Vacancies 79161-PhD-candidate-Autoimmunity-and-kidney-diseases
  • 36 hours a week
  • Temporary
  • 4 years
  • Date of publication: 11 February 2020
  • Deadline: 10 March 2020
  • Scale 10A: min € 2422 - max € 3103 gross per year at full employment (incl. vacation bonus and end of year payments)
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Job description

Systemic lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is mainly affecting women in their fertile age. SLE is characterized by the presence of autoantibodies against nuclear antigens and can be associated with a severe inflammation of the renal filters, called  lupus nephritis, which may lead to loss of kidney function and eventually death. Up to now no specific treatment exists for SLE and its clinical manifestation lupus nephritis.

We showed that apoptotic microparticles (MPs) and neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) are potent activators of innate and adaptive immune cells, but also endothelial cells. We recently demonstrated that apoptotic MPs and NETs induce MHCII expression on endothelial cells, thereby turning them into antigen presenting cells. Therefore, we hypothesize that antigen presentation by endothelial cells contributes to the pathogenesis of SLE and lupus nephritis.
We will address our hypothesis by using in vitro cultures of endothelial cells and T cells, and advanced experimental animal models for SLE/lupus nephritis, thereby using the whole spectrum of available molecular, cell biological and immunological techniques.

Mechanistic insight into the contribution of endothelial cells as antigen presenting cells in the pathogenesis of SLE and lupus nephritis, ultimately may translate into novel therapeutic strategies for the disease.

Highlights of the current project are:
  • Innovative research question.
  • An excellent and ambitious research team and environment.
  • Translation of basic research into novel therapeutic targets in lupus nephritis.

Tasks and responsibilities
  • Plan, perform, analyze, and discuss experiments.
  • Contribute to scientific publications and present findings at scientific meetings.
  • Work together in a team in a stimulating environment.
  • Complete your project with a PhD thesis.


  • Master in Molecular Life Sciences, Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, or similar.
  • Experience in cell culture, and molecular, cell biological and immunological techniques.
  • Affinity and/or experience in performing animal experiments (Article 9 is preferable).
  • Competencies we value: Enthusiasm, humor, high working standards, independent, team player, well-structured, communicative, reliable, ambition.


The Radboud university medical center (Radboudumc) is a top knowledge center with a strong emphasis on fundamental and translational research. The Department of Nephrology conducts fundamental/translational and clinical research into kidney disease and renal replacement therapies. Fundamental/translational research is aimed at unraveling the molecular and immunological mechanisms underlying glomerular disease and transplant rejection, and is performed in the Nephrology Research Laboratory, part of the Radboudumc Institute for Molecular Life Science, a leading research institute within the domain of molecular mechanisms of disease.

Research Institutes
At the moment there are more than 1,300 PhD candidates at our medical hospital. This number includes PhD candidates on our pay roll as well as external candidates (those employed somewhere else but researching on our premises).
  • Radboud Institute for Health Sciences: ± 700.
  • Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences: ± 400.
  • Donders Center for Medical Neurosciences: ± 200.
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.

Working conditions

Upon commencement of employment we require a certificate of conduct (Verklaring Omtrent het Gedrag, VOG) and there will be, depending on the type of job, 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

Applicants are requested to send a letter of application outlining their specific interest in the position and a curriculum vitae including 2 references.

An assessment by a third party will be part of the selection process.

All additional information about the vacancy can be obtained from Dr. Johan van der Vlag, associate professor in Experimental Nephrology via +31 (0)24 361 65 39 or Cansu Yanginlar, PhD candidate in Nephrology via +31 (0)24 361 46 21. Use the Apply button to submit your application.

Please apply before 10 March 2020.
Recruitment agencies are asked not to respond to this job posting.

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