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PhD Student, NUTRIM – School of Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism / Department of Human Biology

The number of people with type 2 diabetes (T2D) is dramatically increasing worldwide. The most potent strategies to combat T2D are increasing physical activity and restricting food intake. Cold exposure has recently received much interest ...

11 maanden geleden


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


The number of people suffering from type 2 diabetes is dramatically increasing worldwide. The most potent non-pharmacological strategies to combat type 2 diabetes are increasing physical activity and restricting food intake. However, lifestyle changes related to exercise and diet are not easily achieved or maintained and therefore, additional strategies to support the existing therapies are needed. Recently, (prolonged) cold exposure has received much interest as a potential add-on therapy for obesity and diabetes, as it increases energy metabolism and promotes the activation of brown adipose tissue.

We recently showed that in patients with type 2 diabetes, cold acclimation not only increased energy expenditure, but also improved insulin sensitivity by more than 40%. We have strong indications that skeletal muscle is (jointly) responsible for this improvement. These promising findings provide opportunities for novel cold-related treatment strategies for type 2 diabetes.

Therefore, this project will focus on the evaluation of different temperature interventions for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. The goal of this PhD project is the development of an efficient and effective cooling therapy aimed at the enhancement of long-term insulin sensitivity.


We are looking for a highly motivated candidate with a recent Master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences, Health Sciences, Biology, Medicine or similar (life science-related) education.

The PhD candidate should be interested in the development and performance of small-scaled human intervention studies. The experiments will require skilful and frequent contact with the volunteer patients. The techniques that will be used will amongst other things encompass insulin clamp techniques and indirect calorimetry.


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

The department of Human Biology and Movement Sciences is set within the NUTRIM research school of the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences at Maastricht University.

A large part of the research performed at the department of Human Biology and Movement Sciences, Maastricht University, is devoted to the (dys)regulation of human energy- and substrate metabolism, primarily in relation to obesity and related metabolic disorders such as type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Within our thermophysiology research group, we have special interest in human whole body physiology, and in brown adipose tissue and skeletal muscle. To this end, Maastricht University has unique facilities to perform human translational studies, and a new Metabolic Research Unit has recently been opened, including clamp facilities, imaging technology and whole body respiration chambers.

For more detailed information about this vacancy, please contact:

Prof. Dr. Wouter van Marken Lichtenbelt
Phone: +31 43 3881629.
Email: markenlichtenbelt@maastrichtuniversity.nl


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.

NUTRIM School of Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism

NUTRIM School of Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism initiates and catalyzes translational research into nutritional health benefits and risks focusing on metabolic and chronic inflammatory diseases. Through its research master and PhD programme NUTRIM aims to educate scientists of high academic excellence and ambassadors to support and develop the filed of nutrition, metabolism and toxicology within and outside the Netherlands. 16 Biomedical, clinical, and behavioural-science departments are incorporated within NUTRIM. The school is a partner in the national Top Institutes TI Food&Nutrition, TI-Pharma and the Centre for Translational Molecular Medicine (CTMM). These unique consortia of government, industry and research aim to stimulate the transfer of knowledge generated in fundamental research to Dutch industry and thus to strengthen its innovative power and competitive strength.