The Immunogenetics group of the Department of Genetics of the University Medical Center Groningen is looking for a motivated PhD-student interested in studying the genetics of autoimmune diseases in general, and celiac disease in particular. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease, in which patients suffer from severe inflammation upon ingestion of gluten-containing products such as bread. The Department of Genetics has performed the genome wide association study for Celiac Disease and it is our aim to understand how genetic loci associated to celiac disease influence disease processes and lead to inflammation. As celiac disease genetics overlaps with the genetics of other autoimmune disorders, our results are also applicable to other autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis and IBD. Using modern next-generation-sequencing techniques and advanced model systems, we will profile the (genetic) causes and consequences of autoimmunity.
During this 4 year project, you will investigate how genes play a role in the disease processes that lead to celiac disease in both cells and organoids derived from the small intestine as in immune cells from blood or intestinal tissue. With advanced techniques like CRISPR-Cas9, you will manipulate genes in these cells and interrogate the consequences thereof with genomics techniques. Moreover, you will generate genomics data of patient material such as biopsies to understand the disease specific processes in patients.
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