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PhD candidate Parkinson's disease

The candidate will be offered excellent training and supervision platform through a dedicated teaching program of our Graduate school.
  • Closing date 17-10-2022
  • 38.05.22.TS
  • 36 hours
  • Research university
  • Research & Education

Questions? Contact our recruiter

  • Closing date 17-10-2022
  • 38.05.22.TS

Job description

This project will study how genetic variants in the DJ-1 and MPAN genes lead to neurodegenerative disease. To address the research questions, the candidate will use a multi-omics approach to study the pathogenic pathways activated by these genetic variants in patient iPS derived midbrain organoids. Midbrain organoids closely recapitulate the physiology and complexity of the human midbrain, and this technology has recently been introduced in our lab. Using these models, the lab anticipates to increase knowledge about important molecular changes associated with these neurodegenerative diseases that may contribute to the development of biomarkers as well as novel therapeutic opportunities.

To this end, the candidate will employ a multidisciplinary approach, including but not limited to iPS cell differentiation and organoid culture protocols, use various molecular biology assays, (sc)RNA sequencing, and (super resolution) microscopy.

Work environment

The research section at the Clinical Genetics department conducts basic research to understand the molecular mechanisms of hereditary diseases. The results are converted into practical applications for patient care. The section's mission is to improve the identification, treatment and prevention of hereditary diseases. They do this by the use of multiple state-of-the-art omics technologies.

In the research group of Molecular mechanisms of movement disorders, we are searching for genes involved in Parkinson’s disease (PD) and other movement disorders. The search may provide clues for understanding of disease mechanisms and identifying novel targets for therapies to stop and prevent these diseases. PD is a common degenerative disease of the brain with progressive loss of dopaminergic neurons and the formation of neuronal inclusions (Lewy bodies) in the surviving neurons. Much of the pathogenesis of PD is unknown. Yet, a growing list of gene defects identified in some inherited forms offers unprecedented, exciting opportunities to disentangle the complex molecular pathways leading to PD. The lab uses a number of unbiased strategies to identify novel genes causing or predisposing to PD and other movement disorders, such as dystonias, paroxysmal dyskinesias, and restless legs syndrome. Our experimental approaches include family-based linkage mapping, homozygosity mapping, positional cloning, next-generation sequencing technologies (exome sequencing and whole genome sequencing), and tools for in-silico analysis of DNA and protein sequence data. Each of the Mendelian forms of disease might provide important clues for understanding of the pathogenesis; also in the more common, complex forms of the disease.

To investigate the function of genetic variants that cause movement disorders, we use iPS-derived neuronal and glial cell cultures and brain organoids, unbiased brain and single-cell transcriptomic and proteomic strategies. Core facilities like the iPS Core Facility and the Optical Imaging Center will be important collaborators for the project.

The candidate will be offered excellent training and supervision platform through a dedicated teaching program of our Graduate school.

Qualifications and skills

  • An ambitious candidate that holds an MSc degree in in Biomedical Science, Molecular/ Cellular Biology, Neuroscience, or related field with a keen interest in molecular and cellular mechanisms of neurodegenerative movement disorders.
  • Experience in cell culture and molecular biology methods, as well as bioinformatics (R, etc.) are an advantage.

Before you apply please check our conditions for employment.

Terms of employment

  • In case of an PhD appointment:
    You will receive a temporary position for 4 years. The gross monthly salary is € 2.631, - in the 1st year and increases to € 3.326,-  in the 4th year (scale OIO).
  • Excellent fringe benefits, such as a 13th month that is already paid out in November and an individual travel expense package.
  • Pension insurance with ABP, we take care of approximately 2/3 of the monthly contribution.
  • Special benefits, such as an in company physiotherapist and bicycle repairer. There is also a gym where you can work on your fitness after work.

More information

For more information about this position, please contact Wim Mandemakers, PhD, staff scientist, phone number: +31 10 703 87 87 or e-mail:

In case of other requirements to apply:
Your application must include the following documents:

  • Cover letter explaining your motivation and suitability for the position.
  • CV/resume including your final marks, research projects and other relevant experience. Please include contact information of 2 senior scientists or principle investigators as references, willing to provide recommendation letters or enquiry in your CV.

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.

Application proces

Step 1 - Apply

Did we get you excited about this position? Submit your application through the application button. You will receive a confirmation of receipt from our recruiter right away.

Step 2 - Selection

Based on your application, we check to see if there is a fit between us. We will let you know as soon as possible whether you are invited for an interview.

Step 3 - Interview

You have been invited for an interview, great! In this first meeting we get to know each other and see if You can form an idea of the position, the department and Erasmus MC. If the interview goes well usually a second interview follows.

Step 4 - Offer and terms

It’s a match! Your future manager will discuss your salary and employment with you. You will also receive more information about our other terms of employment.

Step 5 - Getting started

Your first working day has come! We are more than happy to have you. Your new department will give you a warm welcome and provide you with all the information you need. Enjoy your job at Erasmus MC!

Contact me

Alexandra Goud

Alexandra Goud
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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Apply for PhD candidate Parkinson’s disease