PhD Candidate in Cell Biology and Microscopy

Updated: 3 months ago
Deadline: ;

Are you fascinated by the molecular interactions that drive cellular processes and functions? Are you excited about using advanced microscopy methods and fluorescent probes to study cellular signaling? Then this may be the right job for you!

We are looking for a PhD candidate to study how local and global signaling in endothelial cells regulates the passage of leukocytes and subsequently the endothelial barrier function. Specifically, we want to measure and control the location and timing of intracellular signals through (adhesion) receptors and downstream signaling networks (second messengers, G-proteins, kinases). You will be part of the team of Molecular Cytology at the Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences in the Faculty of Science at the University of Amsterdam and have access to the van Leeuwenhoek Centre for Advanced Microscopy . The project will be performed in close collaboration with the department of Medical Biochemistry at the Amsterdam UMC, location AMC.

What are you going to do?

This project aims at understanding how local and global signaling in endothelial cells regulates the passage of leukocytes and subsequently the endothelial barrier function. You will combine realistic in vitro models of the endothelial barrier and leukocyte transmigration with state-of-the-art functional imaging techniques and perturbation methods. Quantitative multiplex imaging with (lifetime) biosensors will be combined with state-of-the-art optogenetic tools for locally controlled perturbations. With this unique approach, we will be able to reveal the local signaling events that are essential for regulating leukocyte transmigration and endothelial barrier function in unprecedented detail. 

During your PhD research you will apply a variety of techniques, including (but not limited to) molecular biology (cloning), eukaryotic cell culture (culturing and isolating primary immune and endothelial cells, viral transduction methods), fluorescent biosensor engineering and imaging, optogenetics, advanced microscopy, and image analysis.

Tasks and responsibilities:
•    complete a PhD thesis within the official appointment duration of four years;
•    use different molecular and cell biology based experimental approaches to visualize endothelial cell signaling;
•    generate and validate tools for imaging and perturbing cellular processes;
•    perform experiments in a systematic and well controlled manner and keep accurate records by properly documenting

      and organizing your work;
•    discuss your work in our lab meetings, incorporate feedback and give input to others;
•    assist in teaching and supervise BSc/MSc students during their research internship;
•    participate in the Faculty of Science PhD training programme.

What do you have to offer?

You are passionate about science and have a particular interest in fundamental cell biology with affinity for microscopy. You like a challenge and are motivated to work in an interdisciplinary environment. You are a team player with good communication and problem-solving skills

Your experience and profile 
You have/are:
•    a recent MSc degree in the life/biomedical sciences (or a related area in molecular, cell, chemical biology);
•    experience with fluorescence microscopy;
•    have demonstrated hands-on experience with one or more of the following techniques: DNA manipulation methods for generating

     constructs/plasmids, mammalian cell culture, live-cell imaging, optogenetics, image analysis;
•    affinity with imaging techniques, data analysis, data visualization;
•    a high intrinsic motivation and aptitude for fundamental research (reflected by your CV);
•    fluent in English, both written and spoken.

It will work to your advantage if, in addition, you have experience with one or more of the following: viral transductions, proficiency with image analysis (e.g. FIJI, CellPose), and/or programming (e.g. R, Python, Matlab). 

Our offer

A temporary contract for 38 hours per week for the duration of 4 years (the initial contract will be for a period of 18 months and after satisfactory evaluation it will be extended for a total duration of 4 years). The preferred starting date is as soon as possible. This should lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis). We will draft an educational plan that includes attendance of courses and (international) meetings. We also expect you to assist in teaching undergraduates and master students.

Your salary will range between €2,541 in the first year to €3,247 gross per month in the last year of employment, on the basis of a full working week of 38 hours. This sum does not include the 8% holiday allowance and the 8.3% year-end allowance. A favorable tax agreement, the 30% ruling, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO NU) is applicable. 

Besides the salary and a vibrant and challenging environment at Science Park we offer you multiple fringe benefits:
•    232 holiday hours per year (based on fulltime);
•    multiple courses to follow from our Teaching and Learning Centre;
•    a complete educational program for PhD students;
•    a pension at ABP for which UvA pays two third part of the contribution;
•    the possibility to follow courses to learn Dutch;
•    help with housing for a studio or small apartment when you’re moving from abroad. 

Are you curious to read more about our extensive package of secondary employment benefits, take a look here .

About us

The University of Amsterdam is the Netherlands' largest university, offering the widest range of academic programmes. At the UvA, 30,000 students, 6,000 staff members and 3,000 PhD candidates study and work in a diverse range of fields, connected by a culture of curiosity.

The Faculty of Science has a student body of around 8,000, as well as 1,800 members of staff working in education, research or support services. Researchers and students at the Faculty of Science are fascinated by every aspect of how the world works, be it elementary particles, the birth of the universe or the functioning of the brain. 

The Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences is one of eight institutes in the Faculty of Science (FNWI). SILS is a multidisciplinary research institute with a systems biology approach to the life sciences. The institute brings together approximately 240 researchers in 18 research groups. 

Want to know more about our organisation? Read more about working at the University of Amsterdam.

Any questions?

Do you have any questions or do you require additional information? Please contact:

           T: +31 20-5257774

           T: +31205665134

Job application

If you feel the profile fits you, and you are interested in the job, we look forward to receiving your application. You can apply online via the button below. We accept applications until and including 09 July 2023. 

Applications should include the following information (all files besides your cv should be submitted in one single pdf file):

•    a letter of motivation
•    a detailed CV including the months (not just years) when referring to your education and work experience
•    the names and email addresses of two references (no letters of recommendation are required at this stage).

Only complete applications received within the response period via the link below will be considered.

The interviews will be held in the course of July 2023.

The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritise diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.

If you encounter Error GBB451, reach out to our HR Department  directly. They will gladly help you continue your application. 

No agencies please.


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