PhD candidate ‘The Missing Link between Type 2 Diabetes and disturbed Mg2+ homeostasis’

In this PhD project we aim to investigate role of low Mg2+ levels in lipid metabolism. The project ranges from molecule-to-man and includes the elucidation of the molecular function of ARL15, as well as, testing ...

11 dagen geleden


Landelijk / geen vaste standplaats
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
36 uur


Globally, over 400 million people suffer from type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and the prevalence is predicted to rise rapidly over the next decade. It has long been recognized that diabetes mellitus is associated with decreased plasma Mg2+ levels (plasma Mg2+ <0.7 mmol/L), which we recently investigated by showing low plasma Mg2+ levels in 30% of the patients with T2DM.

Hypomagnesemia is relevant as it increases progression from prediabetes to overt diabetes and associated with insulin resistance. Moreover, some studies have shown that oral Mg2+ supplementation may reduce progression towards diabetes and improve insulin sensitivity and the blood lipid profile. These findings and the strong association of plasma triglycerides with plasma Mg2+ levels, suggest that Mg2+ homeostasis and lipid metabolism are closely related.

Recently, we identified the first genetic link between fat metabolism and Mg2+ homeostasis. In a genome-wide association studies the ARL15 locus was associated with urinary Mg2+ levels, adiponectin levels, HDL and T2DM. Interestingly, in our study the ARL15 locus modified the association between Mg2+ and insulin resistance, suggesting that ARL15 contributes to the beneficial effects of Mg2+ in T2DM.

In this PhD project we aim to investigate role of low Mg2+ levels in lipid metabolism. The project ranges from molecule-to-man and includes the elucidation of the molecular function of ARL15, as well as, testing Mg2+ supplementation in human intervention studies. You will be employed by the Department of Physiology of the Radboudumc, Nijmegen. The project is funded by the Dutch Diabetes Research Foundation and will be executed in close collaboration with the department of Internal Medicine.


  • MSc in (Medical) Biology, Biomedical Sciences or Medicine;
  • Independent and well-structured working style;
  • Strong motivation to succeed in scientific research;
  • Well-developed social skills directed to work in a team;
  • Experience with (bio)medical research and molecular level of thinking;
  • Preferentially permitted to work with animals (art. 9);
  • You recognise yourself in the Radboud way of working.

Tasks and responsibilities
The PhD candidate:

  • Will design and perform scientific research in the area of metabolism and physiology;
  • Generates and analyses the data in order to contribute to scientific publications and presents findings at scientific meetings;
  • Works in a team with other students and scientists to discuss, plans and performs research in a stimulating environment;
  • Works in a highly international research group with fellows from many countries;
  • Completes the project with a scientific dissertation.


The salary will be in scale 10 or scale 10A Cao umc depending on education. Scale 10A: max € 40814 gross per year at full employment (incl. vacation bonus and end of year payments) or scale 10: max € 44687 gross per year at full employment (incl. vacation bonus and end of year payments).

Read more about the Radboudumc employment conditions.

Additional information

All additional information about the vacancy can be obtained from Dr. Jeroen de Baaij, +31 (0)24 - 361 40 20. Use the Apply button to submit your 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 professional references.

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.


Radboudumc strives to be a leading developer of sustainable, innovative and affordable healthcare to improve the health and wellbeing of people and society in the Netherlands and beyond. This is the core of our mission: To have a significant impact on healthcare. To get a better picture of what this entails, check out our strategy film.

Our key strength is medical life-sciences and clinical practice, with an impressive infrastructure comprising state-of-the-art technology platforms and (translational) research facilities. The Radboudumc is therefore uniquely positioned in the emerging Euregio and Dutch healthcare infrastructure to play a leading role in the new healthcare paradigm of prediction, prevention and personalised medicine.

The Radboudumc focuses on scientific health challenges of today, with an eye on emerging diseases of the future.

Read more about what it means to work at Radboudumc and how you can do your part.

The department of Physiology provides an international and stimulating working environment for its 50 employees and is an exciting place to perform basic research, translational and clinical medicine, and enjoy teaching. The department encompasses complementary research groups whose interests range from cardiovascular disease, molecular regulation of ion transport processes in the kidney to the study of metabolism in the body. Working collaboratively within the department, we use our expertise to investigate how molecules, cells, organisms and humans function and how we might modulate their physiology to ultimately improve health in the patient.

This project will be executed in the Ion Transport group and is part of the Renal Theme within Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences (RIMLS), a leading multidisciplinary graduate school within the domain of molecular mechanisms of disease and particularly in the fields of molecular medicine, cell biology and translational research.


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