HEMOCURE: Improving neonatal platelet transfusions - two PhD positions for clinical and fundamental

HEMOCURE: Improving neonatal platelet transfusions - two PhD positions for clinical and fundamental

Published Deadline Location
24 Jul 1 Sep Amsterdam

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Job description

Are you interested in pursuing a PhD in neonatal platelet transfusion research? Do you aspire to perform clinical research, but do you also have affinity for fundamental research? Or do you want to do a fundamental PhD but do you also have affinity for clinical research? Then consider applying for this unique twin PhD project!

Babies that are born prematurely often receive platelet transfusions to prevent bleeding when their platelet count drops below a certain threshold. A recent clinical trial unexpectedly showed that babies who were transfused liberally (at a higher threshold) had worse outcomes than babies who were transfused restrictively (at a lower threshold). In this research project we will gain fundamental insight into the function and activation pathways of adult and neonatal platelets and investigate why platelet transfusions can lead to adverse effects in premature babies and how we can improve our transfusion guidelines for this vulnerable population. 
Two PhD students will work closely together in this project, one with a focus on fundamental research and one with a focus on clinical research. You will work closely together in all stages of the project and will be supervised by an interdisciplinary group of researchers including fundamental researchers, neonatologists, clinical epidemiologists and data scientists. As fundamental PhD student, you will use mass spectrometry-based proteomics to get a full understanding on the function and activation of blood platelets, investigate developmental hemostasis in premature babies, and you will investigate the effects of platelet transfusions on hemostasis in premature babies with and without bleeding. As clinical PhD student, you will implement an existing prediction model for bleeding into the electronic patient systems in neonatal intensive care units in the Netherlands. You will then use the data generated from this system to further develop and improve this model. You will be responsible for obtaining the blood samples needed for the fundamental assays, and will obtain the relevant clinical data to interpret these assays.


Sanquin Blood Supply Foundation (Sanquin)


For both PhD students: 

  • Good communication and writing skills in English.
  • The ability to work independently, but also as part of a multinational, interdisciplinary team.
  • Problem-solving skills and capability to apply knowledge and experience to address complex challenges.

Specific requirements for the fundamental PhD project: 

  • A PhD/MSc degree in chemistry, biology, (bio)molecular/biomedical/pharmaceutical sciences or equivalent
  • Experience and interest in cell biology 
  • Experience in quantitative (prote)omics, data statistics, bioinformatics, and data reporting/visualization is an advantage
  • Demonstrable affinity for translational research

Specific requirements for the clinical PhD project: 

  • MD, preferably with experience in neonatology and clinical research
  • You are interested in clinical epidemiology and will receive extensive epidemiological training
  • Demonstrable affinity for or experience in fundamental research
  • Excellent organizational and communication skills, as one of the keys to success for this project will be your ability to collaborate with many different people, including busy clinicians and fundamental researchers 
  • You may have to work in different locations (Amsterdam, Leiden)
  • Good communication and writing skills in Dutch

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: Four years.

We offer unique research opportunities in a dynamic environment. Nowhere else in the world you will find an organization that combines medical, pharmaceutical, diagnostic and scientific research under one roof. In addition to a challenging project in a multi-disciplinary and enthusiastic team we offer:

  • salary and working conditions conform CAO Sanquin;
  • temporary position for the duration of four years;
  • a full time contract of 36 hours per week, or a part-time contract;
  • 8,33% end-of-year bonus;
  • 8,33% holiday allowance;
  • partial reimbursement of travel expenses;
  • pension plan with Pensioenfonds Zorg & Welzijn (PFZW);
  • collective discounts on various insurances;
  • at fulltime employment (36 hours) 201 hours of leave per annum.



Sanquin is a remarkable, community organisation; we are solely responsible for looking after the supply of blood in the Netherlands. With 2,000 committed colleagues and 345,000 blood donors, we can provide a better life for 300,000 patients each year. Every day, we work incredibly hard for these results.

We are unique, because we are the only organisation in the world that can boast in-house medical, pharmaceutical and even scientific knowledge and expertise. For instance, did you know that Sanquin also produces medicines? Or that we carry out scientific research and provide education?
As a result, our roles are incredibly diverse. So, there are wide-ranging professional fields and levels for you to choose from if you want to join our team.

Professional and communal
We are a professional community organisation, we do not receive government funding and therefore operate independently. We have no shareholders and therefore there is no need to pay dividends (profit distribution). Our yield is invested back into our organisation. For even more research to help patients, and continue process improvements and innovation. What’s more, this ensures that we maintain our globally prominent position.

On the move
What does all of this mean for you as our possible new colleague? It means that you will work in an organisation that is dynamic thanks to its scientific character. After all, research continues endlessly. But also an organisation on the move because we want to keep improving ourselves. This is why we ask for your contribution. From your own knowledge and professional field, but also in entrepreneurship. Do you have an idea? We will give you all the space you need to develop it. And of course we will support your career with the necessary educational programmes and training. Finally, you can count on an attractive package of employment benefits and conditions.


Laboratory of Proteomics and the Center for Clinical Transfusion Research

This program is a collaboration between the Laboratory of Proteomics and the Center for Clinical Transfusion Research within Sanquin Research. We are passionate about bringing bed and bench together, and believe that interdisciplinary research leads to more creativity, innovation and scientific discoveries. We have close working relationships with the Neonatology Departments of the Leiden University Medical Center and Amsterdam University Medical Center. 
The Laboratory of Proteomics is embedded in the department of Molecular and Cellular Hemostasis and is a frontrunner in applying state-of-the-art mass spectrometry-based proteomics within the scientific framework of Sanquin Research. We are a vibrant, international group of 35-40 colleagues (consisting of group leaders, postdocs, PhD students and technicians) that study the various aspects of hemostatic networks. Our department has academic affiliations with high-ranking universities in the Netherlands, such as Utrecht University and the University of Amsterdam. The department’s research program benefits from excellent research facilities, which include the latest technology for biomolecular mass spectrometry, imaging and cell sorting.
The Center for Clinical Transfusion Research coordinates the patient oriented research of Sanquin Blood Supply, which encompasses patient oriented research activities of the research department of Clinical Transfusion Research, headed by Johanna (Anske) van der Bom and of the unit Transfusion Medicine, headed by Vera Novotny. The mission of the Center for Clinical Transfusion Research is to produce and distribute the best quality knowledge on the practice of transfusion medicine and by doing so to optimize the care for the individual patient that needs blood products or cell therapy.


  • PhD; Research, development, innovation
  • Health; Natural sciences; Engineering
  • max. 36 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • AT 3783


Sanquin Blood Supply Foundation (Sanquin)

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Plesmanlaan 125, 1066 CX, Amsterdam

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