PhD candidate in Bioinformatics Safety Assessment of Gene and Cell Therapy

Updated: about 2 months ago
Deadline: 01 Jul 2022

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The Faculty of Science and the Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research are looking for a:
PhD candidate in Bioinformatics Safety Assessment of Gene and Cell Therapy

Vacancy number: 22-356

Key responsibilities 
Gene modification and cell therapy technologies are becoming major players for medical therapy development in the near future. Systematic and robust assessments of risks and quality of these medicinal products are the key steps enabling usage of such treatments. High-throughput sequencing methods with a single cell resolution offers the way of multidimensional evaluation of results of gene and cell intervention strategies. The PhD candidate will work on the development of a computational risk assessment platform of the most promising gene and cell therapies using cutting edge multiome single-cell sequencing method (single cell chromatin and transcriptomics), including building up a knowledge database by integrating public databases/datasets. The candidate is also expected to be involved in wet lab single cell experiments. In addition, the candidate will be for approximately 30% of the time involved in regulatory activities at the Dutch Medicines Evaluation Board (CBG-MEB). This includes performing regulatory assessments of non-clinical development and Chemistry Manufacturing and Controls (CMC) of advanced therapeutics also in collaboration with the European Medicines Agency (EMA). 

The candidate will be embedded in the research group of Prof.dr. M. Drukker, focused on stem cells technologies in order to create novel models for human disease and drug development. The project will be carried out in close collaboration between the Prof. M. Drukker group and CBG-MEB. The CBG-MEB is the regulatory authority for medicines in the Netherlands and works in close collaboration with the EMA.

Selection criteria
•    A Master’s degree in bioinformatics, biostatistics or a related field;
•    Experience with sequencing data analysis, knowledge of common bioinformatics tools;
•    Proficiency in Python, in case of experience in another programming/scripting language willingness to learn Python;
•    Strong analytical skills, critical and lateral thinking;
•    Strong communication skills in the group and with collaborators;
•    Experience in molecular biology;
•    Proficiency in English writing;
•    Excellent organisational and planning skills (efficient time management).

Our organizations
Working at the Faculty of Science means being part of an exciting, dynamic scientific environment which sets high standards for its students and staff. The research carried out at the Faculty of Science is diverse, ranging from computer science, mathematics, astronomy, physics, chemistry and bio-pharmaceutical sciences to biology and environmental sciences. 

The faculty has grown strongly in recent years and now has more than 2,300 staff and over 5,000 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. For more information, see .
The CBG-MEB is the regulatory authority for (approval of) medicines in the Netherlands, working in close collaboration with the EMA. Besides providing advice to companies on their development plans and assessing their applications for market authorization of medicines, CBG-MEB is keen on stimulating innovation in development of innovative therapies. CBG-MEB has more than 400 employees and is based in Utrecht. For more information, see . 

Terms and conditions 
We offer a full-time, one year term position, with the possibility of renewal for an additional 4 years based on performance. Salary range from € 2.443,- to € 3.122,- gross per month (fulltime, pay scale P, depending on experience), 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. For more information ( ),

see the website. 
All our PhD students are embedded in the Leiden University Graduate School of Science. 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.

Enquiries can be made to Micha Drukker ( ), Ksenia Arkhipova ( ) or Tineke van den Hoorn ( ). If you have any questions about the procedure, please contact the secretariat of the Division of Drug Discovery & Safety, Marjolijn Lugthart ( ).

To apply for this vacancy, please send an email to Marjolijn Lugthart ( ).
Please ensure that you upload the following additional document quoting the vacancy number:
•    Cover letter
•    Curriculum vitae
•    Research Interests Statement (max a A4 page)
•    Transcripts of bachelor and master curriculum courses, including grades
•    Preferably 2 reference letters
Only applications received before July 1 2022 can be considered.

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