PhD candidate for metabolomics-based clinical decision support in neonatal intensive care

PhD candidate for metabolomics-based clinical decision support in neonatal intensive care

Published Deadline Location
7 Jul 31 Jul Leiden

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The Faculty of Science and LACDR are looking for a PhD candidate for metabolomics-based clinical decision support in neonatal intensive care

Job description

Leiden University and the Division of Systems Biomedicine and Pharmacology at the Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research (LACDR) in collaboration with the departments of Clinical Chemistry and Neonatology at Erasmus MC, University Medical Hospital, Rotterdam are searching for a talented PHD candidate. You will work within the Medical Delta Institute of Fetal and Neonatal Care. This is a program within the Medical Delta focused on metabolic monitoring of neonates with a first focus on diagnosis and prediction of neonatal sepsis. In this project you will address one of the challenges of neonatal care: the diagnosis and treatment of sepsis. At present, sepsis in the neonatal period is often diagnosed when the newborn is already critically ill instead of being diagnosed at an earlier stage; and neonatal sepsis is the leading case of mortality in the first week of life. For example, C-reactive protein and procalcitonin are routinely measured as biomarkers for diagnosis, but do not allow to diagnose sepsis sensitively. In this innovative project we use innovative metabolomics technologies to identify and develop early biomarker profiles for sepsis detection and early prediction of treatment outcome of sepsis. You will do your research at LACDR and at Erasmus MC.

In your PhD project you will focus on the development of minimally invasive sampling and sample processing and storage and subsequent metabolomics analysis for early diagnosis and prediction of treatment outcome of sepsis of neonates. You will use metabolomics to discover, interpret and understand early diagnostic markers of sepsis and markers of treatment outcome. You will use miniaturized mass spectrometry-based metabolomics to analyze these markers in small samples obtained from neonates using microneedles or routine blood samples taken at the intensive care unit. The ultimate aim is to develop a point-of-care device for rapid diagnostic and rapid treatment monitoring of neonates. You will work in close collaboration with other PhD students and experts in metabolomics, mass spectrometry and clinical groups at LACDR and Erasmus MC (prof. dr. Yolanda de Rijke, clinical chemist and prof. dr. Irwin Reiss, neonatologist).


Leiden University


  • Master/Engineering degree in Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biology or Biomedical Engineering preferably with majors in Analytical Chemistry;
  • Interest in the field of metabolomics, pharmacology, laboratory medicine, medicine, and microfluidics;
  • Ability to work in a multidisciplinary environment;
  • An independent and creative team player with good communicative skills;
  • Proficient in spoken and written English.

Conditions of employment

We offer a position for initially one year. After a positive evaluation of the progress of the thesis, personal capabilities and compatibility the appointment will be extended by a further three years. Salary range from € 2,395.- to € 3,061.- gross per month (pay scale P in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities).

Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3 %), training and career development and sabbatical leave. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break. 

All our PhD students are embedded in the Leiden University Graduate School of Science. Our graduate school offers several PhD training courses at three levels: professional courses, skills training and personal effectiveness. In addition, advanced courses to deepen scientific knowledge are offered by the research school.

Leiden University is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from members of underrepresented groups.


Leiden University

The Faculty of Science is a world-class faculty where staff and students work together in a dynamic international environment. It is a faculty where personal and academic development are top priorities. Our people are committed to expand fundamental knowledge by curiosity and to look beyond the borders of their own discipline; their aim is to benefit science, and to make a contribution to addressing the major societal challenges of the future.

The research carried out at the faculty is very diverse, ranging from mathematics, information science, astronomy, physics, chemistry and bio-pharmaceutical sciences to biology and environmental sciences. The research activities are organised in eight institutes. These institutes offer eight bachelor’s and twelve master’s programmes. The faculty has grown strongly in recent years and now has more than 2.200 staff and almost 4,400 students. We are located at the heart of Leiden’s Bio Science Park, one of Europe’s biggest science parks, where university and business life come together.

The Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research (LACDR) is a leading institute dedicated to world-class research and education in drug discovery and development. LACDR comprises a diverse and international team of approximately 150 researchers. Within the LACDR there is a growing focus on using (translational) metabolomics and patient derived organ-on-a-chip systems in the areas of drug research, translational disease research, systems pharmacology, computational modeling and biostatistics, and integration with epidemiological studies, genetics and clinical studies.

You will work at the Division of Systems Biomedicine and Pharmacology, Analytical Biosciences and Metabolomics group at the LACDR, that has a world-leading reputation in the field of metabolomics, and has a track record in developing novel analytical and microfluidic methods and applying them to biological questions and drug research. For more information, see the website.


  • PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • University graduate
  • 20-302



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