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Postdoc or PhD student – Advanced human iPSC-derived liver test systems for mechanism-based next generation chemical safety assessment.

Vacancy number
Academic staff, PhD positions
Internal , External
Publication date
25 April 2023
Closing date
29 May 2023 Vacancy closed

The Faculty of Science and the Division of Drug Discovery and Safety is looking for a:
Postdoc or PhD student – Advanced human iPSC-derived liver test systems for mechanism-based next generation chemical safety assessment.

Vacancynumber: 23-292

Key responsibilities 
Quantitative evaluation of adverse outcome pathways is a critical next step in chemical safety assessment. These pathways are represented by adaptive stress response pathways that are involved in normal cellular physiology, essentially to protect cells to injurious circumstances; e.g. the KEAP1/NRF2 pathway, the unfolded protein response and the DNA damage response.

Overstimulation or compromised activation may result in limited recovery with cellular demise, e.g. apoptosis, and tissue injury as a key adverse outcome. The goal of the project is to test and utilize multicellular 3D liver test systems based on an existing panel of human iPSC reporter lines for adaptive stress response activation as well as primary human liver cells. The hiPSC reporter cell lines can be differentiated into relevant liver cell lineages and will be applied to quantitatively map the dynamic and tissue-specific activation of adaptive stress response pathways at the cellular level, using automated live cell imaging microscopy. We will also apply high throughput transcriptomics. We aim to establish testing strategies for critical end-points of toxicity.

The candidate will work in the context of the 400 MEuro pan-European PARC project, co-funded (50/50) by the EU, with partners from academia, research organizations, government and small to major industries throughout Europe. The PARC project aims to support EU and national chemical risk assessment and risk management bodies with new data, knowledge, methods, networks and skills to address current, emerging and novel chemical safety challenges. 

Selection Criteria 
•    PhD or MSc in (Bio)-pharmaceutical Sciences, Biomedical Sciences or Biology   
•    enthusiastic and ambitious 
•    independent thinker
•    expertise in (human) induced pluripotent stem cell culture, 3D (liver) test systems, molecular and cell biology, microscopy, cell signaling
•    excellent writing skills
•    interest in bioinformatics
•    team player

Our organization  
Working at the Faculty of Science means being part of an exciting, dynamic scientific environment which sets high standards for its students and staff. The research carried out at the Faculty of Science is diverse, ranging from computer science, mathematics, astronomy, physics, chemistry and bio-pharmaceutical sciences to biology and environmental sciences. 
The faculty has grown strongly in recent years and now has more than 2,300 staff and over 5,000 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. For more information, see: https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/science 

Terms and conditions  
We offer a full-time, 1 year term position, with the possibility of renewal for an additional 3 years based on performance. Salary range from € 2.541,-- to € 3.247,-- gross per month (PhD pay scal P) or from € 2.960,-- to € 4.670,--. gross per month  (pay scale 10, depending on experience), in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. We aim to employ more women in areas where they are underrepresented. Women are therefore especially invited to apply.

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. For more information, see the website: https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/working-at/job-application-procedure-and-employment-conditions

All our PhD students are embedded in the Leiden University Graduate School of Science. Our graduate school offers several PhD training courses at three levels: professional courses, skills training and personal effectiveness. In addition, advanced courses to deepen scientific knowledge are offered by the research school.

Enquiries can be made to Prof. Bob van de Water ( b.water@lacdr.leidenuniv.nl ; +31-71-5276223) and Dr. Marije Niemeijer ( m.c.niemeijer@lacdr.leidenuniv.nl ; +31-71-5275919).

If you have any questions about the procedure, please contact the secretariat of the Division of Drug Discovery & Safety, Marjolijn Lugthart ( m.j.l.lugthart@lacdr.leidenuniv.nl ; +31-71-5276270).

Information about the faculty of science can be found at  https://www.science.leidenuniv.nl/index.php/english/ and about Leiden University at https://www.vacancies.leiden.edu/

To apply for this vacancy, please send an email to Prof. Bob van de Water (b.water@lacdr.leidenuniv.nl), Dr. Marije Niemeijer (m.c.niemeijer@lacdr.leidenuniv.nl), and Marjolijn Lugthart (m.j.l.lugthart@lacdr.leidenuniv.nl). Please ensure that you upload the following additional documents quoting the vacancy number:
-    motivation letter
-    Curriculum Vitae
-    preferably 2 reference letters

Only applications received before 29 May 2023 can be considered.

Interviews will take place on 8 and 9 June 2023.

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