Stem Cells and Organoid Biology

ESR project


Title of Project

Humanized in vitro models for dissecting the molecular mechanisms of neurological disease.

We offered

A 4-year PhD student position in the interdisciplinary area of regenerative medicine. The project will focus on using and developing human-derived iPSC-based in vitro models for studying neurological disease, particularly focused on motor neuron disease. The in vitro models include iPSC-based neuron cultures and brain organoids. Patient versus control models will be compared using a plethora of techniques ranging from advanced microscopy (e.g. light sheet imaging) and (sc)RNAseq to electrophysiology and molecular cell biology.


You will be working in the Department of Translational Neuroscience which is part of the Brain Center Rudolf Magnus at the University Medical Center Utrecht. The Pasterkamp research group studies the development & disease of neural circuits and coordinates the MIND IPSC/organoid facilities.


The Pasterkamp group aims to understand how neuronal connectivity is established and why/how neuronal connections change in brain disease. The goal of this project is to use and develop iPSC-based systems to study motor neuron disorders. Patient-derived cells will be converted in neurons or organoids and used to unveil disease mechanisms related to specific genetic defects observed in patients suffering from motor neuron disease. Analysis of these models will involve techniques to study neurons and glial cells at the molecular and cellular and systems levels.

Contact person & more information

Prof. Jeroen Pasterkamp, UMC Utrecht


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