PhD student for ultra-high resolution imaging of lipid metabolism

PhD student for ultra-high resolution imaging of lipid metabolism

Published Deadline Location
24 Jul 9 Aug Maastricht

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The Maastricht MultiModal Molecular Imaging (M4I) Institute, embedded in the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences at Maastricht University, is a state-of-the art molecular imaging institute that brings together powerful palette of innovative imaging technologies. The mission of the institute is to perform fundamental, instrumentation and applied studies in molecular imaging as a part of a translational, synergistic, interdisciplinary research program. M4I is a leading international molecular imaging center relevant for science, education, economy and society. The institute is located in 2 hours south of Amsterdam. In the context of a project sponsored by the Dutch National Science Organization NWO, the imaging mass spectrometry division is looking for a PhD student for ultra-high resolution imaging of lipid metabolism.

Job description

  • You will work on the optimization and application of a novel MALDI-Imaging ion source to be developed as of this broader project. The goal is to develop MALDI-MSI technologies and workflows for imaging of biological materials at spatial resolutions as low as 1 micrometer. 
  • A key focus on the project is to image dynamic lipid metabolism in tissues utilizing isotope labelling strategies
  • You will also setup workflows for quantitative shotgun lipidomics to support the MSI studies
  • A crucial element in this project is the optimization of sample preparation and imaging conditions to maximize sensitivity, molecular information and resolution
  • You will be collaborating with engineers from a leading mass spectrometer development company as well as international researchers in the fields of the targeted biological applications
  • You will develop and optimize data analysis strategies for analyzing large, multidimensional datasets, including lipid identification
  • You will develop to be an independent molecular imaging scientist. Your development will be monitored and mentored by the senior staff of the institute
  • You will complete research that is intended to result in a PhD degree

The project is supervised by Dr Shane R. Ellis and Prof Ron M. A. Heeren. In addition the work will be performed in close collaboration with Dr Ellis’s group at the University of Wollongong, Australia


Maastricht University (UM)


The ideal candidate is talented and self-motivated and should hold at least a MSc degree or equivalent in analytical chemistry, biochemistry or physical chemistry or similar field and has both excellent laboratory skills and an interest in technology development fundamental science and its biological applications. The candidate has an excellent command of English, can write well, is capable of working in a multidisciplinary team and motivated to work in an international environment, independent and creative. The candidate should possess outstanding technical interests and skills and has an open, innovative attitude.

The position is a 4 year full time paid position and should result in a PhD degree at Maastricht University upon proven suitability. We offer a full-time position (38 hours/week) within Maastricht University at M4I, the Maastricht MultiModal Molecular Imaging institute.


Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 4 years.

The terms of employment of Maastricht University are set out in the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO). Furthermore, local UM provisions also apply. For more information look at the website > Support > UM employees.

The full-time position is offered for four years (1+3), with a yearly evaluation. Your salary would be € 2.395,- gross per month in the first year up to € 3.061,- gross per month in the fourth year according to the PhD-candidate salary scale.


Maastricht University

Maastricht University is renowned for its unique, innovative, problem-based learning system, which is characterized by a small-scale and student-oriented approach. Research at UM is characterized by a multidisciplinary and thematic approach, and is concentrated in research institutes and schools. Maastricht University has around 18,000 students and 4,400 employees. Reflecting the university's strong international profile, a fair amount of both students and staff are from abroad. The university hosts 6 faculties: Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Faculty of Law, School of Business and Economics, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience.


Research institute M4i Maastricht MultiModal Molecular Imaging

The M4I Institute is a state-of-the art molecular imaging institute. The mission of the institute and collaboration is to perform fundamental, instrumentation and applied studies in molecular imaging as a part of a translational, synergistic, interdisciplinary research program. The institute is embedded in the faculty of health, medicine and life sciences of the UM. The research group is one of the world leaders in high resolution molecular imaging of biological surfaces, and targets the development and application of state-of-the-art mass spectrometry based molecular imaging infrastructure for nanomedicine and biomedical research.The PhD student will be embedded in the M4I Institute.


  • PhD
  • 38—40 hours per week
  • €2395—€3061 per month
  • AT2020.223


Maastricht University (UM)

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Universiteitssingel 50, 6229ER, Maastricht

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