PhD Student– Patient profiling, samples and biopsy tools for OsteoArthritic patients

The aim of this PhD position is twofold; the first aim is to develop a tool that ensures a standard quality and quantity of tissue and fluids collected from patients with different grades of OsteoArthritis ...

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


The aim of this PhD position is twofold; the first aim is to develop a tool that ensures a standard quality and quantity of tissue and fluids collected from patients with different grades of OsteoArthritis (OA) by the department of Orthopaedic Surgery, the second aim is to examine and search for biomarkers which help to further unravel different phenotypes and disease progression. In the future we aim to identify the most appropriate treatment by phenotype or, where relevant, fully personalized. Patient classification will be achieved by making a unique combination between known prognostic factors and new biomarkers (metabolites, lipids, proteins). These biomarkers will be determined by collecting and analyzing tissue samples of patients during planned surgical treatments using latest cell and tissue analysis techniques in collaboration with M4I Biovolt B.V., and Zimmer-Biomet. This means we are looking for a PhD student who has some experience in fundamental (OA) research and mass spectrometry, set up a database in which different types of data come together, obtain permission from the METC, visiting the operating room, and be able to work with tissue/cell analysis techniques. Before and parallel to building this unique database, a set of requirements for a point-of-care device that can determine the relevant biomarkers based on the experience in tissue collection with existing analytical techniques will be established. You will work closely with a postdoc who will have complementary expertise to conduct this research.

This research is done within a consortium consisting of the MUMC+ Orthopaedics Department, 5 University Medical Centers, 12 companies and various foundations. The project is funded from Applied and Applied Sciences within the perspective research program entitled 'William Hunter Revisited: Activating intrinsic cartilage repair to restore joint homeostasis' to make a major step in regenerating cartilage.


The PhD student has finished a master in Biochemistry, a master in Biophysics, a master in Bio-engineering, or a master in Medicine with a clear experience in fundamental research/analytical chemistry.

The PhD student has experience or at least a clear interest in complex cell and tissue analysis techniques (Bioassay technology, LC and ESI/MALDI MS)

The PhD student is social competent to work in a multidisciplinary team and work with patients.

The PhD student has a good set of organizational skills.

The PhD student has the capacity to overview and unravel complex problems/challenges.

The PhD student has a strong interest in fundamental (OA) research


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 > Support > UM employees

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.

Additional information

For more information on the content of the function, please contact Dr. Pieter Emans, Orthopedic Surgeon, MUMC + tel: + 31-43-3875039,


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.

Orthopaedics/ CAPHRI / M4I

The MUMC+ has an (inter)national focus on prevention. This implies not only recovery after disease but also prevention and improvement of health. Next to academic clinical work there is a strong focus on science and education.

The department of Orthopaedic surgery is an ambitious academic department with clinical, educational en scientific tasks and challenges. The areas of expertise are (early) osteoarthritis/cartilage repair, infection/revision surgery, spine, and pediatric orthopaedics. Research of these expertise area’s is coordinated by the Laboratory of Experimental Orthopaedics and Trialbureau Orthopaedie. The mission of the laboratory and trialbureau is to provide state-of-the art fundamental research and GCP based state-of-the art clinical research in a motivating, upright, and reputable environment.

The department collaborates with M4I. M4I is a state-of-the art molecular imaging institute. The mission of the institute and collaboration is to perform fundamental, instrumentation and applied studies in molecular imaging as a part of a translational, synergistic, interdisciplinary research program. The institute is embedded in the faculty of health, medicine and life sciences of the UM. The research group is one of the world leaders in high resolution molecular imaging of biological surfaces, and targets the development and application of state-of-the-art mass spectrometry based molecular imaging infrastructure for nanomedicine and biomedical research.The PhD student will be embedded in the Institutes CAPHRI and M4I.


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