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PhD position on organoid engineering at MERLN Institute, Maastricht University, The Netherlands

Many vertebrate cells, including induced pluripotent stem cells, demonstrate an impressive self-organizing capacity when cultured in a three-dimensional (3D) context. Their capability to form complex, organ-like structures, so-called ‘organoids’, holds the potential to mimic embryonic ...

10 maanden geleden


Landelijk / geen vaste standplaats
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
36 - 40 uur
€ 2222 - € 2840 per maand


Many vertebrate cells, including induced pluripotent stem cells, demonstrate an impressive self-organizing capacity when cultured in a three-dimensional (3D) context. Their capability to form complex, organ-like structures, so-called ‘organoids’, holds the potential to mimic embryonic development and organogenesis in a dish. Although the potential of such systems is undisputed, the structures that are formed only partly resemble natural tissue architecture, still lack maturity and are characterized by largely random arrangement, heterogeneity and low reproducibility.

To develop and establish advanced protocols for a more reliable formation of organoids with fully controlled polarity, orientation and architecture, we are looking for a candidate with a solid background in (stem) cell biology, developmental biology or similar who is interested in cross-disciplinary projects. The development of new protocols for the formation of organoids will take advantage of versatile 3D microfluidic platforms exclusively developed in our research group. The position at the Department of Complex Tissue Regeneration will be integrated in an international and multidisciplinary team consisting of biologists, bioengineers, chemical engineers and engineers.

The fully funded project primarily aims at controlling de novo organoid formation with increased architectural complexity and improved maturity within and through spatiotemporally determined (bio)artificial microenvironments, and micro- and nanoengineered stem cell niches. Besides using our innovative 3D cell culture platforms, the candidate will employ advanced biomolecular techniques, including transcriptomics (microarrays), forward/reverse genetic approaches (CRISPR/CAS9) and CHIPseq, to further elucidate and manipulate mechanisms of pattern formation in the above multicellular systems guided by genetic and epigenetic information. Embedded in the completely new research infrastructure of our MERLN Institute for Technology-Inspired Regenerative Medicine, the candidate will apply 3D live cell imaging/high-content imaging and bioinformatics techniques to decipher the choreography of cell proliferation, migration, differentiation and death by means of 3D cell tracking and fate mapping.


Start of the project: as soon as possible

We invite candidates with a university degree in (stem) cell biology, developmental biology, or similar who is interested to work in a highly international, collaborative and interdisciplinary team of scientists and engineers. Very good command of English language is essential. Very good command of (scientific) English in listening, speaking and writing is essential. Our potential new colleague should have outstanding theoretical and experimental research skills, be highly motivated and ambitioned, and have a strong team spirit.


The full-time position is offered for four years (1+3 y.), with a yearly evaluation. Your salary would be €2.222,- gross per month in the first year and up to €2.840,- 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-NU). Furthermore, local UM provisions also apply. For more information, see www.maastrichtuniversity.nl > Support > UM employees.

Additional information

Informal enquiries concerning the above position can be directed to Stefan Giselbrecht, stefan.giselbrecht@maastrichtuniversity.nl, and Roman Truckenmüller, r.truckenmuller@maastrichtuniversity.nl.

Interested applicants are invited to directly send their application by email including following documents (with the exception of the thesis, all documents preferably contained in a single PDF document):

– a detailed curriculum vitae,

– an electronic copy of the final year thesis (if already completed),

– a list of taken courses (including short descriptions) and achieved marks (a transcript of records),

– a list of publications (if available),

– contact details of a senior scientist who can provide a recommendation


Maastricht University is renowned for its unique, innovative, problem-based learning system, which is characterized by a small-scale and student-oriented approach. Research at UM is characterized by a multidisciplinary and thematic approach, and is concentrated in research institutes and schools. Maastricht University has around 16,500 students and 4,000 employees. Reflecting the university's strong international profile, a fair amount of both students and staff are from abroad. The university hosts 6 faculties: Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Faculty of Law, School of Business and Economics, Faculty of Humanities and Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience.

Complex Tissue Regeneration

Research at the MERLN Institute for Technology-Inspired Regenerative Medicine is focused on developing novel and breakthrough technologies to advance the field of repair and regeneration of functional tissues and organs. Within MERLN’s department of Complex Tissue Regeneration (CTR – merln.maastrichtuniversity.nl/content/complex-tissue-regeneration-ctr), the focus is on engineering complex tissues and organs by developing and using advanced macro-, micro- and nanobiofabrication technologies. The PhD will be conducted in close collaboration with the MERLN department of Instructive Biomaterials Engineering (IBE).