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PhD candidate for Cardiovascular Diseases - School CARIM - Department of Biochemistry - Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences

The project aims to develop and work on a stem cell-based vessel-on-a-chip model to investigate thrombosis. This will focus on hPSC differentiations towards endothelial and vascular smooth muscle cells, CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing and integration into dynamic flow systems for translational modeling.

ongeveer een maand geleden


Robert Schumandomein, Maastricht, Limburg
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 - 38 uur
€ 2434 - € 3111 per maand


The cause of thrombosis lies within the three pillars based on Virchows’ Triad: vessel, flow, and blood. Traditionally these three pillars are approached separately by research. This project will utilize world leading expertise of these three pillars to combine them into development of a novel stem cell model, Virchows’ Organoid. The project will involve pluripotent stem cell culture, vascular cell differentiation (endothelial and vascular smooth muscle cell), CRISPRCas9 gene editing and flow-mechanics to build a model to study the three pillars of Virchows’ Triad. This interdisciplinary approach will allow novel understanding of coagulation and thrombosis by combining vessel wall (imaging and RNA-sequencing), flow dynamics (platelet flow) and changes to blood protein biochemistry (ELISA) in a single model, termed Virchows’ Organoid.

The successful applicant will be placed in the Department of Biochemistry, CARIM in our newly established pluripotent stem cell facility under guidance of Prof. Leon Schurgers (vessels). The research group is multidisciplinary and collaborates closely with the HeartVascular-Center (HVC) of MUMC+, as well as the Department of Experimental Medicine and Systems Biology (UniKlinikum Aachen) and University California, Irvine (UCI).

Internally within the department of Biochemistry the successful applicant will receive cosupervision from Dr Judith Cosemans (flow) and Dr Henri Spronk (blood biochemistry). Furthermore, the successful applicant will benefit from the friendly and inclusive culture of the laboratory with a highly motivating working environment in the city of Maastricht. There is possibility of international placement to collaborator labs in California (Prof Hughes) or Germany (Prof Kramann) depending on what is suitable for the candidate’s development and interests.


Essential requirements:

  • MSc or equivalent degree in biochemistry, bioinformatics, cell biology, regenerative medicine, or a related discipline;
  • Enthusiasm and curiosity to work on interdisciplinary stem cell projects.

Desired requirements:

  • Prior research experience in wet labs. Knowledge and experience in pluripotent stem cell culture would be advantageous;
  • Familiarity with genetic, molecular and/ or cell biology techniques. Such as western blot, RTqPCR, ELISAs, cloning, mammalian cell culture, microscopy;
  • Experience with programming skills such as R or Python;
  • A strong academic background;
  • Fluency in English language;
  • Excellent communication, written and interpersonal skills;
  • Willingness to work in an international team.


The full-time position is offered for four years (1+3), with a yearly evaluation. Your salary would be € 2.434,- gross per month in the first year up to € 3.111,- gross per month in the fourth year according to the PhD-candidate salary scale. On top of this, there is an 8% holiday and an 8.3% year-end allowance.

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 > About UM > Working at UM.

Additional information

A selection will be made among qualified applicants on the following basis proposed by the Maastricht University:

  • Documented research experience and analytical skills;
  • Documented subject knowledge of relevance to the area of research;
  • Scientific articles and a track record of publications in international peer-reviewed journals;
  • Excellent communication skills;
  • Ability to work both independently and within collaborations, particularly at the interface between different research Schools;
  • Experience and ability to undertake the various teaching activities.

The qualifications of the applicants will be evaluated on an overall basis. Personal suitability is an important criterion.

For more information about this position, please contact:
Leon Schurgers, email: l.schurgers@maastrichtuniversity.nl

To apply at this vacancy, press the button ‘apply now’ to see the application procedure. There you will find all the information about the documents you need to send with your application.