Postdoc position, Genetic Epidemiologist



Working Enviroment

The University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG) is one of the largest medical centers in The Netherlands. More than 13.000 employees provide patient care and medical education and perform biomedical research. The environment is ambitious, dynamic and international, with state-of-the-art facilities. You will have the opportunity to perform cutting-edge research in the Department of Pediatrics, in the building of the European Research Institute for the Biology of Aging (ERIBA) and to work with renowned scientists in the fields of glucose/lipid homeostasis, metabolic diseases and cancer.

Job description

Cardiovascular disease accounts for 31% of all global deaths. Over the past decades, effective treatment to reduce plasma cholesterol (driving this disease) has been developed but at the same time the worldwide pandemic of obesity and type 2 diabetes has increased the complexity of treating patients at increased risk of cardiovascular disease who also suffer from e.g. insulin resistance, increased risk of fatty liver disease, and cancer.
We have developed and validated an innovative pipeline to identify and characterize new players in processes underlying cardiometabolic diseases. In a first step, we make use of human hepatic transcriptome data to identify large series of novel candidate genes. Following prioritization, these genes will be targeted (inactivated) in mouse livers using somatic (CRISPR/Cas9-based) gene editing, which allows us to study their impact on disease development. Promising candidate genes will be studied further to increase our fundamental (mechanistic) understanding of lipoprotein biology, autophagy and lipophagy. This project will be driven by the need to increase our molecular understanding of human disease.


We need a post-doctoral fellow who will use publicly available genome or phenome-wide association data as well as data collected in Lifelines (prospective population study with a three-generation design) to help us prioritizing candidate genes. If feasible Mendelian Randomization studies as well as studies into association between rare genetic variation and health/disease will be carried out. Mining other (proteomic/transcriptomic) databases may further help prioritization. To realize these plans, we are looking for an enthusiastic junior or senior post-doctoral geneticist (epidemiologist) with strong bioinformatic interest and expertise. Experience with programming in R, plink and NGS-dedicated bioinformatics tools will be required.

The gene identification part of the project will be conducted in collaboration with NEBION, a Swiss bioinformatic mRNA curation and exploration company. The genetic association analyses will be carried out in collaboration with Prof. Harold Snieder of the Department of Epidemiology. The experimental work will be performed in collaboration with Prof. Bart van de Sluis and in a team of technicians and PhD students of the department of Pediatrics of the UMCG in Groningen. In other words, the candidate needs to be a team player and have excellent communicative skills to make this project into a success.

Conditions of employment

- Job duration: 1 year with possible extension for 1 more year.
- The position is fulltime but parttime at 0.8 fte can be considered.
- Preferred starting data: between Jan 1st and March 1st, 2021.

Your salary will be a maximum of € 4.615,- gross per month (scale 10), depending on your qualifications and relevant experience, 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:

More information
For more information about this vacancy please contact:
- Prof. Jan Albert Kuivenhoven, e-mail address: (please do not use e-mail address for applications)

Additional information

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 11 December 2020. Within half an hour after sending the digital application form you will receive an email- confirmation with further information.

Digital application form