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PhD candidate: In vivo magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy

Leiden University, the Faculty of Science and the Leiden Institute of Chemistry are looking for a PhD candidate: In vivo magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy to study the role of default mode activation in Alzheimer’s disease.

9 maanden geleden


Einsteinweg, Leiden, Zuid-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
36 - 38 uur


Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disease and is an increasing health problem in the aging population worldwide. Currently no definitive in vivo biomarker of AD is available and this impedes both clinical diagnosis in human and drug discovery in transgenic animal models. Previous studies including our magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study showed that main disease marker (Aβ protein) depositions occur mainly in default mode areas of the brain. It is not clear why these brain regions are particularly vulnerable to AD. Since these areas are chronically active, it can be hypothesized that prolonged metabolic activation renders the system vulnerable to Alzheimer’s disease. Due to a lack of non-invasive methods, chronic metabolic activation pathways and their association with Aβ deposition in default mode regions have not been studied so far. In this project, we will get direct in vivo access to metabolic pathways in default mode areas of AD mice using novel ultra-high field magnetic resonance microimaging and spectroscopic methods to understand regional differences in AD progression and resolve also gender-related differences. The AIO will optimize and apply ultra-high field in vivo NMR methods at 17.6T for metabolic profiling together with magnetic resonance microimaging for in vivo Aβ plaque visualization, that were originally developed in our group. The results will be validated with HR MAS NMR and immunohistology methods. Identifying crucial changes in chronically active pathways, which coincides with seeding of Aβ deposition in default areas will provide not only the understanding of the mechanism of AD progression, but also provide us early biomarkers of the AD.


  • A motivated and creative candidate with skills in magnetic resonance techniques and interest in biochemistry/neurochemistry;
  • Master’s degree in Chemistry/Biochemistry/Biophysics or equivalent and interest in NMR/MRI;
  • Excellent proficiency in English;
  • Strong knowledge and skills in Magnetic resonance techniques and/or animal research are preferred;
  • Keen interest in carrying out research with creative ideas and able to work independently;
  • Available to start the PhD research ultimately January 2020.


We offer a position for initially one year. After a positive evaluation of the progress of the thesis, personal capabilities and compatibility the appointment will be extended by a further three years. Salary range from €2,325 to €2,972 gross per month (pay scale P in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities).

Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3 %), training and career development and sabbatical leave. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. For international spouses we have set up a dual career programme. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break.

All our PhD students are embedded in the Leiden University Graduate School of Science. Our graduate school offers several PhD training courses at three levels: professional courses, skills training and personal effectiveness. In addition, advanced courses to deepen scientific knowledge are offered by the research school.

Additional information

Leiden University is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from members of underrepresented groups.

Enquiries can be made to: Dr. A. Alia, email: a.alia@chem.leidenuniv.nl. If you have any questions about the procedure, please contact secretary Liesbeth van der Velden, email: veldenevander@lic.leidenuniv.nl.