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The PhD candidate will investigate mechanisms involved in the interplay between high cholesterol levels, the immune system and joint destruction in osteoarthritis (OA).
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most prevalent and debilitating joint disease worldwide with no curative treatment. Classically considered as a simple degenerative wear and tear disease, in recent years it has been perceived that both local and systemic inflammation are important for the disease process. OA is clearly linked to atherosclerosis and metabolic syndrome characterized by high cholesterol levels, largely transported in low density lipoprotein (LDL-c) particles. In this project we aim to unravel mechanisms involved in high LDL-c driven joint pathology during inflammatory osteoarthritis.
The PhD candidate will investigate mechanisms involved in the interplay between high cholesterol levels, the immune system and joint destruction in osteoarthritis (OA). Low grade joint inflammation is present in more than 50% of OA patients and recently it was found that high LDL-c levels contribute to macrophage activation within the synovium which coincided with development of joint destruction. Recently PCSK9 has been emerged as a new promising key therapeutic target for hypercholesteremia. PCSK9 is a protease that upon binding to the low density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) causes its internalization and subsequent degradation which leads to strongly elevated LDL-c levels. Inhibition of PCSK9 maintains LDLR expression and strongly lowers LDL-c levels.
The goal of this project which is subsidized by the Dutch Arthritis Foundation is to unravel mechanisms involved in synovial activation and joint pathology in osteoarthritis and to investigate PCSK9 as a novel therapeutic target to combat this crippling disease.
We offer an interesting temporary research position in a dynamic, multidisciplinary and international environment. The work will mainly be performed in the department of Rheumatology in Nijmegen.
We request applicants to send a motivation letter of intent (in pdf) outlining special interest in the position, a CV, list of followed courses and grades, letter of motivation, and preferably a reprint of the Master thesis or any publication in English you have written.
Additional information about the vacancy can be obtained from Dr. Peter van Lent, associate professor Experimental Rheumatology Raboudumc via +31 (24) 361 05 12. Use the Apply button to submit your application.
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A major focus of the department of Rheumatology, a EULAR centre of excellence, at the Radboud University Medical Centre in Nijmegen, is to gain better insight in the pathogenesis of osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Our department contributed significantly (track record of more than 600 publications) to a better understanding of the inflammatory cascade and joint destruction in experimental models of arthritis/osteoarthritis. The research-group of Experimental Rheumatology in Nijmegen has gained a worldwide reputation in basic and clinical rheumatology research. The department takes part in the research program of the Nijmegen Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences (RIMLS). The RIMLS trains students and PhD-students and conducts research in medical research.