PhD Position on Glia-Neuron communication in dementia


Biomedical Sciences of Cells & Systems (BSCS)

Working Enviroment

In the context of the central theme Healthy Ageing of the University of Groningen, the interrelated fields of interest of the section are neurophysiology and neuroimmunology. CNS ageing and inflammatory neurodegeneration are central topics. These processes are mainly studied in the context of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis (MS). You will get a challenging position with in an (inter)national research environment and state of the art research facilities. This project is part of a ZonMW funded dementia consortium aimed at understanding Mechanisms Of Dementia (MODEM). Its primary aim is to promote collaborative research and identify shared causes and mechanistic overlap between different disease mechanisms through combining multiple model systems and approaches.

Job description

(Micro)glia to neuron communication, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, neurodegeneration, interactome, in situ gene expression analysis, iPSC.

Dementia and neurodegenerative disorders affect millions of people globally. Considering the lack of effective drugs to effectively treat these diseases, it is our ambition to discover molecular triggers of glial dysfunction and neurodegeneration, in order to identify therapeutic targets.
In this project, we will focus on the role of (micro)glia in dementia. Multiple lines of evidence point towards a key role for microglia, the brain-resident macrophages, in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) pathogenesis. Genome-wide association studies revealed a pronounced enrichment of AD risk loci in microglia and gene expression profiling indicated the emergence of microglia subsets in relation to Aß and tau pathology, two pathological hallmarks of AD. This project is focused on deciphering the (perturbed) interactions between microglia and other CNS cells during AD progression. The functional ramifications of these (perturbed) interactions will be investigated iPSC-based models.


- You have a MSc in Neurobiology (molecular, cellular), Life Sciences or related disciplines.
- You have a strong ability to work in a research team.
- You have affinity for both wet- & dry-lab techniques.
- You have prior experience with Crispr, iPSCs, transcriptomic profiling and/or bioinformatic analyses in R is a plus.
- You have an excellent proficiency in the English language is required.

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

In accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for University Medical Centers (CAO-UMC): A fully funded PhD position for 4 years. Your salary will be a minimum of € 2.789,- gross per month in the first year and a maximum of € 3.536,- gross per month (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).
The successful candidate will first be offered a temporary position of one year with the option of an extension for three additional years. Prolongation of the contract is contingent on sufficient progress in the first year to indicate that successful completion of the PhD thesis within the next three years is to be expected. A PhD training program is part of the agreement and the successful candidate will be enrolled in the Graduate School of Medical Sciences.

Starting Date: April-May 2023 (other starting dates can be discussed)

Information about the group, the department and the UMCG:

Selected publications relevant to the project:
- Innate immune memory
- MS microglia
- AD
- human microglia
- human fetal microglia

How to apply
Please use the the digital application form at the bottom of this page - only these will be processed.
You can apply until 10 April 2023.
Within half an hour after sending the digital application form you will receive an email- confirmation with further information.

Applicants should submit a curriculum vitae, a motivation letter, and names and contact information of two referees.

Additional information

For more information about this vacancy you may contact:

Prof. dr. Bart Eggen telefoonnummer +31 50 261 6432

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