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PhD Candidate: Biological heart pacemaker development

Apply before: 24 October 2020
Working time: Day
Working hours: 36 hours per week
Discipline: AMC Medical Research (AMR)

What you are going to do

The heart of vertebrates has a leading pacemaker, the sinoatrial node, which initiates each heartbeat. This sinoatrial node contains pacemaker cells that spontaneously generate action potentials and form a synchronizing network that activates the atrial muscle of the heart. While sinoatrial node function is robust, and can withstand insults, dysfunction of the sinoatrial node occurs frequently in the human population, and is the most common cause of bradyarrhythmia. To understand pacemaker dysfunction, our consortium takes a novel approach by assessing conserved mechanisms of pacemaker tissue development and composition in evolutionary divergent species (fish, mouse). We use this knowledge to rebuild and optimize a cardiac pacemaker model in silico and in vitro from human pluripotent stem cells. As a PhD candidate you will investigate pacemaker development and the underlying gene regulatory networks in genetically-engineered mouse models and human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-derived pacemaker cells, using state-of-the-art single cell technologies, epigenomics, electrophysiology and live imaging. You will be part of a consortium with 4 other groups at different universities (Utrecht, Leiden, Enschede) working on different aspects of this project (fish models, tissue engineering, computer modeling), and within the department work together with the hiPSC research group. You will be supervised by Vincent Christoffels (principal investigator; promotor) and a senior staff member of the department (co-promotor).

What we expect from you

Candidates should have a Master’s degree in a life science subject, and preferably affinity with (pluripotent) stem cells and or transgenic mouse models, an excellent higher education track record and strong scientific curiosity and drive. Fluent spoken and written English skills are required. We seek a highly motivated scientist who enjoys an interdisciplinary environment. You are able to work independently but also as part of a team and you have good communication skills.


Where you are going to work

The department of Medical Biology of the Amsterdam UMC (location AMC) offers a PhD candidate position. Cardiovascular sciences is one of the spearheads of the AMC. Leaders in cardiac biology and experimental and clinical cardiology in our and other departments are organized in the Amsterdam Cardiovascular Research Institute. Together we have created an excellent scientific environment for your training to become an independent scientist. 

What we offer you

We offer you ample opportunity for development, deepening and broadening, additional training and a place to grow! Working at AMR means working in an inspiring and professional environment where development is encouraged in every respect.

  • The maximum gross monthly salary based on a 36-hour work week is € 3.196,- (scale 21 CAO UMC). 
  • The base salary does not include holiday pay (8%) and a year-end bonus (8.3%). 
  • We offer a contract for 4 years.
  • In addition to excellent accessibility by public transport, AMC also has a sufficient number of parking spaces for employees.
  • Pension is accrued at Be Frank.

For an overview of all our other terms of employment, see https://werkenbijamc.nl/arbeidsvoorwaarden-amr/

Let’s meet

If you would like to apply directly, please use the ‘apply’ button on this page.
If you would like more information, please feel free to contact Vincent Christoffels (Principal Investigator), via v.m.christoffels@amsterdamumc.nl. 

After your application has been selected, you will meet the members of the selection committee. In a second meeting, you will present a scientific project you have been involved in as a student (e.g. your internship). 

We look forward to meeting you!