Erasmus MC

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Originele vacaturetekst

PhD student molecular embryology, stem cells and single cell analyses

Job description

As a PhD candidate, you conduct original scientific research, report on this research in international publications and presentations, and present the results of the research in a PhD dissertation, to be completed within 4 years. PhD candidates will receive training through advanced courses and other training opportunities, complemented by workshops on research and teaching skills.

The research projects are collaborations between the departments of Cell biology (Dr Derk ten Berge) and of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (Dr. Esther Baart) and are at the cutting edge of molecular embryology, stem cells and single cell analyses. Successful embryo culture is a prerequisite for successful in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatments. Currently, a majority of IVF embryos fail to implant or are lost shortly after implantation, keeping success rates for IVF low. These failures are ascribed to the large incidence of chromosomal abnormalities in IVF embryos, with many embryos displaying chromosomal mosaicism, a mixture of cells with normal and abnormal chromosomal complements. However, some embryos can compensate for such defects and result in healthy live births, and the projects aim to understand how this is accomplished.

Recent discoveries using mouse embryos and stem cell-based embryo models, including by our teams, are revealing interactions between the extraembryonic and embryonic tissues. These interactions impose controls and checkpoints that synchronize the development of these tissues. By characterizing these interactions in pre- and peri-implantation embryos we can establish their functions in embryonic progression to the post-implantation stage. We can then analyse the effects of chromosomal mosaicism on these regulatory interactions.

We will address these questions using embryo models developed from stem cells, novel pluripotent stem cell lines representing the peri-implantation epiblast, and advanced mouse and human stem cell and embryo culture systems. These studies will not only provide insight into human pre- and early post- implantation development, but also into how the embryo compensates for chromosomal mosaicism. It will lead to a better understanding of implantation failure, and new assays to improve embryo selection for IVF. More info can be found here and here.

Work environment

The department of Cell Biology houses innovative technologies and top level facilities to support its research programs, and is embedded in the dynamic, internationally competitive research community of over 40 biomedical research labs within the Erasmus MC. The laboratory for Reproductive Medicine is part of the department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and performs the full spectrum of assisted reproductive technologies with over 1800 IVF/ICSI cycles annually, and offers a dynamic and multidisciplinary working environment.

Qualifications and skills
  • You hold a MSc degree, preferably with a background in cell or developmental biology or biochemistry (if not graduated yet, please indicate the expected graduation date).
  • You have a talent for biomedical laboratory experimentation and pair independent thinking with a collaborative nature.
  • Your have excellent oral and written communication skills and command of the English language.
  • You have or are willing to learn bioinformatics analysis skills, and are willing to obtain certification for designing and performing animal experiments (if not yet in possession).

Before you apply please check our conditions for employment.

Terms of employment

You will receive a temporary position for 4 years. The gross monthly salary is € 2.495,- in the 1st year and increases to € 3.196,- in the 4th year (scale OIO). The terms of employment are according to the Collective Bargaining Agreement for Dutch University Medical Centers (CAO UMC).

Information and application

For more information about this position, please contact Derk ten Berge, associate professor, phone number: +31 (0)10 704 34 52. For queries regarding your application, please contact Jerry Chandansingh, Recruiter, by phone number: +31 (0)6 500 310 06.

If you are excited by the thought of this position and would like to apply, please do so by using the application form on our website.

No agencies please.

36 hours
Type vacature:


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