Postdoc position in the domain of Toxicogenomics: Ontology-driven and artificial intelligence-based toxicity testing for the next generation risk assessment approaches

Postdoc position in the domain of Toxicogenomics: Ontology-driven and artificial intelligence-based toxicity testing for the next generation risk assessment approaches

Published Deadline Location
7 Apr 21 Apr Maastricht

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The post-doc will be working as a member of the ONTOX* consortium, a large EU funded project that aims to advance human risk assessment of chemicals without the use of animals in line with the principles of 21st century toxicity testing and next generation risk assessment. ONTOX will create innovative methodologies in order to predict systemic repeated dose toxicity effects that will advance human risk assessment. The main focus will be put on adversities in the liver, kidneys and the developing brain, induced by a variety of chemicals, including from the pharmaceutical, cosmetics, food and biocide sectors. All methodologies will consist of a computational system based on cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI) and will be primarily fed by available biological/mechanistic, toxicological/ epidemiological, physico-chemical and kinetic data. Data will be integrated in physiological maps, quantitative adverse outcome pathway networks (qAOPs) and ontology frameworks. Data gaps will be filled by targeted state-of-the-art in vitro and in silico testing.

Job description

The post-doc will be working as a member of the ONTOX* consortium, a large EU funded project that aims to advance human risk assessment of chemicals without the use of animals in line with the principles of 21st century toxicity testing and next generation risk assessment. ONTOX will create innovative methodologies in order to predict systemic repeated dose toxicity effects that will advance human risk assessment. The main focus will be put on adversities in the liver, kidneys and the developing brain, induced by a variety of chemicals, including from the pharmaceutical, cosmetics, food and biocide sectors. All methodologies will consist of a computational system based on cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI) and will be primarily fed by available biological/mechanistic, toxicological/ epidemiological, physico-chemical and kinetic data. Data will be integrated in physiological maps, quantitative adverse outcome pathway networks (qAOPs) and ontology frameworks. Data gaps will be filled by targeted state-of-the-art in vitro and in silico testing.

The post-doc will be involved in setting-up a data infrastructure that allows long-term storage and sharing of data. Data will be checked for quality according to predefined criteria, thereby ensuring that only reliable and high-quality data will be used. Any uncertainties, in particular in the in silico analyses, will be characterized and sources will be identified. Statistical design and analysis for all studies and experiments in ONTOX will be supported by a team of biostatisticians from the different partner institutions.

 * ONTOX: https://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/963845

Specifications

Maastricht University (UM)

Requirements

We are looking for an enthusiastic Post-doc with the following required and preferred qualifications:

Required:

  • Relevant (Systems) Biology, Biomedical Sciences or equivalent MSc and PhD;
  • Advanced skills in data management including ethics issues, data safety and protection, bio-statistics and –informatics.
  • Interest in the biomarker development and elucidating molecular mechanisms of toxicity;
  • Excellent communication skills and fluency in English;
  • A project and result-oriented way of working with a planned and pro-active approach;
  • Ability to work both independently, and in close collaboration with different parties in the consortium;

Preferred:

  • Experience in molecular biological techniques, including gene-expression analysis using high-throughput techniques and RNA sequencing;
  • Experience with the development of in vitro alternative toxicity testing.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 2 year.

This Postdoc position is enabled in the context of the EU funded project ONTOX at the department of Toxicogenomics, Maastricht University.  This academic environment offers you a stimulating scientific context with excellent facilities for professional and personal development. 

The position is temporary for the duration of 2 years. Depending on experience and qualification, the gross monthly salary is scale 10 (max. € 4.402,-).

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 www.maastrichtuniversity.nl > Support > UM employees.

Employer

Maastricht University

At Maastricht University the project will be embedded within the Faculty of Health Medicine and Life Sciences (FHML), and in the School for Oncology and Development (GROW). Within the school there is a clear focus on disease prevention and the department of Toxicogenomics has a long tradition in the development of alternative methods for the reduction, refinement and replacement of animal testing.

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 20,000 students and 4,700 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.
For more information, visit www.maastrichtuniversity.nl.

Department

Toxicogenomics

At the Department of Toxicogenomics (TGX), a multidisciplinary team of biologists, chemists, toxicologists and bioinformaticians is working in close collaboration to establish the biological impact of exposures to potentially toxic compounds. The rapid development of the new, so called omics-technologies, has enabled us to establish responses at different molecular levels with higher sensitivity than most classical effect markers, and providing information on the involved molecular mechanisms of action. As such, toxicogenomics research combines toxicology with genomics approaches in order to obtain more accurate understanding of toxicological processes. The application of these innovative omics-technologies in in vitro toxicology and human health risk analysis can be regarded as the central research paradigm of the department of Toxicogenomics (https://www.maastrichtuniversity.nl/research/toxicogenomics).

Specifications

  • Postdoc
  • 38—40 hours per week
  • €2790—€4402 per month
  • AT2021.111

Employer

Maastricht University (UM)

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Location

Universiteitssingel 50, 6229 ER, Maastricht

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