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Phd candidate 'Modelling epilepsy using Brain-on-a-chip technology'

The aim is to develop an epilepsy ‘brain-on-a-chip’ model that captures the genetic and phenotypic heterogeneity found in the disease making use of induced pluripotent stem cells. This brain-on-chip model will be developed as a predictive in vitro platform that can be used for personalized medicine.

3 months

Arbeidsvoorwaarden

Standplaats:
Geert Grooteplein Zuid, Nijmegen, Gelderland
Dienstverband:
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
36 uur
Opleidingsniveau:
WO

Functieomschrijving

This post is available for a fixed term of 4 years to perform research in relation to Dravet syndrome, also known as severe myoclonic epilepsy of infancy. The research will be based at the Human Genetics department of Radboud university medical center in close collaboration with the Academic Centre for Epilepsy (ACE) Kempenhaeghe and Maastricht University Medical Center. The aim is to develop an epilepsy ‘brain-on-a-chip’ model that captures the genetic and phenotypic heterogeneity found in the disease making use of induced pluripotent stem cells. This brain-on-chip model will be developed as a predictive in vitro platform that can be used for personalized medicine.

Our research group at the Radboudumc is renowned for its genetic research in the field of neurodevelopmental disorders. Over the past years we have developed unique knowledge and resources, such as human (patient) cell lines, including induced pluripotent stem cells to generate neurons. Here we propose to exploit our knowledge and resources to develop new strategies for intervention in Dravet syndrome. First, we will perform a retrospective meta-analysis of phenotypic characteristics of epilepsy patients. Second we will model Dravet syndrome by differentiating hIPSCs to neurons on micro-electrode arrays and measure their neuronal network activity, using well-established neurophysiological parameters (synaptic activity, network activity) as readout. Finally, we will perform a pharmaceutical screen based on retrospective data available through ACE Kempenhaeghe.

Tasks and responsibilities

  • Responsible for performing a retrospective meta-analysis of phenotypic characteristics of epilepsy patients;
  • Analyze gene expression data from patients and generate new gene expression data from hiPSC derived neurons;
  • Generate genome edited hiPSC lines using CRISPR/Cas9 technology and phenotype these neurons;
  • Designs and performs scientific research;
  • Works in a team with PhD students, scientists and clinicians;
  • Discusses, plans and performs research in a stimulating environment;
  • Works in a highly international research group across two different sites: Radboudumc Nijmegen and ACE Kempenhaeghe.

Functie-eisen

  • Academic degree (MSc) in molecular life sciences, biomedical sciences, medical biology or a related discipline;
  • A strong interest in the clinical aspects of epilepsy;
  • A strong background in molecular and cellular neuroscience;
  • Experience with cell culture of primary neurons and induced pluripotent stem cells;
  • Experience in with genome editing tools such as CRIPSR/Cas9;
  • Good command of Dutch and English;
  • Highly motivated to work in an interdisciplinary environment at the cutting edge of science;
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills are essential;
  • Willingness to work flexibly;
  • You recognise yourself in the Radboud way of working.

Conditions

  • This position is funded by a ‘ZonMW Topsubisdie’. The position is designed and funded as a 4-year full-time position. Intended starting date is July 2018;
  • Salary is € 2279 gross per month (scale 10A) in the first year, plus additional vacation bonus (8% per year) and end of year payments (8.3% per year);
  • Read more about the Radboudumc employment conditions.

Additional information

Application
Applicants should send a letter of intent outlining special interest in the position, overall related qualifications, experience and career goals, a curriculum vitae and names and addresses of two professional references.

Information
All additional information about the vacancy can be obtained from dr. Nael Nadif Kasri, assistant Professor Donders Institute of Brain, Cognition and Behaviour and the Department of Cognitive Neurosciences, Department of Human Genetics or from dr. Hans van Bokhoven, full professor Department of Human Genetics. Use the Apply button to submit your application.

Upon commencement of employment we require a certificate of conduct (Verklaring Omtrent het Gedrag, VOG) and there will be a screening based on the provided CV. Radboud university medical center’s HR Department will apply for this certificate on your behalf.