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Cell and Chemical Biology is looking for a PhD student!
As PhD student at the department of Cell and Chemical Biology, you will investigate the mechanisms and functional consequences of post-translational protein modification by SUMO and ubiquitin. These PhD positions are part of a recently awarded Marie Curie ETN project, that aims to train the best European scientists. For more details about this project (including the call), please visit the website Ubicode (link naar www.ubicode.eu).
Post-translational modifications (PTM) by members of the Ubiquitin (Ub) family represent an efficient way to regulate protein function at several levels: to change their localisation, activity, their interaction with partner proteins or their stability at the right time and cellular compartment, according to the cell requirements. Defects in this homeostatic equilibrium result in pathologies such as cancer, neurodegeneration, inflammation or multiple infections. For this reason, this research area has become very attractive for fundamental scientists as well as for the pharmaceutical industry (Pharma) aiming to identify potential targets for therapeutic intervention. Interestingly, Ub and Ub-Like (UbL) proteins can modify themselves, forming intricate and complex chains. This landscape was recently expanded with the discovery of the formation of heterologous chains among UbL molecules including SUMO or NEDD8 but also other PTMs such as phosphorylation, acetylation or ribosylation. This unsuspected complexity of what is now called «The Ubiquitin Code», an unexplored universal language that needs to be deciphered to understand protein homeostasis and its associated pathologies. To crack this complex code requires joint collaborative multidisciplinary efforts at all levels, including the use of distinct molecular systems and model organisms and the latest technological developments to explore chemical, biochemical, molecular, pharmacological and clinical aspects of protein modification by members of the Ub family. UbiCODE represents an unprecedented effort to understand «The Ubiquitin Code» in an integrated manner.
You have obtained a Master in Biomedical Sciences or Chemistry or a related field, and have a strong background in synthesis, protein purification, protein biochemistry and/or molecular biology. You are highly motivated, enthusiastic and creative, as well as proficient and result-driven. Excellent verbal and writing skills are a must. As part of your training, you are prepared to spend several months doing research in labs across Europe.
Furthermore candidates need to fully comply with three eligibility criteria for Marie Skłodowska-Curie Early-Stage Researchers (ESRs). For instance, you should, at the time of recruitment by the LUMC, be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of your research career and you have not been awarded a doctoral degree. In particular, candidates to be appointed must not have resided or carried out their main activity in the Netherlands for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the appointment date. Short stays such as holidays are not taken into account. And they must demonstrate that their ability to understand and express themselves in both written and spoken English is sufficiently high for them to derive the full benefit from the network training.
You will be employed on the basis of a 36-hour week Appointment will lead to a PhD thesis and is for a maximum duration of four years. Your salary depends on your qualifications and experience, with a maximum of € 2,266 gross per month in the first year, progressing to € 2,903 gross per month in the fourth year based on a full-time position (scale for PhD students, Collective Labor Agreement for University Hospitals). In addition, you receive a monthly living and mobility allowance in accordance with the Marie Skłodowska-Curie ITN-standard.
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.
If you have any questions, or if you want more information about this position, please contact prof. Alfred Vertegaal, associate professor at the department of Cell and Chemical Biology, telephone +31 (0)71 526 96 21. Or you may contact prof. Huib Ovaa of the department of Cell and Chemical Biology, telephone +31 (0)71 526 87 21. Both research groups will host one PhD student.
For this job, a motivation letter, CV and at least three references are requested. Giving a presentation and a scientific writing test is part of the application procedure.
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.
At the department of Cell and Chemical Biology a team of professionals investigates the functional regulation of proteins by post-translational modifications, such as SUMOylation, ubiquitylation and phosphorylation. This enables us to enhance our knowledge of the fundamental processes of life on a molecular level and, as a consequence, our understanding of illness-related deregulation of these processes.