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Postdoc in Lung Regeneration

The University of Groningen, Aston University (Birmingham, UK), the Leiden University Medical Center, and the University of Twente have 2 post-doc positions (1.0 FTE) available on a joint consortium project to investigate new mechanisms of lung repair focusing on the role of the endothelial cell.

21 dagen geleden

Arbeidsvoorwaarden

Standplaats:
Albinusdreef, Leiden, Zuid-Holland
Dienstverband:
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
36 uur
Salarisindicatie:
€ 4481 per maand
Opleidingsniveau:
Postdoctoraal

Functieomschrijving

The appointment of Post-doc position 1 will be shared by the University of Groningen and Aston University. You will spend around 50% of your time at both these institutions. You will work on the role of the endothelial cell in instructing alveolar epithelial cells and in instructing pericytes. The aim will be to unravel mechanisms of cell-cell communication that will be evaluated as potential drug targets. The candidate for postdoc position 2 will have a primary affiliation with the Leiden University Medical Center and will work closely with the University of Twente through recurring research stays of multiple weeks. You will work on the role of the endothelial cell in instructing alveolar epithelial cells using new technologies including induced pluripotent stem cells and microfluidic vessel-on-a-chip models. The aim will be to unravel mechanisms of cell-cell communication that will be evaluated as potential drug targets.

Functie-eisen

You have a PhD degree (Medical) Biology, Pharmacology, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Medicine, Biomedical Engineering, Life Science and Technology, or a related area. Experience with endothelial cell biology and 3D organoid cultures is desirable for postdoc position 1. Experience with induced pluripotent stem cells, organ-on-chip models and 3D organoid cultures is desirable for postdoc position 2. You also have demonstrable (publications) experience in pulmonary or vascular cell biology. Furthermore, you have good knowledge of written and spoken English and enthusiasm for biomedical and pharmaceutical research in an interdisciplinary setting. One of the specific requirements for this position is mobility between two different sites. Although appointment of postdoc 1 is at the University of Groningen, the position is a formal collaboration between the University of Groningen (Prof. Reinoud Gosens, Prof. dr. Marco Harmsen) and Aston University (Dr Jill Johnson). Although appointment of postdoc 2 is at the Leiden University Medical Center, the position is a formal collaboration between the Leiden University Medical Center (Prof. Pieter Hiemstra) and the University of Twente (Dr Andries van der Meer).

Conditions

You will be employed on the basis of a 36-hour week. You will be appointed for 1,5 years, with the possibility of an extension to 3,5 years. The salary will depend on your qualifications and experience, with a maximum of € 4,481 gross per month based on a full time position (scale 10 of the Collective Labor Agreement for University Hospitals).

The preferred starting dates will be 1 January 2020.

 

Additional information

Project information

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is among the commonest lung diseases in the world, characterized by a progressive loss of lung function that is not fully reversible. Destruction of functional gas exchange units (alveoli) in the distal lung leads to emphysema; this is a pathological feature of a subgroup of COPD patients, contributing to impaired lung function, reduced quality of life and mortality. Prevention of further lung damage and innovative treatments aimed at lung repair in COPD are major unmet needs.

A gas exchange unit is composed of the alveolar epithelium and microvascular endothelium, separated by a thin layer of extracellular matrix. Injury to these units leads to emphysema. Paradoxically, whereas the functional role of the alveolar epithelial progenitor in lung repair is increasingly recognized, pulmonary microvascular injury and regeneration in COPD has been poorly investigated. Yet, prevention of lung damage and restoration of function will only be possible if both sides of the gas exchange unit are adequately nurtured towards repair. Crucially, microvascular endothelial cells are increasingly recognized as drivers rather than bystanders in emphysema development.

Here, we propose that pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells are a primary orchestrator of lung repair. Therefore, as a consortium of stem cell biologists, pharmacologists, biomedical technologists with expertise in alveolar epithelial repair, vascular endothelial regeneration and human disease model technology, together with patients we have set out to 1) dissect inflammation-induced endothelial dysfunction 2) characterize molecular endothelial cell defects in COPD and 3) provide proof-of-concept that endothelial targeting restores the alveolar microvasculature.

This consortium will deliver new knowledge in the area of lung repair, focusing on the instructive role of the endothelial cell. As the endothelial cell is easily targetable with cell therapy and drugs, we anticipate that this will yield innovative yet relatively straightforward views on how tissue damage in COPD can be prevented and treated.

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