Vacancies 83562-PhD-candidate-Disease-modelling-using-brain-organoids
  • 36 hours a week
  • Temporary
  • 3 years
  • Scale 10A: min € 2422 - max € 3103 gross per month at full employment (excl. vacation bonus and end of year payments)
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Job description

This post is available for a fixed term of 4 years to perform research in relation to Joubert syndrome. Joubert syndrome (JBTS) is a neuronal ciliopathy, characterized by a distinctive brain malformation known as the "molar tooth sign", as well as heterogenous other manifestations both in the brain and other organs. The common mechanism of disease in the brain remains unclear, but is suggested to be loss of neural signalling. We developed an in vitro model to investigate neuronal development, by differentiating hiPSCs into excitatory neurons (iNeurons) and forebrain organoids. ESR8 will use selected JBTS patient-derived hiPSCs from differentially localized modules (RPGRIP1L, ARMC9, and TMEM), as well as isogenic CRIPSR/Cas9-edited lines for neuronal network measurements using microelectrode arrays (MEAs) and investigate early developmental stages in brain organoids. Experiments will use superresolution (STORM) and live cell imaging of JBTS-associated markers, measurements of cilium formation/stability in organoids.

The research will be based at the Human Genetics department of the Radboud University Medical Center and is part a consortium EU ITN SCilS.

Our research group at the Radboud university medical center 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 understanding the function of cilia in Joubert syndrome.

Tasks and responsibilities
  • The PhD student will be responsible for setting up brain organoid model for Joubert syndrome.
  • 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 and is willing to travel to other institutes within Europe.


  • Academic degree (MSc) in molecular life sciences, biomedical sciences or a related discipline. 
  • A strong background in molecular and cellular neuroscience.
  • Experience with cell culture of primary neurons and induced pluripotent stem cells.
  • Highly motivated to work in an interdisciplinary environment at the cutting edge of science.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills are essential, as is a willingness to work flexibly.
Eligibility criteria
  • Applicants should not have resided or performed their main activity in the country of the host institution for more than 12 months in the 3 year period immediately prior to the start date of the fellowship.
  • Applicants should be in the first 4 years (full-time equivalent) of their research careers, including the period of research training, starting at the date of obtaining the degree which would formally entitle them to embark on a doctorate.


The research project will be based at the Department of Human genetics. 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.

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

  • This position is funded by the EU Marie Curie ITN. The position is designed and funded as a 3+1year full-time position.
  • Intended starting date is Sep 2020.
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

  • Details regaring the application can be found on
  • 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. Requiremnest are stipulated on
Applications need to be submitted via the Euraxess application form. Do not use the 'apply to job' button below. 

The position is open until filled.
Recruitment agencies are asked not to respond to this job posting.

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