Stem Cells and Organoid Biology

ESR project


Title of project

Protecting and regenerating the gut during allogeneic bone marrow transplantation.

We offered

A 4-year PhD student position in the interdisciplinary area of regenerative medicine and immunology. The project will focus on novel immune-based mechanisms to reduce intestinal damage in bone marrow transplantation procedures.


University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht University, Location Regenerative Medicine Center Utrecht, Uppsalalaan 8, Utrecht, The Netherlands.


One of the most serious complications after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation is graft-versus-host-disease of the intestinal tract which reduces intestinal stem cell numbers and leaves the gut incapable of recovery. There is an urgent unmet medical need for new treatments and preventative approaches.  While the current primary therapy is immunosuppressive treatment, it has become clear that nutrition, microbiota and metabolites influence the alloreactive immune responses and recovery from GVHD tremendously.  We aim to investigate how we can improve treatment by reducing activation of allo-reactive T cells together with promoting intestinal  tissue recovery.  The ESR will use intestinal organoid and immune cell co-cultures as a model system.  This will be done in an environment of both laboratory scientists and clinicians.

Contact person & more information

Paul Coffer, PhD. Professor Cell Biology


This project is part of RESCUE, a multidisciplinary, intersectoral and interdisciplinary PhD training programme in Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cells organised by UMC Utrecht (coordinator) and Utrecht University. RESCUE is partly funded by the European Commission under Horizon 2020's Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions COFUND scheme. There are specific requirements with regards to English language and mobility for candidates who would like to take part in this programme. More information