research network. The Department of Human Genetics houses a range of top researchers in the areas of Genetics and Neurosciences. The department has has a strong track record, with recent publications in high-impact journals (Science, Nature, Nature Genetics). The combined infrastructure is state-of-the-art including innovative genetic technologies (Next-Generation Sequencing, etc.), induced pluripotent stem cells (Nijmegen IPS Technology Center) and a wide range of cellular functional assays.

Radboudumc
Radboudumc strives to be a leading developer of sustainable, innovative and affordable healthcare to improve the health and wellbeing of people and society in the Netherlands and beyond. This is the core of our mission: To have a significant impact on healthcare. To get a better picture of what this entails, check out our strategy.

Read more about what it means to work at Radboudumc and how you can do your part.

Employment conditions

  • This position is funded by a ‘ZonMW Topsubisdie’. The position is designed and funded as a 3-4 year full-time position. Intended starting date is July 2018;
  • Salary is € 4216 (Postdoc)/ € 2279 (PhD) gross per month in the first year, plus additional vacation bonus (8% per year) and end of year payments (8.3% per year);
  • Upon commencement of employment we require a certificate of conduct (Verklaring Omtrent het Gedrag, VOG) and there will be a screening based on the provided CV. Radboud university medical center’s HR Department will apply for this certificate on your behalf;
  • Read more about the Radboudumc employment conditions and what our International Office can do for you when moving to the Netherlands.

Comments and contact information

Application
Applicants should send a letter of intent outlining special interest in the position, overall related qualifications, experience and career goals, a curriculum vitae and names and addresses of two professional references.

Information 
All additional information about the vacancy can be obtained from Dr. Nael Nadif Kasri, assistant Professor Donders Institute of Brain, Cognition and Behaviour and the Department of Cognitive Neurosciences, Department of Human Genetics or from Dr. Hans van Bokhoven, full professor Department of Human Genetics. Use the Apply button to submit your application.

This vacancy is open until filled.
Recruitment agencies are asked not to respond to this job posting.

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