Universiteit Leiden

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Postdoctoral researcher Organ function on-a-chip

Vacancy number
Academic staff
0,8-1,0 FTE
Internal, External
Publication date
11 September 2018
Closing date
09 October 2018

18 more days to apply

The Faculty of Science, Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research, and TNO are looking for a: Postdoctoral researcher Organ function on-a-chip (0.8-1.0 fte).


Key responsibilities

Organ-on-a-chip is an important animal-free technology to improve the success rate of drug development. Together with partners, TNO is working on the three dimensions of organ function on-a-chip: cell biology, supporting technology and applications. We focus on the application of these advanced in vitro models for pharmaceutical and food industry. More specifically, we are working on liver function-on-a-chip and gut function-on-a-chip, and the interaction between these organs. Within our liver research line, our aim is to develop technology enabling the animal-free study of liver disease mechanisms and apply this technology to investigation of efficacy of different (personalized) health interventions.

In this project, you will further explore the possibilities and limitations of the Organ-on-a-chip technology present at our labs, focusing on the metabolic disease of NASH/fibrosis. The systems are based on human primary hepatocytes and/or iPSC derived hepatocytes. You will focus on establishing a way to address population variability in a preclinical setting using iPSC cells and/or human sera from different individuals and integration of imaging capabilities to monitor and quantify biological disease parameters at the individual cell level. The team you are working in is a highly diverse and enthusiastic team with experts from various angles, including cell biology, physiology, biochemistry, microbiology, toxicology, and related technology (microfluidics, nanomaterials, AFM). Part of the work will take place at the division of Drug Discovery and Safety of the LACDR.

Selection criteria

  • You have a PhD degree in (stem) Cell Biology, Bioengineering, Biomedical Sciences or similar;
  • You have extensive experience with (stem) cell culture, organoid culturing, and cell analysis techniques such as microscopy imaging;
  • Experience in microfluidics and/or systems biology is a plus;
  • You have a proactive, hands-on mentality, can easily integrate in a multidisciplinary team, and you are willing to present the team results at (international) podia and are open to discuss partners’ or clients’ requirements for organ-on-a-chip applications;
  • Fluent English communication skills, both in speaking and writing, are required.

Research at our Faculty and the LACDR

The Faculty of Science is a world-class faculty where staff and students work together in a dynamic international environment. It is a faculty where personal and academic development are top priorities. Our people are committed to expand fundamental knowledge by curiosity and to look beyond the borders of their own discipline; their aim is to benefit science, and to contribute to addressing the major societal challenges of the future.

The research carried out at the Faculty of Science is very diverse, ranging from mathematics, information science, astronomy, physics, chemistry and bio-pharmaceutical sciences to biology and environmental sciences. The research activities are organised in eight institutes. These institutes offer eight bachelors’ and twelve master’s programmes. The faculty has grown strongly in recent years and now has more than 1,300 staff and over 4,000 students. We are located at the heart of Leiden’s Bio Science Park, one of Europe’s biggest science parks, where university and business life come together. 

The Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research (LACDR) is a leading institute dedicated to world-class research and education in drug discovery and development. LACDR comprises a diverse and international team of approximately 150 researchers. The division of Drug Discovery and Safety has six principal investigator that supervise a group of approximately 50 researchers. The division applies high throughput microscopy to quantify the dynamics of cellular (disease) phenotypes in living cells and applying genomics approaches to unravel critical target for further drug discovery. The candidate will be stationed at TNO and partially work at the division of Drug Discovery and Safety.

TNO is an independent research organization whose expertise and research make an important contribution to the competitiveness of companies and organizations, to the economy and to the quality of society as a whole. Innovation with purpose is what TNO stands for. With 3500 people, we develop knowledge not for its own sake but for practical application. The department of Metabolic Health Research consists of approximately 30 persons and forms a close-knit and sociable team. You can find us in the ‘Gaubius’ building, which is part of the lively Leiden Bio Science Park (Leiden, the Netherlands). We place great importance on personal development of our professionals, state-of-the art facilities, high quality of technical performance and animal welfare and all supporting excellent applied science.

Terms and conditions

We offer a fulltime position for one year in a postdoc position at the division of Drug Discovery and Safety of the Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research at Leiden University, with detachment for 80% at TNO Leiden, with the possibility of renewal for an additional six months based on performance. Salary ranges from € 3.173 to € 4.166 gross per month (pay scale 10) in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities).

Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3 %), training and career development and sabbatical leave. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break.


Leiden University is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from members of underrepresented groups.


Enquiries can be made to Professor Bob van de Water, (b.water@lacdr.leidenuniv.nl   +31-71-5276223;); or Dr. Roeland Hanemaaijer, (roeland.hanemaaijer@tno.nl  +31-888666114). If you have any questions about the procedure, please contact the secretariat of the Drug Discovery & Safety Department, Anneke Poels (secretariaattox@lacdr.leidenuniv.nl; +31-71-5276270).


To apply for this vacancy, please send an email no later than 9 October 2018 to Professor Bob van de Water, (b.water@lacdr.leidenuniv.nl) and Anneke Poels (secretariaattox@lacdr.leidenuniv.nl). Please ensure that you upload the following additional documents quoting the vacancy number:

  • motivation letter;
  • Curriculum Vitae;
  • PhD thesis in PDF format;
  • Preferably two reference letters.

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