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PhD student on the project: The oral microbiome as modifiable risk factor for dental caries

  • Research & Education
  • 36 hours
  • Generation R

  • Closing date 23-03-2021
  • 02.05.21.THZ

Job description

The Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (OMS) works closely with the Generation R Study in the field of epidemiological research. This research has a strong connecting character and is aimed at identifying environmental, lifestyle and personal factors related to (oral) health with the aim of developing effective strategies for improving care.

The project you will be working on as a PhD student focuses on the composition of the oral microbiome in adolescents. Recently, it has been hypothesized that adverse changes in the oral microbiome underlie the development of dental caries. Research on this is still in its infancy, particularly lacking insight on what constitutes a healthy microbiome and its relation to caries disease. New preventive practices, based on the maintenance of a healthy oral microbiome, would enable tailored interventions efficiently addressing the inequalities in dental caries susceptibility. Therefore, the aim of this project is to find new strategies for risk identification and progression control of tooth decay (caries) using the knowledge derived about the healthy microbiome. We address this aim by partnering with leading companies specialized in oral health care and oral imaging. With the combination of an exceptionally large dataset (n = 4800) and state-of-the-art technological innovations, insight is sought into the composition and function of the oral microbiome in the health and disease process. To better understand changes in the oral microbiome, various dental as well as non-dental factors (genetic, socio-economic, behavioral variables) will be evaluated.

We expect that knowledge about the composition of the oral microbiome will serve as a basis for the development of specialized oral health products and will ultimately lead to more sustainable oral health in the general population.

Work environment

The Generation R Research studies the growth and development of nearly 10,000 children from the early fetal phase to young adulthood (). This project also investigates which environmental factors influence the development of good oral health. Longitudinally collected data, genetic and imaging techniques (2D, 3D, fluorescence and X-ray) are used in adolescents.

You will work within the research group "Oral and Craniofacial Health". The current team consists of Health Scientists, Epidemiologists, Dentists, Doctors and Pharmacologists. Together we work to improve oral health by conducting high-quality, fundamental and translational scientific research.

Qualifications and skills

  • You have completed an university (Bio-)medical education (or comparable) with an interest in Microbiology.
  • You also have demonstrable skills and experience with scientific writing and research methods.
  • Command of (advanced) skills in statistics and statistical programs is a strong advantage.
  • You have analytical thinking skills and a good command of English, both oral and written.
  • You are able to work independently and develop initiatives.
  • You are also ambitious.
  • Affinity with Dentistry and Epidemiology is recommended.

Before you apply please check our conditions for employment.

Terms of employment

  • We aim for you to become a high-quality, independent researcher by offering you enrolment in a master's program in Epidemiology, (international) conference visits and easily accessible contact and supervision of (co)promotors and experienced PhD students.
  • This is a temporary appointment for a period of 1 year with the intention of extension to at least 3 years.
  • The gross monthly salary amounts a maximum of € 4.615,- (scale 10), depending on your level of education and relevant experience and based on a full-time working week of 36 hours.
  • The terms of employment are in accordance with the Collective Bargaining Agreement for University Medical Centers (CAO UMC).

Information and application

For more information about this position, please contact Dr. L. Kragt, Epidemiologist, phone number: +31(0)10 704 34 13 or 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.

Erasmus MC

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Erasmus MC is an international leading academic hospital in Rotterdam. We are recognized as a world-class scientific research organization aiming to improve our understanding of diseases and disorders and helps to predict, treat and prevent them. We have access to the latest equipment and techniques. A working environment that gets the best out of people.

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