DohART-NET Periconceptional Programming of Health Training Network - Early Stage Researcher

Updated: about 1 month ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 16 Nov 2021

MSCA ITN founded project “DohART-NET” focusing on effect of altered conditions during the periconceptional (PC) period of development in humans, including babies born from assisted reproduction (ART, “test-tube”) interventions, and from diabetic, obese mothers. The DohART-NET project integrates pre-clinical (animal and stem cell-models) and clinical studies and apply data linkage, bioinformatics and network science for the identification and validation of mechanisms of diseases common in early development. The project will promote efficient disease prevention and potential personalised therapeutic interventions in both the general and ART populations to overcome adverse disease pathways. DohART-NET will train 13 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) students on this important topic much needed to improve public health over several generations, and it will integrate pre-clinical, translational clinical and in silico modeling approaches. The ESRs will strongly benefit from a network of internationally recognized scientists and the participation of companies with relevant interests and expertise in the field.

DohART-NET Network: BioTalentum Ltd. (Hungary), University of Cambridge (UK), University of Manchester (UK), University of Southampton (UK), Erasmus University Medical Center (Netherlands), CeMM (Austria), Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (Germany), MWM GmbH (Germany), Universitair Ziekenhuis Brussel (Belgium), IVI Valencia (Spain)

Job Title: Early-Stage Researcher (ESR15)

Recruiting Institution: Universitair Ziekenhuis Brussel – Brussels, BE


The applicant will develop a multidisciplinary project focused on epigenetic safety after ART.

Brief description of the project:

Although children born after ART are healthy, an association between ART and epigenetic disorders has been suspected. The general aim of our research is to gain more insight into the influence of assisted reproductive technologies (ART) on the human epigenome. The approach followed so far, focused on DNA methylation analysis in human gametes and preimplantation embryos. To further address the role of epigenetics in ART, it is essential to separate an inherited (infertility) epigenetic modification from a secondary one caused by ART factors. Families with ART and non-ART siblings are being recruited from the extensive children follow-up database at our centre; these families had an ART treatment for PGT since they were at risk for a genetic disease. Sample collection in these families will allow to carry out genome-wide epigenetic testing using next generation sequencing technologies. The comparison of the ART and non-ART sibling pairs will allow to separate inherited genetic factors from ART-related factors and to reveal if and to which extend ART factors contribute to epigenetic changes in ART children.

The ideal candidate should have solid knowledge in programming and bioinformatics. We are looking for a motivated student interested in mastering the bioinformatics part. Ability to work independently and insight in standard molecular biology processes of DNA methylation and gene expression is necessary.

The project implies a series of secondments at partner labs for additional training. The successful candidate will participate in the network’s training activities and work placements at the laboratories of the participating academic and industrial teams.

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