PhD candidate – Systems biology of kidney injury responses

Updated: 3 months ago

The Faculty of Science and the Cluster Drug & Target Discovery of LACDR is looking for a

PhD candidate – Systems biology of kidney injury responses (1.0 fte)
Vacancy number 17-258



Kidney injury is critical in various human diseases and caused by diverse nephrotoxic drugs. The injury to the kidney is often confounded to the proximal tubular cells. Injury to the renal proximal tubular cells results in activation of various cell signalling pathways that initiate cellular repair and tissue regeneration, or activate the onset of cell death. Such stress response pathways are critical in normal cellular physiology and include e.g. KEAP1/Nrf2 pathway, DNA-damage response pathway, unfolded protein response, heatshock response. The aim of the project is to quantitatively assess the activation of these stress response and tissue regeneration pathways using high throughput transcriptomics approaches. This will involve both in vitro as well as in vivo approaches. The in vitro/ in vivo findings will be directly related to human data. Quantitative data on pathway activation will be integrated with computational biology modelling in collaboration with the postdoc in the project as well as collaborations with European partners in the project.
The candidate will work in the context of the Innovative Medicines Initiative project Translation Quantitative Systems Toxicology (TransQST), a 8 MEuro pan-European project with partners from academia and the European pharmaceutical industry. The TransQST project focuses on the implementation of quantitative mechanistic insights on the molecular mechanisms of liver, kidney, heart and intestinal injury in systems biology models that are predictive for the human target tissue injury outcome.



  • A MSc in (Bio)-pharmaceutical Sciences, Biomedical Sciences or Biology;
  • Enthusiastic and ambitious;
  • Independent thinker;
  • Expertise in molecular and cell biology, transcriptomics, signal transduction;
  • Excellent writing skills;
  • Interest in bioinformatics;
  • Team player.


The Faculty of Science is a world-class faculty where staff and students work together in a dynamic international environment. It is a faculty where personal and academic development are top priorities. Our people are driven by curiosity to expand fundamental knowledge and to look beyond the borders of their own discipline; their aim is to benefit science, and to make a contribution to addressing the major societal challenges of the future.
The research carried out at the Faculty of Science is very diverse, ranging from mathematics, information science, astronomy, physics, chemistry and bio-pharmaceutical sciences to biology and environmental sciences. The research activities are organised in 8 institutes. These institutes offer 8 bachelor’s and 12 master’s programmes. The faculty has grown strongly in recent years and now has more than 1,300 staff and almost 4,000 students. We are located at the heart of Leiden’s Bio Science Park, one of Europe’s biggest science parks, where university and business life come together. Information about the Faculty of Science can be found at https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/science .

The Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research (LACDR) is a leading institute dedicated to world-class research and education in drug discovery and development. LACDR comprises a diverse and international team of approximately 150 researchers and is ideally located at the Leiden Bio Science Park, the largest life science cluster in The Netherlands. In the 2017 QS World University Ranking, the University of Leiden was listed number 17 globally in the area of Pharmacy and Pharmacology.



We offer a one year term position with the possibility of renewal based on need, funding and performance. Salary range from € 2,222.- to € 2,840.- gross per month (pay scale P, in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities).

Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3 %), training and career development and sabbatical leave. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break. More at http://www.workingat.leiden.edu/ .

All our PhD students are embedded in the Leiden University Graduate School of Science (http://www.graduateschools.leidenuniv.nl/ ). Our graduate school offers several PhD training courses at three levels: professional courses, skills training and personal effectiveness. In addition, advanced courses to deepen scientific knowledge are offered by the research school.



Leiden University is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from members of underrepresented groups.



Enquiries can be made to professor Bob van de Water, email b.water@lacdr.leidenuniv.nl , telephone +31 71 527 6223. If you have any questions about the procedure, please contact the secretariat of the Division of Toxicology, Anneke Poels, email j.p.poels@lacdr.leidenuniv.nl , telephone +31 71 527 6270.



To apply for this vacancy, please send no later than 13 July 2017 an email to professor Bob van de Water (b.water@lacdr.leidenuniv.nl ) and Anneke Poels (j.p.poels@lacdr.leidenuniv.nl ). Please ensure that you upload the following additional documents quoting the vacancy number:
• A motivation letter;
• A cv;
• Preferably 2 reference letters.

Interviews will take place on 20 and 21 July (first round) and 26 and 27 July (second round).


Laatst Gewijzigd: 16-06-2017


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