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PhD Student Translational bioinformatics en Statistics m/f

PhD Candidate for Leiden University Medical Center.

Would you like to develop new analytical methods and improve our understanding of disease patterns in rheumatology patients?

10 maanden geleden


Landelijk / geen vaste standplaats
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
36 uur
€ 2279 - € 2919 per maand


Would you like to develop new analytical methods and improve our understanding of disease patterns in rheumatology patients? We are looking for a PhD student that can make this happen. The field of rheumatology employs research that is changing the disease course of patients with such complex autoimmune disorders. Will you provide solutions to diagnose patients earlier and more precisely?

You will develop and apply methods to identify homogeneous clusters in the highly variable “big data” from electronic medical records that contain “informative missing data”. Next you will write scientific manuscripts and present you research at international conferences. The combination of this work will get you a PhD title


You hold a MSc degree in Bioinformatics, Statistics, Life Sciences or similar field. Experience with cluster analysis, dimensionality reduction and prediction models is preferred and you must be familiar with a programming language such as R and Python and with basic epidemiologic concepts. Knowledge of genetic association studies, heritability analysis, transcriptomics or natural language processing is favored but not required.You enjoy gaining, combining and translating knowledge from multiple fields and have an optimistic and kind nature.


You will be employed on the basis of a 36-hour week for the duration of the PhD research (four years). Your salary is € 2,279 gross per month in the first year, progressing to € 2,919 gross per month in the fourth year based on a full-time position (scale PhD students of the Collective Labor Agreement for University Hospitals).

The terms of employment offered by the LUMC are highly favorable. For example, you will receive 8% holiday remuneration, a year-end bonus, and a pension arrangement with the National Civil Pension Fund. Also, as employee of one of the University Hospitals in the Netherlands, you can benefit from our collective health insurance policy.

Moreover, the LUMC offers excellent facilities in the area of education, child-care center, and career advice.

Additional information

If you have any questions, or if you want more information about this position, please contact Rachel Knevel M.D. PhD, Senior Researcher, Department of Rheumatology, telephone 071 526 35 98, e-mail r.knevel@lumc.nl.

References can be requested.



The project

Patients that are currently grouped together as having one disease demonstrate a high variety of disease characteristics such as treatment response and disease outcome. It is highly likely that the underlying etiologic mechanisms are different in these patients. Simultaneously, patients with different diagnoses can demonstrate similar features. As long as this heterogeneity within and overlap between rheumatologic diseases exist, finding the causing factors is hard if not impossible.

This project aims to identify homogeneous groups of patients that likely share the same etiologic factors. The results will facilitate trials for new treatment strategies as well as basic research to the etiology of these autoimmune disorders. To enable these aim, we will use codified and free text data from electronical medical records that contain the complete width of codified and written (out-)hospital data.

Working at the LUMC

The LUMC is a center for medical innovation that aims to improve patient care through leading international research. So as to also provide our patients with a safe and friendly environment, we need doctors, medical care specialists, support staff and academic researchers.

The Rheumatology department is a top reference center for patients with acute and chronic joint diseases and autoimmune diseases. The clinical and scientific work of the department is internationally leading. The department is designated as a 'center of excellence' by the European Rheumatology Association (EULAR). You will be part of the Rheumatology department and you are embedded in the computational biology group of the LUMC. The computational biology group consists of scientists experienced in pattern recognition and method development, whose analytical solutions are applied worldwide.