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PhD Candidate ‘Dietary prevention of vascular calcification’

We are looking for a PhD Candidate 'Dietary prevention of vascular calcification'. The aim of this project is to determine which nutrients can prevent CPP …

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Geert Grooteplein Zuid, Nijmegen, Gelderland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
36 - 36 uur
€ 2495 - € 3196 per maand


We are looking for a PhD Candidate 'Dietary prevention of vascular calcification'. The aim of this project is to determine which nutrients can prevent CPP formation and thereby contribute to the early prevention of vascular calcification. Rather than only screening of nutrients, we aim to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying vascular calcification.

Cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of death in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), accounting for 40-50% of all deaths in stages 4-5. CKD represents an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease, in addition to traditional risk factors as smoking and hypertension. As early as CKD stage 3, the risk of cardiovascular disease is 2-fold higher than in individuals with a normal kidney function.

Vascular calcification has been demonstrated to be a major contributor to cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in CKD. Our research demonstrates that formation of vascular calcification can be prevented, but is difficult to treat once in place. Prevention of vascular calcification may reduce cardiovascular complications in CKD.

Over the last decade, research into the pathogenesis of vascular calcification has demonstrated that circulating calcium-phosphate-particles (CPPs) play an essential role in the onset of the disease.

In this project, you will:
  • Examine ex vivo human CPP formation and maturation, using X-ray diffraction, nano-tracking analysis and electron microscopy.
  • Perform in vitro experiments to test the effects of nutrient on endothelial cells and vascular smooth muscle cells.
  • Test the effects of an anti-calcification diet in a rat model of chronic kidney disease.
  • By examining the effects of nutrients on CPP formation and vascular calcification, we will develop dietary strategies that contribute to early prevention of cardiovascular mortality and morbidity in patients with early CKD.
Tasks and responsibilities
  • Design and perform scientific research in the area of cell biology, biochemistry and physiology.
  • Generate and analyse the data in order to contribute to scientific publications and presents findings at scientific meetings.
  • Work in a team with other students and scientists to discuss, plan and perform research in a stimulating environment.
  • Work in an international research group with fellows from many countries.
  • Complete the project with a scientific dissertation.


You have strong motivation to succeed in scientific research. You have well-developed social skills directed to work in a team. You also have an independent and well-structured working style.


  • MSc in (Medical) Biology, Biomedical Sciences or Medicine.
  • Experience with (bio)medical research and molecular level of thinking.
  • Article 9 Certificate for animal experiments.


working at Radboud university medical center means that you are ahead of the curve and working together on the healthcare of the future. And there is more. Our secondary terms of employment are impressive. These are fully tailored to you thanks to our Employment Conditions Selection Model. At Radboud university medical center, you will be given trust, and you will take the responsibility to handle everything together. We provide annual courses, both professional and personal.
  • In addition to your monthly salary and an annual vacation allowance of 8%, you will receive an end-of-year bonus of 8.3%.
  • If you work irregular hours, you will receive an allowance.
  • As a full-time employee (36 hours per week), you are entitled to approximately 168 vacation hours (over 23 days) per year.
  • Radboud university medical center pays 70% of the pension premium. You pay the rest of the premium with your gross salary.
  • You get a discount on health insurance as well: you can take advantage of two group health insurance plans. UMC Zorgverzekering and CZ collectief.
In addition to our terms of employment, we also offer employees various other attractive facilities, such as childcare and sports facilities. Want to learn more? Take a look at the Cao UMC.

Additional information

All additional information about the vacancy can be obtained from Dr. Jeroen de Baaij, associate professor Fysiologie via +31 (0) 24-3617347. Use the Apply button to submit your application.