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PhD candidate, FHML/NUTRIM – Department of Surgery

Project DescriptionThe human intestine provides an important protective barrier between the body and the outside world. This barrier is severely challenged in …

9 maanden geleden


Robert Schumandomein, Maastricht, Limburg
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 uur
€ 2222 - € 2840 per maand


Project Description

The human intestine provides an important protective barrier between the body and the outside world. This barrier is severely challenged in the devastating condition called intestinal ischemia. Intestinal ischemia has a high morbidity and mortality and often requires a rapid surgical intervention. The diagnosis of intestinal ischemia remains a predicament. The symptoms of intestinal ischemia are diverse and non-specific, whereas current diagnostics are not able to diagnose intestinal ischemia unambiguously. The aim of this project is to markedly improve the diagnosis as well as the treatment of patients suffering from this disease.

At the Department of Surgery, we developed assays for a panel of biomarkers that have the potential to identify patients with intestinal ischemia in an early phase, and to predict the severity of the condition. Early detection will save patients’ lives as they will receive an adequate treatment timelier. The project entails validation of these biomarker assays in an international multicenter clinical trial, in which patients will be included and blood and exhaled air samples will be collected at regular time points and analyzed with both conventional and high-end technology.

The other part of the project will focus on the treatment of the disease. Human mini-guts (organoids) will be generated in vitro and exposed to conditions mimicking ischemia. In these experiments, different treatments that target specific pathways regulating intestinal repair and regeneration will be investigated.

The project combines basic and clinical research and is highly focused on translation science. The acquired data will provide important clinical insights which will advance the diagnosis and treatment of intestinal ischemia. The PhD project requires laboratory, clinical and organizational skills, knowledge of statistical data management, writing scientific papers in English and the ability to work together with medical specialists and other researchers on a regional, national, and international level.

Role Description

The PhD candidate will

- Contribute to every aspect of the project

- Plan, coordinate and perform a clinical multicenter study

- Perform molecular and biochemical lab analyses and accompanying data analyses

- Perform organoid culture from human intestine

- Keeping up with scientific literature

- Supervise students where appropriate

Write high-quality papers and thesis


This PhD studentship for a 1.0 fte position for 4 years is eligible for enthusiastic candidates with a MD degree, who are eager to combine patient-related activities with basal scientific laboratory experiments, and who speak fluent Dutch because of patient involvement.


We offer a full-time position within Maastricht University at the Department of Surgery at the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, School NUTRIM

Temporary employment for 4 years.

Your salary would be € 2.222,- gross per month in the first year up to € 2.840,- gross per month in the fourth year according to the PhD-student salary scale.

Each year an evaluation will take place.

The terms of employment of Maastricht University are set out in the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO). Furthermore, local UM provisions also apply.

For more information look at the website www.maastrichtuniversity.nl , Support/UM employees/Employment conditions.

Additional information

For additional information on this vacancy, contact:

Dr. Kaatje Lenaerts, PhD, Associate Professor at Department of Surgery, email kaatje.lenaerts@maastrichtuniversity.nl,


Dr. Tim Lubbers, MD, PhD, Gastrointestinal and Oncological Surgeon at Department of Surgery, email: tim.lubbers@mumc.nl