PHD: Optimizing IBD treatment by translating basic biology into therapy

36 hours a week
€ 2.495 - € 3.196

Closing date: September 30

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Project description

The Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology studies the genetic, microbiological and immunological factors underlying immune-related gastrointestinal diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and primary sclerosing cholangitis. We have a large prospective cohort of IBD and PSC patients for whom clinical data, DNA, gut mucosal biopsies and fecal samples have been collected. We have genomic data (GSA) for these samples and are generating single cell RNA sequencing data of peripheral blood and gut biopsies and metagenomic sequencing data of the microbiota. These data have to be integrated and correlated to the prospective clinical data. You will be working on the integration of these large datasets and identifying genetic, microbiological and immunological factors correlated to clinical outcomes. The aim of the project is to identify genetic, microbiological and immunological factors correlated to clinical outcomes. In the near future treatment regiments should be adjusted taking these factors into account. You will be part of a team of five PhD students and two postdocs.

Working environment

The project will be performed in the Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology in close collabpration with the Department of Genetics at the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG). The inflammatory bowel disease research group, to which the present application belongs, is embedded in the Groningen Institute for Gastro Intestinal Genetics and Immunology (3GI) research school within the UMCG. The research section is located in the European Research Institute for the Biology of Ageing (ERIBA) together with other departments that all share a common interest in applying systems biological approaches to the study of the genetic factors involved in human disease and ageing, in human cells and in model organisms. The Weersma and Festen research group focuses on the genetic, microbiological, and immunological underpinnings of gastrointestinal diseases. We aim to integrate large scale genetic data with extensive prospective clinical as well as immunological and microbiome data. The group has identified numerous genetic and microbiological factors influencing the development and disease course of IBD. The research group offers an energetic, dynamic, and international research environment.

What do we ask

  • We are looking for an excellent candidate with a Master’s degree in Medical Biology, Molecular Biology, Biomedical Sciences, Life Sciences, or in a related field.
  • A strong background in bioinformatics, programming skills in Python, Java, C++ and/or perl, and experience with handling of big data is an advantage.
  • The candidate should be a team player with good social and communication skills, including fluency in English.

The UMCG has a preventive Hepatitis B policy. The UMCG can provide you with the vaccination, should it be required for your position.

What do we offer

  • An exciting computational research project.
  • Mentoring, supervision, and training in a wide range of genomics approaches.
  • Access to a state-of-the art computational infrastructure.
  • A stimulating international research environment.
  • A competitive salary.
  • A fulltime PhD position for a fixed period of 3 years.

Your salary will be a minimum of € 2.495,- gross per month in the first year and a maximum of € 3.196,- (scale PhD) in the final (4th) year, based on a full-time appointment. In addition, the UMCG will offer you 8% holiday pay, and 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
The conditions of employment comply with the Collective Labour Agreement for Medical Centres (CAO-UMC).

For questions about the position

Any questions? Do contact us.

dr. Noortje Festen

prof. Rinse Weersma


Please use the the digital application form at the bottom of this page - only these will be processed.
You can apply until 30 September 2021.
Within half an hour after sending the digital application form you will receive an email- confirmation with further information.


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Do you have any questions?

We would like it if you would contact us if you have any questions about working at UMCG.

Nina van Venrooij
Nina van Venrooij Team Recruitment