PhD-student: Unraveling the driving force of severe early onset COPD


Pathologie & Medische Biologie

Working Enviroment

This PhD project is joint project between the UMCG departments of Pathology (Dr. C.A. Brandsma and Prof. W. Timens) and Pulmonology (Dr. M. van den Berge).
The project is embedded in the Groningen Research Institute for Asthma and COPD (GRIAC), a multidisciplinary research institute that studies all aspects of obstructive airway diseases by close interaction between clinicians and basic scientists.

Job description

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a currently incurable life-threatening lung disease, mainly caused by smoking, which has become a leading cause of death worldwide. The pathology of COPD involves chronic inflammation with (small) airway wall fibrosis and emphysema. Current treatment of COPD is mainly symptomatic and does not halt the progressive lung function decline that is characteristic for COPD. This lack of effectiveness is attributed to the fact that current treatment does not address the underlying disease pathology, which so far is still largely unknown. Severe early onset COPD, SEO-COPD, is the most severe form of COPD that occurs at a relatively early age and has the highest disease burden. The aim of this PhD project is get more insight in the pathology of SEO-COPD by connecting the main pathological changes in the lungs of these patients to the genetic, translational, and functional changes that drive disease pathology.
This project entails the generation of clinical databases that will be used for multi-omics analysis and ex vivo and in vitro validation strategies using histology, imaging and patient-specific cell culture models.


We are looking for an excellent candidate with a Master’s degree in Medical Biology, Molecular Biology, Biomedical Sciences, Life Sciences, or in a related field. Experience with bioinformatics, proteomics, molecular techniques and (primary) cell culture is an advantage. The candidate should be a team player with good social and communication skills, including fluency in English.

The UMCG has a preventive Hepatitis B policy. The UMCG can provide you with the vaccination, should it be required for your position.
In case of specific professions a ‘Certificate of Good Conduct’ is required.

Conditions of employment

- A fulltime PhD position for a fixed period of 4 years.

Your salary will be a maximum of €3,103 gross per month (scale PRO), depending on your qualifications and relevant experience, based on a full-time appointment.
In addition, the UMCG will offer you 8% holiday pay, an 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
The conditions of employment comply with the Collective Labour Agreement for Medical Centres (CAO-UMC). English:

More information

For more information about this vacancy you may contact:
dr. C.A. Brandsma, tel.: (050) 361 1285 or email: (don't use for applying)
prof. dr. W.A. Timens, tel.: (050) 361 0020 or email: (don't use for applying)

Additional information

Extra information can be obtained thru the following links:
Welcome to Groningen
About UMCG

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 25 August 2019. Within half an hour after sending the digital application form you will receive an email- confirmation with further information.

Digital application form