PhD student | ‘Finding lost connections in Alzheimer’s disease’

PhD student | ‘Finding lost connections in Alzheimer’s disease’

Published Deadline Location
25 Sep 17 Oct Amsterdam

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"Do you, as a PhD student, want to discover new genetic factors that contribute to strong brain connectivity in dementia?"

Job description

The most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease (AD). AD starts with amyloid beta aggregation in the brain, 20 years before the onset of dementia. This long time period provides opportunities to prevent dementia. It is known that loss of brain connectivity is central to the clinical manifestation of AD. Moreover, dysconnectivity also plays a role in non-AD dementia syndromes. In this project you study the genetic factors that are associated with strong or with vulnerable brain connections as measured on MRI scans in the Amsterdam Dementia Cohort as a discovery cohort, and replicate findings in independent other large cohorts. You investigate which combined genetic and brain connectivity patterns are specific or generic across different dementia disorders, and whether genetic factors related to brain connectivity can be found that explain differences between individuals in disease progression. This research is part of a VIDI funded project and includes collaborations with the Neuroscience Campus Amsterdam, as well as with large scale European consortia.

About the project
The most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease (AD). AD starts with amyloid beta aggregation in the brain, 20 years before the onset of dementia. This long time period provides opportunities to prevent dementia. It is known that loss of brain connectivity is central to the clinical manifestation of AD, and also in non-AD dementia causing diseases. Moreover, strong brain connectivity is associated with resilience to dementia. In this project you will study and potentially discover the genetic factors that are associated with strong or with vulnerable brain connections as measured on MRI scans in the Amsterdam Dementia Cohort as a discovery cohort, and replicate findings in independent other large cohorts. You investigate which combined genetic and brain connectivity patterns are specific or generic across different dementia disorders, and whether genetic factors related to brain connectivity can be found that explain differences between individuals in disease progression. This research is part of a VIDI funded project and includes collaborations with the Neuroscience Campus Amsterdam, as well as with large scale European consortia. 

Specifications

VU university medical center (VUmc)

Requirements

  • MSc in bioinformatics, systems biology, neuroscience, biomedical science, or related fields.
  • Demonstrable experience with analysis of large complex data sets, preferably with experience in genomic fields or MRI processing;
  • Experience with statistical software R, and experience with PLINK is preferred;
  • Experience with Python is preferred;
  • Knowledge and understanding of ontological databases such as KEGG, and GO;
  • Understanding of bioinformatical tools (e.g., IPA);
  • Organisational, communicative and cooperative skills, as you will collaborate with scientists from multiple scientific disciplines.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 12 months, to be extended for another 36 months upon evaluation.

We offer a four year PhD contract (starting for 12 months, to be extended for another 36 months upon evaluation).
The salary scale starts according to PhD guidelines at € 2.495,- in the first year, growing to € 3.196,-  in the last year (based on a 36 hour contract).

In addition, we offer:

  • Additional benefits include an 8.3% end-of-year bonus and 8.0% holiday pay.
  • The opportunity to follow further training and development.
  • Pension is accrued at the ABP. VUmc contributes a large part of the premium (70%).
  • In addition to excellent accessibility by public transport, we reimburse 75% of your OV travel costs (commuting costs).

For more information about our employment conditions, please visit our website.

Employer

VU University Medical Center (VUmc)

The Academic Medical Center (AMC) and the VU University Medical Center (VUmc) today joined forces in an administrative merger. The chairmen of both Boards of Directors signed the merger into force this afternoon. The signing ceremony took place in downtown Amsterdam, in a fitting location overflowing with Dutch medical history: the 17th century Anatomy Theater in a traditional weighing house called De Waag.
Following an intensive multi-year planning process, the two Amsterdam academic hospitals are working together as of this moment under a collective name: Amsterdam UMC. This enables both Amsterdam university medical centers to further develop their core business together: complex patient care, scientific research, and education & training. Amsterdam UMC kickstarts a gradual process of continuous integration. Initially, this will be most visible in two sectors: patient care and scientific research.

Department

Alzheimer Center Amsterdam

The Alzheimer Center Amsterdam is committed to serve patient care and advance scientific knowledge on different types of dementia. We aim for worldwide excellence in patient care and scientific research. With now over 100 colleagues we are part of the department of Neurology of the Amsterdam UMC. See our website for more information.
Working at Amsterdam UMC means working in an inspiring and professional environment where developing one`s talents and academic skills are encouraged. We offer you ample opportunity for development, deepening and broadening, additional training, and a place to grow!

Specifications

  • Research, development, innovation; PhD; IT
  • Engineering; Natural sciences; Health
  • max. 36 hours per week
  • €2495—€3196 per month
  • University graduate
  • AT PhD Alzheimer’s disease

Employer

VU university medical center (VUmc)

Learn more about this employer

Location

De Boelelaan 1117, 1081 HV, Amsterdam

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