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PhD student/ Postdoc on Bioinformatics/ Computational Biologist to study the role of DNA damage and transcription in neurodegeneration and dementia

  • 11.16.19.TBW
  • 36 hours per week
  • Moleculaire Genetica

Job description

The genome is continuously damaged by endogenous metabolic byproducts, which drive genome stability, carcinogenesis and aging. Fortunately, cells possess several DNA repair systems to repair the damage. The importance of DNA damage prevention for aging is substantiated by specific DNA repair deficient mouse models, which cannot repair damage in transcribed DNA strands, that display premature aging and many age-related pathologies, including neurodegeneration and cognitive decline. Importantly, dietary restriction greatly improves health and lifespan of these mice. In the context of the ZonMW Memorabel project “nutritional prevention of dementia”, we have an open position for a PhD student or postdoc bioinformatics / computational biology.

The overarching aim is to mechanistically unravel how dietary changes affect DNA damage accumulation in order to promote healthy neuronal aging and prevent or delay neurodegeneration and cognitive decline. This specific and challenging project entails the quantitative analysis of the DNA damage-transcription-translation connection in the brain of DNA repair deficient mice using an integrative genomics/transcriptomics approach to determine the impact of DNA lesions on transcription stalling, mRNA production and translation efficiency. Studies will be performed in close collaboration with experimental biologists.

Work environment

Erasmus MC stands for a healthy population and excellence in healthcare. By conducting groundbreaking work, we aim to push boundaries through leading the way in research, education and healthcare. We have access to the latest equipment and techniques in a state-of-the-art environment.

The Department of Molecular Genetics has a long history and strong world-wide reputation in understanding mechanisms of disease formation from the molecular level to physiological processes in the body in the context of cancer, aging and aging-related diseases. Highly multidisciplinary research teams perform basic and applied research ranging from the single molecule level up to complete organisms and patient-derived materials employing state-of-the-art technologies, including genomics, proteomics, bioinformatics, bioimaging and transgenesis.

Qualifications and skills

The highly motivated and successful candidate must have a MSc or PhD degree in a relevant discipline (Bioinformatics, Computational Biology, Statistics, Computer Science) and proficient in “R” and/ or other languages such as Python. The candidate should be able to analyze next generation sequencing data with profound understanding of mathematical and statistical approaches. Experience with the basal transcription process, DNA damage responses and/or aging will be considered an advantage. The candidate should be able to independently design, conduct and evaluate research projects, have outstanding theoretical and experimental research skills, is well-organized and result-driven with a strong team spirit. Furthermore, a strong command of (scientific) English in speech and writing is essential.

Being able to present a certificate of good conduct, a valid proof of identity, diploma's and/ or relevant registration such as BIG/ RGS are conditions for the appointment..

Terms of employment

In case of a Postdoc appointment the gross monthly salary amounts a maximum of € 4.361,- (scale 10), depending on your level of education and relevant experience and based on a full-time working week of 36 hours. If you are appointed as a PhD you will receive a temporary position for 4 years. The gross monthly salary is € 2.357 ,- in the 1st year and increases to € 3.020,- in the 4th year (scale OIO). The terms of employment are according to the Collective Bargaining Agreement for Dutch University Medical Centers (CAO UMC).

Information and application

For more information about this position, please contact Joris Pothof, project leader, e-mail: j.pothof@erasmusmc.nl. For queries regarding your application, please contact Jerry Chandansingh, Recruiter, by phone number: +31 (0)6 500 310 06.

If you are excited by the thought of this position and would like to apply, please do so by using the application form on our website.

No agencies please.