UMC Utrecht

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Originele vacaturetekst


Our research focusses on identifying neuro-immune regulatory mechanisms in chronic pain that we aim to translate into new therapies. We have elucidated that cytokines, molecules well-known for their role in the immune system, effectively regulate neuronal feedback circuits that shut down pain. Based on these insights we have developed a novel technology to fuse endogenous anti-inflammatory cytokines to treat chronic pain. To further the concept of using fusion proteins, we are currently expanding our efforts to develop and modify new fusion proteins of regulatory cytokines to treat chronic pain. You will be working in a team in this NWO-funded project, with a specifc focus on the design, production and purification of new fusion proteins. You will design experiment to understand their working mechanisms in vitro. Moreover, you will manipulate these fusion proteins to selectively target specific receptor chains to improve biological functions. For this, you will work independently and collaborate with multiple scientists in our team. Experience with molecular biology and techniques and in vitro cell cultures is a pre-requisite. Experience in protein expression and purification and an interest in neuro-immunology is a strong advantage.


The laboratory for neuro-immunology of pain of the Eijkelkamp group is hosted in the in the Center of Translational Immunology (CTI) at the UMC Utrecht. The group of Eijkelkamp is composed of an international team of 12 researchers that are actively collaborating on projects to better understand chronic pain and develop novel therapeutic strategies to kill pain and inflammation. Check us out at We are interested in the mechanisms of chronic pain, and specifically in the biology of cytokines in pain regulation and how we can use these cytokines in treating chronic pain. Therefore, we perform basic and translational studies in vitro and in vivo with the aim to translate our findings into the clinics. We intensively collaborate with the UMCU spinoff Synerkine Pharma in the clinical development of fusion protein. The CTI is a well-facilitated department with experts in all fields of immunology, and is embedded in the focus area ‘Infection and Immunology’ of the UMC Utrecht. We are structured to facilitate bench-to-bed side research. We have a state-of-the-art flow cytometry, imaging and antibody development facility and ample experience in protein production though our protein facility.


We are looking for talented, highly motivated postdoctoral candidates with a PhD degree in biomedical sciences that wants to make an impact on chronic pain. You have excellent experimental skills and preferably experience in molecular biology, protein development and purification, cell culture, and flow cytometry. You should have good communication skills and organizational talent. The candidate should be able to acquire additional research funds, be flexible, versatile and a good team player. Affinity with neuro-immunology is preferred as well as the willingness and certification to perform animal experiments.

The maximum salary for this position (80%) is € 4.481,00 gross per month based on full-time employment (work week 36 hours). This job is based on a temporary position for one year, with a possible extension of up to three years.

In addition, we offer an annual benefit of 8.3%, holiday allowance, travel expenses and career opportunities. The terms of employment are in accordance with the Cao University Medical Centers (UMC).


The project starts in July-September 2020. Your application should include a motivation letter, a CV, and a brief description of past research experience If you have any questions about this vacancy, please contact Niels Eijkelkamp, PhD; phone number: 0887554354; e mail address: Given the developments surrounding the COVID-19 virus and the efforts that this requires from UMC Utrecht, it may take a little longer before you receive a response to your application. It is also possible that our job interviews do not take place at UMC Utrecht, but that we conduct them online. We apologize for this and thank you for your understanding.

More information

If you have any questions about this vacancy, please contact Mr.N.Eijkelkamp, Associate Professor, phone number: 088 75 543 59, e?‘mail adress:

Acquisition based on this jobopening is not appreciated.


Scholing: University