Vacancies 83482-2-PhD-positions-Regeneration-of-Diseased-Bone
  • 36 hours a week
  • Temporary
  • 4 years
  • Date of publication: 8 June 2020
  • Deadline: 6 July 2020
  • Scale 10A: min € 2422 - max € 3103 gross per month at full employment (excl. vacation bonus and end of year payments)
  • First interview scheduled: first week of August
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Job description

Infection and cancer often cause severe bone destruction, thereby dramatically reducing a person’s health and quality of life. To treat these degenerative diseases, long-term systemic delivery of antibiotics or chemotherapeutics is still the gold standard. Unfortunately, systemic drug delivery causes severe side effects, whereas the effective drug concentration in diseased bone is often too low to reach an optimal effect. Therefore, biomaterials are increasingly used as carriers for local drug delivery. However, their therapeutic efficacy is poor due to their very invasive clinical application, their poor spatiotemporal control over drug delivery and their inability to deliver drugs directly into the interior of cells.

This project will design a new class of colloidal composite biomaterials which allow for i) minimally invasive delivery, ii) rapid bone regeneration even prior to biomaterial degradation, and iii) effective treatment of defects in infected or cancerous bone. These materials are both porous and self-healing due to their tunable self-assembly from submicron particles. State-of-the-art imaging techniques will be employed to correlate the porous and self-healing nature of colloidal biomaterials with their clinical handling and biological properties. These basic insights will be translated towards biomaterial-based solutions for unmet clinical needs in the treatment of diseased bone.

The PhD positions are funded by a VICI grant “ColBioBone” of the Dutch Science Organization NWO. ColBioBone is actively supported by three companies with ample expertise in biomaterials and bone regeneration. One PhD student (background: biomedical sciences/engineering) will render colloidal composite biomaterials therapeutically active against bone infection through intracellular delivery of  multiple antibacterial agents from colloidal biomaterials. The other PhD student (background: biomedical sciences/engineering) will render colloidal composite biomaterials therapeutically active against bone cancer by facilitating independent control over local codelivery of anticancer drugs from colloidal biomaterials. By the end of the project we aim to have successfully concluded an in vivo proof-of-concept study as basis for further translation and valorization of the obtained results.

Tasks and responsibilities
  • to synthesize and characterize organic and inorganic nanoparticles as building blocks for colloidal biomaterials.
  • to investigate the fundamental relationship between the structure and functional properties of colloidal biomaterials.
  • to investigate interactions between cells and self-healing colloidal biomaterials at a fundamental level.
  • to supervise BSc and MSc students and disseminate the obtained knowledge by scientific publications and presentations at (inter)national conferences.
  • to contribute to translation of basic research towards novel treatments for patients suffering from defects in diseased bone.


  • Candidates should hold a MSc degree in the field of biomedical sciences/engineering (or related fields).
  • Candidates should have experience in at least any two of the following areas: biomaterials, drug delivery, bone cancer and/or bone infection, cell and/or bacterial culture, fluorescence microscopy.
  • We expect a deep scientific curiosity, eagerness to work in a highly collaborative and multidisciplinary research team, strongly developed communication skills, and the ability to take initiative and work independently.


The PhD candidate will be appointed at the department of Dentistry (research group Regenerative Biomaterials, Radboudumc, Nijmegen, The Netherlands) as part of a multidisciplinary team of researchers in- and outside Nijmegen consisting of polymer chemists, pharmacists, materials scientists, biologists, and dental and medical clinicians. 

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
Read what it is like to do a PhD at the Radboud University Medical Center.

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 what our people have to say about it.

Employment 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

This position is open immediately. 

Please send your application with motivation letter, CV, grade list and names of two references indicating your preference for one of the two PhD positions.

All additional information about the vacancy can be obtained from Prof. Dr. Sander Leeuwenburgh, professor Regenerative Biomaterials. Use the Apply button to submit your application. Do not use the mailaddress of Prof. Leeuwenburgh. 

Please apply before 6 July 2020.
Recruitment agencies are asked not to respond to this job posting.

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