2 PhD positions ‘Development of a culture system for human spermatogenesis’

Updated: 2 months ago
Job Type: Temporary
Deadline: 17 Oct 2021

Two PhD candidates will develop an in vitro culture system for human spermatogenesis. Successful in vitro spermatogenesis can form the basis for novel methods to treat patients with impaired spermatogenesis or the development of alternative fertility preservation strategies. One PhD project will focus on the testicular somatic cells required to support proper germ cell development and the other PhD project will focus on in vitro germ cell differentiation from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hIPSCs).                                                                                                      

  • PhD 1 will generate (hIPSC-derived) Sertoli cell-like and/or other testicular cells to direct germ cell differentiation into the male direction to support in vitro spermatogenesis, using existing mouse and human protocols. These cell lines will be characterized by single-cell sequencing (omics) and compared to existing signature of human embryonic cells and/or Sertoli cells of boys of pubertal age. 
  • PhD 2 will generate germ cell precursor cells from hIPSCs that will subsequently be co-cultured with a to-be-decided feeder layer originating from human somatic testicular cells, fibroblast feeder cells or existing human Sertoli-cell lines to induce differentiation through meiosis and spermiogenesis and complete hIPSC-derived human spermatogenesis.

Both PhD students will be working closely together and with a Post-Doctoral fellow. The project will i.e., involve various cutting edge cell culture systems, microscopy and molecular biology techniques and will be performed at the Reproductive Biology Laboratory of the division Laboratory Specialisms. The Reproductive Biology Laboratory functions in close collaboration with the AMC Center for Reproductive Medicine and is part of the Amsterdam Reproduction and Development Research Institute.

The project
The project is part of a multi-center consortium (ZonMw PSIDER, HipGametes) that will study the societal, ethical and biological aspects of in vitro generation of human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived gametes to model human embryogenesis.
The offered PhD-student positions concern the development of an in vitro culture system for human spermatogenesis from hIPSCs. Successful in vitro spermatogenesis can form the basis for novel methods to treat patients with impaired spermatogenesis or the development of alternative fertility preservation strategies. One PhD project will focus on the testicular somatic cells required to support proper germ cell development in vitro. The other PhD project will focus on in vitro germ cell differentiation from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hIPSCs).
Both PhD students will be working closely together and with a Post-Doctoral fellow. The project will i.e., involve various cutting edge cell culture systems, microscopy and molecular biology techniques and will be performed at the Reproductive Biology Laboratory of the division Laboratory Specialisms. The Reproductive Biology Laboratory functions in close collaboration with the AMC Center for Reproductive Medicine and is part of the Amsterdam Reproduction and Development Research Institute.


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