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Postdoc Parasitology

The Department of Parasitology of the LUMC is looking for a postdoc to supervise research on DNA detection methods for the diagnosis of intestinal nematodes. …

7 maanden geleden


Albinusdreef, Leiden, Zuid-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
36 uur
€ 4361 - € 4361 per maand


The Department of Parasitology of the LUMC is looking for a postdoc to supervise research on DNA detection methods for the diagnosis of intestinal nematodes.

As a postdoc you will work within the diagnostics team of the Leiden Clinical Parasitology Group at the Department of Parasitology of the LUMC. Your position is fully embedded within the described EDCT-STOP project, where it will be your job to assist the introduction of DNA detection methods for the diagnosis of intestinal nematodes at the laboratories of the African partners of the project. You will be responsible for the validation and harmonization of the molecular diagnostic procedures, which will be applied in the clinical trial for monitoring STH following different treatment protocols. Besides providing laboratory training in the use of multiplex real-time PCR, you will guide the quality control procedures. Supervising international students and PhD students is part of the job description, as well as disseminating project outcomes in the form of scientific presentations at international meetings and writing papers for peer-reviewed journals.


We are looking for a graduated PhD in Medical Biology or Biomedical Sciences. You are highly experienced in the area of laboratory diagnostics via DNA detection systems and, in particular, know how to work with in-house multiplex real-time PCRs. Furthermore, you have experience in optimization and validation of diagnostic procedures, preferably within the field of infectious diseases. Specific experience in the field of parasitology is not required. Where possible, you have knowledge of laboratory quality regulations (ISO 15189: 2012), GLP and GRP and also have affinity with applied research. You are experienced in conducting international research, preferably in a low-income country, and you are willing to travel several times a year to one of our partner institutes (Kenya, Mozambique, Ethiopia) for a period of several weeks or months. Knowledge transfer and providing training will be part of your activities. Finally, you are someone who works structured and accurate and has a proactive attitude and likes solving problems. You are fluent in both written and spoken English.


You will be employed on the basis of a 36-hour week. Appointment is for two years. The salary will depend on your qualifications and experience, with a maximum of € 4,361 gross per month based on a full time position (scale 10 of the Collective Labor Agreement for University Hospitals).

Additional information

The project
Soil-transmitted helminths (STH) is a group of intestinal parasites which affects around one billion people, mostly living in poor and remote areas in the tropics. Infection with STH can lead to intestinal symptoms and anemia, and in children to growth retardation. The infection cannot be cleared by the immune system and there is no effective vaccine available. Hence, the importance of using the most effective medication to kill the worms.
Appropriate diagnosis of STH plays a key role in mapping the global distribution of infection and in monitoring the effect of treatment programs. Current diagnostic procedures, i.e. the detection of worm eggs or larvae in stool samples by microscopy examination, lack sensitivity and are highly observer and procedure dependent.
Molecular diagnostic methods, in particular the detection of parasite-specific DNA using real-time PCR, have increasingly displaced classical microscopy. Also in the tropical countries where the STH are common, modern diagnostic laboratory procedures are increasingly used. Further harmonization of these molecular diagnostic tests is essential, specifically when applied in clinical trials to evaluate alternative treatment protocols or new drugs.
Since October 2018 the LUMC Parasitology department participates in an EU-funded research program named EDCTP-STOP in which a clinical trial is to be performed in three African countries to study alternative treatment protocols for STH. The project is a collaboration between eight European and African institutions for a total duration of four years. Within this project we are looking for a postdoc experienced in molecular diagnostic research.

For this vacancy references can be requested.

The initial starting date of the project is April 1st, 2019, but a later starting date is negotiable.