Regenerative Medicine

Research area

The PhD Programme in Regenerative Medicine (RMUtrecht) is interdisciplinary and cross-faculty. It is organized by Utrecht University, together with the University Medical Center Utrecht and Hubrecht Institute. Regenerative Medicine is a dynamic field that brings together fundamental and clinical scientists from many disciplines with the aim of developing novel therapeutic strategies for a wide variety of diseases. The multidisciplinary nature of this field accounts for the involvement of several institutes, and covers a variety of enabling technologies and clinical application areas, such as stem cell-based treatment and regeneration of tissue types and organs. Growth and differentiation of stem and progenitor cells is critical for understanding both normal development and disease progression, with an ultimate aim to use these cells for the transplantation and development of novel approaches for the treatment of disease. There is much progress in the clinical aspect of regenerative medicine: new insights from fundamental work on the degeneration and injury of bones and joints are already being applied to the treatment of spine and knee lesions; new stem cell-based treatments for inherited diseases are being developed; and stem cell-based treatments for cardiovascular and renal disease are investigated in the lab and patients.

In this truly multidisciplinary field, stem cell characterization, intracellular signalling, the formation of new blood vessels, the use of biomaterials as scaffold or controlled release systems, and tissue homeostasis are central elements, providing connections to other research programs. The ultimate aim of regenerative medicine is to mobilise the body to heal itself.

RMUtrecht is directly linked with the Regenerative Medicine & Stem Cells strategic research programme of the UMC Utrecht. By definition, this places RMUtrecht in all of the six strategic research programs at the UMC Utrecht; the five others are:

  • Brain
  • Child Health
  • Circulatory Health
  • Infection and Immunity
  • Personalized Cancer Care

In addition, RMUtrecht has research and education connections with other faculties and departments at Utrecht University, including:

  • Faculty of Veterinary Medicine;
  • Biomedical Sciences programmes (Bachelor’s and Master’s);
  • Medical sciences;
  • Faculty of Sciences (in particular, with Pharmacy).

It also has close ties with Hubrecht Institute; Technical University Eindhoven (joint RM & Technology Master’s program); Erasmus Medical Center; and Delft University of Technology.

Associated research groups

All information regarding our researchers and research groups can be found at our website.

Profile of prospective PhD candidates

Prospective PhD candidates should have a Dutch or equivalent foreign Bachelor’s and/or Master’s degree in the life sciences, medicine, veterinary medicine or technical areas (such as engineering or computational sciences). We expect PhD candidates to be highly motivated, talented and capable of working independently as well as in groups. As this is a broad diverse field, we also expect PhD candidates to be open to interacting and learning about areas of regenerative medicine that may be outside of their specific research topic.

The topic of a PhD candidate’s research must lie within the field of regenerative medicine; the RM Executive Programme Committee relies on the judgment of the (daily) supervisor. In cases of doubt, the decision of the Executive Committee will be final. Students from other universities are also able to follow courses within in the PhD program, based upon availability, and provided that they have adequate background as mentioned above. Again, in case of doubt, the decision of the executive programme committee will be final.

The PhD candidate must be able to communicate in English; all courses are given in English.

Mission of the training programme

A unique hallmark of RMUtrecht is the integrated approach in which basic scientists and clinicians from both human and veterinary medicine work side-by-side. The main objectives of the RM PhD Programme are:

  • To provide an inspiring and high level multidisciplinary and translational education programme in RM;
  • To continuously develop a coherent and internationally recognized training and education programme in RM;
  • To facilitate a stimulating high-quality scientific climate for PhD candidates to “mature” in the 
world of Regenerative Medicine whilst developing state-of-the-art practical and theoretical 
  • To effectively train PhD candidates in the field of Regenerative Medicine over the broad range,
from fundamental research to translational application, i.e. from bench to bedside;
  • To teach and facilitate communication and interaction with colleagues and peers within this highly multidisciplinary field such that PhD candidates become acquainted with the international perspective of the RM field;
  • To strengthen the national and international position of the research by cooperation with related academic and industrial institutes;
  • To share and transfer knowledge, methodology, software and technology.

Training programme

Programme organization

Programme directors

Prof. Paul Coffer



Dr. Louis Penning


Programme coordinator

Dr. Koen Braat 



More information about this programme

Visit the Regenerative Medicine website
Or contact