Stem Cells and Organoid Biology

ESR project

1.7

Title of Project

Stem-cell guided personalized therapy for people with cystic fibrosis

We offer

A 4-year PhD student position in the interdisciplinary area of stem cell biology and preclinical drug development. Your project will focus on developing new therapies for treatment of people with the rare genetic disease cystic fibrosis.

We ask

You hold a Master’s degree in biomedical sciences, pharmaceutical sciences, or in a related area. You have affinity with translational medicine and stem cell biology and thrive in a multidisciplinary research environment. Experience with cell and organoid culture and working with primary cells are of benefit.

Department

Pediatric Pulmonology, Wilhelmina Children’s hospital, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht University, Location Regenerative Medicine Center Utrecht, Uppsalalaan 8, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Description

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is the most frequent life-shortening monogenetic disease in western countries, caused by mutation of an ion channel that is critical for proper ion and fluid transport at epithelial surfaces. New treatments that can restore the basic ion channel defect are causing a paradigm shift in treatment of CF, yet these treatments are insufficiently effective for the majority of people with CF. We are pioneering the use of patient-derived stem cells to study the ion channel defects in CF, how such defects can be restored, and to identify patients that can benefit from treatments (e.g. https://www.nature.com/articles/nm0717-796). This will involve the culture of 2D and 3D intestinal and airway organoids that will be used for precision medicine and to identify mode of action of newly identified potential therapies. Our current research team comprises of both laboratory and clinical scientists, and provides a highly translational environment for your PhD study.

Requirements

  • You have a Master in Biomedical or pharmaceutical sciences.
  • You have affinity with Stem cells and/or translational medicine.
  • Experience with cell/organoid culture/microscopy are of benefit.

Contact person & more information

Jeffrey Beekman, PhD. Associate Professor, Pediatric Pulmonology

RESCUE

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