This vacancy is posted as part of RegMed XB, which stands for “Regenerative Medicine Crossing Borders” (www.regmedxb.com). RegMed XB is a virtual institute composed of universities, health foundations, governments and private companies in the Netherlands and Belgium. The partners work together to tackle some of the greatest challenges in regenerative medicine, while building a community of researchers and companies to realize health and economic benefits.
Worldwide, hundreds of millions of people suffer from chronic diseases that both shorten their lifespan and reduce their quality of life. Our healthcare system is currently geared towards caring for the chronically diseased by relieving symptoms and slowing down disease progression. Regenerative medicine holds the promise to cure many of what are now chronic patients, restoring health rather than protracting decline, bettering the lives of millions, and preventing lifelong, expensive healthcare: cure instead of care.
More specifically, at present, dialysis and transplantation are the only treatment options for end-stage kidney disease. In the Netherlands alone, 6,500 people currently depend on dialysis, approximately 1,300 of which will die this year. Regenerative medicine offers an alternative treatment in the form of a bioengineered kidney. As a first step, the partners of RegMed XB will work to create functional nephrons, of which there are approximately one million in the adult kidney.
The lack of a suitable microenvironment for the expansion, differentiation and maturation of kidney organoids has been identified as a bottleneck. This position will be part of a team effort to determine the extracellular environment required for a kidney organoid and to recreate its major features in a synthetic or hybrid system. There will be several complex tasks, including the characterization of matrix properties, testing the effect of these properties on kidney organoids, and translating this knowledge into the design, synthesis, and characterization of a biomaterial.
This is an interdisciplinary project, so it is not expected that a candidate possesses a comprehensive background covering every topic, but experience in chemistry, materials science, bioengineering, and cell biology will be positively evaluated. All candidates should have a PhD that shows their interest in regenerative medicine or bioengineering, and should have expertise in at least two of the following:
- Artificial/natural extracellular matrices
- Stem cell/organoid culture
- Materials design and synthesis (e.g. hydrogels)
- Materials characterization
- Kidney biology
Candidates who do not yet possess a PhD, but are expected to finish their thesis in 2017 are welcome to apply, but should clarify the timeline for completion in their cover letter.
We are looking for creative thinkers who are prepared to take on highly challenging aims. The project will be very collaborative and interdisciplinary, and will suit an ambitious candidate who likes a fast-paced environment. Excellent knowledge of scientific English for speaking, reading, and writing are required. Knowledge of Dutch is not required.
The duration of the position and salary will be finalized upon selecting a candidate, but the expectation is for a 3 year (1+2) full-time position in Scale 10. On top of this, there is an 8% holiday and 8.3% year-end bonus given annually and candidates who need to relocate may be eligible for compensation. 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 www.maastrichtuniversity.nl > Support > UM employees
To apply, please submit:
- A cover letter including your motivation, your relevant experience (referring to the “description of the candidate”, above) and your preferred start date
- A CV
- Names of two people who could provide a reference
For any questions, please contact Dr. Vanessa LaPointe (email@example.com).
Maastricht University (UM) is renowned for its academic teaching hospital and its innovative problem based learning (PBL) education, characterized by its small scale and student-oriented approach. With 16,500 students and 4,000 staff, UM offers a wide choice of academic programmes. The UM can easily call itself the most international university in the Netherlands, with 45% of the students and more than 30% of the staff coming from abroad.
MERLN- Complexe Tissue Regeneration (CTR)
The successful candidate will join the laboratories of Dr. Vanessa LaPointe and Dr. Matthew Baker in the Department of Complex Tissue Regeneration in the MERLN Institute for Technology-Inspired Regenerative Medicine (merln.maastrichtuniversity.nl). The MERLN Institute is newly opened at Maastricht University. We are a collaborative, international, and interdisciplinary group with diverse expertise, including biomaterials, chemistry, tissue engineering, and cell biology. We share newly renovated laboratory facilities with modern equipment. We have a long history as leaders in the field of tissue engineering and are particularly well-known for our orientation towards translational research. As this position is part of RegMed XB, there will also be cooperation with TU Eindhoven, University Medical Centre Utrecht, and Leiden University Medical Centre.