A deeper understanding of Osteoarthritis (OA) and the development of effective therapies remains limited by unrepresentative in vitro and in vivo models. There is an unmet need for a predictive, human, multi-tissue in vitro joint models recapitulating key features of the moving joint, which can mimic disease-initiating and aggravating cues, such as inflammation. Organs-on-Chips (OoCs) are highly promising advanced in vitro models, which enable modeling of the crosstalk between individual tissues in a single platform. Such feat allows for close mimicry of the multi-tissue intra-articular environment, thus ideally suited to emulate complex diseases such as OA.
In this project, the prospective PhD candidate will develop a clinically relevant humanized Joint-on-Chip (JoC) platform to model the different pathological inflammatory phenotypes of OA. The overall goal is to establish a validated model for discovery and evaluation of therapies and/or diagnostic tests, expected to improve the development of specific treatments for different OA phenotypes.
We encourage applications from candidates with a MSc degree or equivalent in biomedical engineering, biomedical sciences, biology or related fields. Knowledge on microfluidics, in vitro cells models and tissue engineering is highly appreciated. Experience with advanced imaging modalities and microfabrication is advantageous. Proficiency in spoken and written English, and the ability to work in a team, are requirements
The PhD candidate position is fully funded and available immediately. The prospective PhD student will operate as part of a recently awarded NWO Perspectief Consortium grant, together with the department of Developmental BioEngineering, at the UTwente, and the department of Orthopedics, at the ErasmusMC.
- You hold a master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering, Biology, Micro-technologies, Biomedical Sciences, or an equivalent master’s education;
- You have excellent analytical skills and an innate ability for solution-oriented problem solving;
- You have strong interests in developing in vitro models, microfluidics, microfabrication and/or tissue engineering;
- You have experience in micro-fabrication and organs-on-chips. Experience in hydrogels, cell culture, and advanced optical imaging techniques will be considered as a benefit;
- You possess excellent social and communication skills, in academic as well as non-academic contexts.
- You love working in a team in which fundamental and applied research cross-fertilize.
- You have a creative and critical attitude, combined with perseverance and being flexible and stress-resistant.
- You are fluent in English language skills, both in speaking and writing.
- A fulltime position for four years
- The university offers a dynamic ecosystem with enthusiastic colleagues in a stimulating scientific environment.
- The PhD salary is € 2.770,- in the first year and increases to € 3.539,- in the fourth year.
- A holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and a year-end bonus of 8.3%.
- The number of holiday hours for full-time employment is 232 hours per calendar year.
- A personal development program within the Twente Graduate School.
- Excellent working conditions, an exciting scientific environment, and a green and lively campus.
- Free access to sports facilities on campus.
INFORMATION AND APPLICATION
The application deadline is September 15th, 2023.
The first (online) interviews will be held during the last week of September and first week of October. A scientific presentation will be part of the first stage selection procedure.
You are welcome to contact for any questions you might have: Dr. Liliana Moreira Teixeira (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Mrs. Karin Hendriks (email@example.com).
Please upload your application, including the following documents, through the button below.
1. A motivation letter, emphasizing your specific interest, qualifications, and motivation to apply for this position.
2. A detailed CV including a short summary of your MSc research and contact information of at least two references that may be consulted.
3. MSc grade list.