Patients with diabetes are known to have stiffer arteries compared to healthy people. These stiffer arteries drive hypertensive cardiovascular complications. Mechanistic basis of increased arterial stiffness in diabetes has not been established yet. The aim of this project is to gain insight in the biomechanics of increased arterial stiffness in patients with diabetes.
Elevated blood glucose levels in patients with diabetes result in an increase of advanced glycation end-products (AGEs). These AGEs appear to accumulate in the artery wall, changing wall composition and properties. The interrelationships between micro-architectural composition and properties and the structure-function at the macroscopic level are yet unknown, hampering development of new treatment approaches to ‘de-stiffen’ arteries.
The project will involve (1) setting up a methodology to image and characterise mouse carotid arteries at micro-macro scales, (2) developing an experimental and data processing protocol, and (3) apply these in intervention studies in mouse AGE models. To translate experimental findings and insights, results will be evaluated using comparative human data on AGE biomarkers and ultrasonic carotid artery measurements as available in the Maastricht Study. The PhD project is highly translationally oriented and will deliver innovative methodologies and novel scientific insights, which will boost further developments and research into better treatment of arterial stiffening.
Master biomedical science/biomedical engineering. Clear and concrete affinity/experience with experimental research and/or biomedical imaging & -analysis. MatLab programming skills are welcome, but not a strict requirement. The PhD-position offers a dynamic and challenging multi-disciplinary environment, with expert supervision and high-tech infrastructure, in a lively top-quality research institute. We are looking for someone with a proactive work attitude towards setting-up and applying new methodologies and matching communicative skills to co-manage/co-lead project progress within the project team. Are you up for it?
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.