PhD student: Role of metabolic stress in genetic heart disease

Updated: about 1 month ago
Deadline: 15 Aug 2021

Department Hartcentrum
Work location Groningen
Employment 29
Apply no later than 15 August 2021
Working environment

You will be part of this inspiring team of PhD students and more senior scientists from different universities, all working on the same hypothesis together. Your PhD project will investigate how genetic defects in heart muscle cells affect cardiac metabolism. To this end, you will use various (human) models of genetic heart disease to determine if and how metabolic stress contributes to the development and progression of disease. The knowledge generated by this research will be used to develop new treatments. The research is funded by the Dutch Cardiovascular Alliance and you will be part of a consortium with scientist from the Amsterdam UMC, Maastricht UMC, Erasmus MC Rotterdam, Maastricht University, Trimbos Institute and UMC Utrecht.

More information about the DOUBEL-DOSE consortium can be found here .

Opportunities for you

  • An inspiring interdisciplinary team, strong interaction between experimental, genetic, epidemiological and clinical research groups, all on one floor.

  • Research at the intersection of science and medicine.

  • The PI’s are present, interact with you, and have weekly meetings.

  • We are well-funded and you will have access to all resources needed for your project.

  • There are several other PhD students working on this topic at our department, you will be working in a team.

  • We are leading in this field and have strong connections with the genetic heart disease community in Europe and the USA.

  • A consortium of scientists from 5 different institutions working on a common goal.

  • After successful PhD graduation, candidates with a Dutch MD license are eligible to enter the selection procedure for the Cardiology training program in the UMCG.

Job description

Genetic heart diseases are caused by DNA mutations that can cause heart failure or cardiac arrests. It often affects young people which, due to the lack of effective treatments, can often only be saved by a heart transplant.

At the moment we are unable to predict if and when patients with genetic heart disease become ill and how serious the disease will become. Some carriers grow old without ever developing heart disease, while others with the same mutation die young from sudden cardiac death or severe heart failure. Recent evidence has identified metabolic stress as a potential culprit in the progression of genetic heart disease. To unravel the contribution of metabolic stress to progression of genetic heart disease, 4 Dutch universities have joined forces within the Double-Dose consortium.

What do we need
  • A master degree in (bio-medical) sciences.

  • Interest in cardiology, genetics or both.

  • Previous experience with mitochondrial research and cell and animal models of heart disease is a pro.

  • A team player that can also work independently.

  • Able to express oneself in English in word and writing.

  • Two references from PIs of Bachelor and/or Master projects.

The UMCG has a preventive Hepatitis B policy. The UMCG can provide you with the vaccination, should it be required for your position.

What do we offer

Full-time appointment for one year, with the possibility of extension for a maximum of four years. Your salary will be a minimum of € 2.495,- gross per month in the first year and a maximum of € 3.196,- (scale PhD) in the final (4th) year, based on a full-time appointment. In addition, the UMCG will offer you 8% holiday pay, and 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
The conditions of employment comply with the Collective Labour Agreement for Medical Centres (CAO-UMC). English:

Description of the Institute and the lab
The department of Experimental Cardiology is looking to recruit motivated and enthusiastic scientists! Come and join a dynamic translational research department focusing on heart failure research, with several of the worlds leading experts in the field. Our group offers a stimulating environment in which initiative, curiosity, hard work, fun, and team play are central denominators. We are embedded in the European Heart Failure network, and are combining experimental and clinical work, which results in exciting translational science. Read more about the department and the principal investigators.

The University of Groningen is ranked 65 on the Shanghai index (second in rank in the Netherlands), and its 29.000 students contribute to the vibrant and lively atmosphere of Groningen. The University Medical Centre Groningen (UCMG) is amongst the largest medical centers in the Netherlands, and has strong research lines in cardiology, oncology, nephrology, hosts the European Aging Institute (ERIBA), and several other disciplines, and has up-to-date core facilities allowing state-of-the-art methodology. All communication and meetings are in English, as we work in a multinational team.

More information
For more information about this vacancy, contact:

  • Daan Westenbrink, e-mail address:

  • Herman Sillje, e-mail address:

  • prof. Rudolf de Boer, e-mail address:

Please state in your CV the names and contact information of at least two references and add a short biosketch.

Applying for a job

Please use the the digital application form at the bottom of this page - only these will be processed. You can apply until 15 August 2021.
Within half an hour after sending the digital application form you will receive an email- confirmation with further information.

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