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Cardiologie Erasmus MC

PhD on identifying novel targets for the treatment of fibrosis in chronic blood cancer

  • Closing date 22-03-2023
  • 10.30.23.TBW
  • 36 hours
  • Research university
  • Research & Education

Questions? Contact our recruiter

  • Closing date 22-03-2023
  • 10.30.23.TBW

Job description

A 4-year full-time PhD position is available in our laboratory to identify druggable mechanisms for an improved treatment of fibrosis in chronic blood cancer.

Primary Myelofibrosis (PMF) is an incurable blood cancer caused by mutations in hematopoietic stem cells. It belongs to a related group of blood cancers known as “BCR-ABL1-negative myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN)”. In PMF the bone marrow tissue is gradually replaced by fibrous scar-like material (myelofibrosis; MF). Over time, this leads to progressive bone marrow failure and failure of the body to produce blood cells. The only potentially curative option is transplantation of healthy donor bone marrow cells (allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation; allo-HSCT). However, the majority of patients are not eligible for this high-risk procedure due to age and comorbidities.

In our recent work (1-3), we identified the long-sought fibrosis-driving cells of the bone marrow in murine and human bone marrows. We are now in the position to determine the molecular, temporal and spatial “turning point” from a myeloproliferative to a fibrotic bone marrow. In this PhD project, we will generate a high-resolution map of the stepwise fibrotic transformation of the bone marrow by applying cutting edge multiomic and spatial transcriptomics technologies in established murine models and patient samples. It is the central goal to identify mechanisms specific to the progression of fibrosis which will be functionally validated.

The PhD candidate will use state-of-the-art methods including genetic fate tracing, genetic murine models, bone marrow transplantation, confocal imaging and single-cell RNA methodologies with spatial resolution. Biocomputational experience is expected.

1. Leimkühler NB, Gleitz HFE, Ronghui L, Snoeren IAM, Fuchs SNR, Nagai JS, et al. Heterogeneous bone-marrow stromal progenitors drive myelofibrosis via a druggable alarmin axis. Cell Stem Cell 2021 Apr 1;28(4):637–52.e8.
Available from:
2. Kramann R, Schneider RK. The identification of fibrosis-driving myofibroblast precursors reveals new therapeutic avenues in myelofibrosis. Blood. 2018 May 10;131(19):2111–9.
Available from:
3. Schneider RK, Mullally A, Dugourd A, Peisker F, Hoogenboezem R, Van Strien PMH, et al. Gli1 Mesenchymal Stromal Cells Are a Key Driver of Bone Marrow Fibrosis and an Important Cellular Therapeutic Target. Cell Stem Cell. 2017 Jun 1;20(6):785–800.e8.
Available from:

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 Developmental Biology houses innovative technologies and top level facilities to support its research programs, and is embedded in the dynamic, internationally competitive research community of over 40 biomedical research labs within the Erasmus MC.

Qualifications and skills

  • A Master’s degree (MSc, MPhil) in Biological Sciences, Molecular Biology, Nanobiology or related fields.
  • Demonstrated self-motivation, organizational skills and scientific thinking from research project(s).
  • Excellent oral and written English and strong communication skills.
  • Experience in molecular biology, biocomputational analysis, murine models and advanced cell culture is expected.

Before you apply please check our conditions for employment.

Terms of employment

  • You will receive a temporary position for 4 years. The gross monthly salary is € 2.789 ,- in the 1st year and increases to € 3.536,- in the 4th year (scale OIO).
  • Excellent fringe benefits, such as a 13th month that is already paid out in November and a individual travel expense package.
  • Pension insurance with ABP. We take care of approximately 2/3 of the monthly contribution.
  • Special benefits, such as a incompany physiotherapist and bicycle repairer. And there is also a gym where you can work on your fitness after work.

More information

For more information about this position, please contact Prof. Rebekka Schneider:

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 - Job 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 of employment

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

Jerry Chandansingh

Jerry Chandansingh
Erasmus MC

Pioneering, pushing boundaries and leading: in healthcare, education and research

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 on identifying novel targets for the treatment of fibrosis in chronic blood cancer