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PHD candidate, Mathematical modelling of cellular stress responses

The Faculty of Science and the LACDR are looking for a PHD candidate, Mathematical modelling of cellular stress responses (1.0 FTE).

11 maanden geleden


Begijnhof, Leiden, Zuid-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 uur
€ 2222 - € 2840 per maand


Cellular stress response pathways are activated upon exposure to chemicals and help organisms deal with various molecular dangers (e.g. oxidative stress). When these pathways become hyper-activated an adverse response takes place and cells die, which may lead to organism-level toxicity such as drug-induced liver injury. To improve the prediction of such adversity, we established an imaging platform with which we can follow the chemical-induced temporal activation of various fluorescent reporters that represent different molecular components of cellular stress response pathways at the single cell level. In this PhD project, you will construct mathematical models to describe such dynamic data on stress response activation and onset of adversity. Moreover, crosstalk between different pathways will be investigated in the models based on gene knockdown experiments.


  • Master's degree in a mathematical or computational discipline, preferably in computational biology;
  • Strong interest in or experience with biological questions;
  • Preferably experience with analysis of large (imaging) data sets;
  • Preferably experience with analysis of differential equation models;
  • Proficient in spoken and written English;
  • An independent and creative team player.


We offer a one year position with the possibility of renewal based on need, funding and performance. Salary range from €2,222 to € 2,840gross 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. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break. More at https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/working-at/job-application-procedure-and-employment-conditions.

All our PhD students are embedded in the Leiden University Graduate School of Science www.graduateschools.leidenuniv.nl . 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.

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

Additional information

Enquiries can be made to Dr. Joost Beltman, email j.b.beltman@lacdr.leidenuniv.nl.

More vacancies and Information via https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/vacancies.

To apply for this vacancy, please send no later than 19 January 2018 an email to Anneke Poels at secretariaattox@lacdr.leidenuniv.nl. Please ensure that you upload the following additional documents quoting the vacancy number:

  • CV;
  • A letter of motivation;
  • names of three potential references.


Leiden is a typical university city, hosting the oldest university in the Netherlands (1575). The University permeates the local surroundings; University premises are scattered throughout the city, and the students who live and study in Leiden give the city its relaxed yet vibrant atmosphere.

Leiden University is one of Europe's foremost research universities. This prominent position gives our graduates a leading edge in applying for academic posts and for functions outside academia. More at https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/working-at.

Faculty of Science

The Faculty of Science is a world-class faculty where staff and students work together in a dynamic international environment. It is a faculty where personal and academic development are top priorities. Our people are committed to expand fundamental knowledge by curiosity and to look beyond the borders of their own discipline; their aim is to benefit science, and to make a contribution to addressing the major societal challenges of the future.

The research carried out at the Faculty of Science is very diverse, ranging from mathematics, information science, astronomy, physics, chemistry and bio-pharmaceutical sciences to biology and environmental sciences. The research activities are organized in eight institutes. These institutes offer eight bachelor’s and twelve master’s programmes. The faculty has grown strongly in recent years and now has more than 1,300 staff and almost 4,000 students. We are located at the heart of Leiden’s Bio Science Park, one of Europe’s biggest science parks, where university and business life come together.

The LACDR is a leading institute dedicated to world-class research and education in drug discovery and development. LACDR comprises a diverse and international team of approximately 150 researchers and is ideally located at the Leiden Bio Science Park, the largest life science cluster in The Netherlands. For more information, see https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/science/drug-research.

Within LACDR’s division of Drug Discovery and Safety, we investigate the efficacy and safety of new drugs by applying a combination of imaging and high-throughput screening techniques and computational approaches. The Beltman lab aims for such a highly interdisciplinary approach in which dynamic computational models are applied to biological data in order to obtain a mechanistic understanding of tumour dynamics (e.g., growth and therapy-induced tumor destruction) and of cellular adversity.