PhD position - COVID19, vaccines and immunology

PhD position - COVID19, vaccines and immunology

Published Deadline Location
11 Feb 24 Feb Utrecht

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Are you the PhD student that will join our team investigating immune responses after COVID19 vaccination in Down Syndrome? You'll be responsible for T and B cell assay's using state-of-the-art techniques as flow cytometry and neutralization assay's.

Job description

We are looking for an enthusiastic and creative PhD candidate with interest in infectious diseases, immunology and vaccine development. You will investigate immune responses after SARS-CoV-2 vaccination in patients with Down Syndrome that participate in the PRIDE project. Down Syndrome is associated with T-cell malfunction and patients with Down Syndrome have an increased risk for developing severe COVID-19 infection. Within this project you will use T cell assays (culture, stimulation), B cell assays, flow cytometry including surface and intracellular stainings, cytokine measurements and virological assays such as neutralization assays. Samples have already been collected. You will present the results of your research during national and international conferences and consortia meetings. In addition, you will follow a curriculum at our university PhD graduate school. In parallel, you will write manuscripts for publications in international peer-reviewed journals.


University Medical Center Utrecht (UMC Utrecht)


We invite highly motivated, independently working people with  a master’s degree in biomedical sciences or a related field. Experience and in-depth knowledge of immunology are required. Similarly, we positively evaluate candidates that have experience with cell culture, tissue culture, flow cytometry, viral assays and/or lentiviral expression systems. The ideal candidate has good communicational skills, is self-motivated, enjoys setting up, executing and interpreting experiments and enjoyed working in a translational research team. You are committed to keep up with recent developments in literature and implement novel insights in your research. You think critically about your own work and of others.

Required skills

  • Master’s degree in biomedical sciences or a related field.
  • In-depth knowledge of immunology.
  • Experience with lab-based research, for example research internship.
  • Work independently with excellent planning skills that enables you to work on multiple projects.
  • Sufficient English communication skills to discuss plans, experiments, results and follow-up steps.

We believe in the power of a diverse team in which there is room for different skills, expertise, and social and cultural backgrounds. We invite you to respond to this vacancy.

Conditions of employment

The maximum salary for this position (36 - 36 hours) is € 3.271,00 gross per month based on full-time employment.

In addition, we offer an annual benefit of 8.3%, holiday allowance, travel expenses and career opportunities. The terms of employment are in accordance with the Cao University Medical Centers (UMC).


Center of Translational Immunology (CTI)

You will be joining the research group of prof. dr. Louis Bont and prof. dr. Linde Meyaard within the Center of Translational Immunology (CTI) at the University of Medical Center Utrecht (UMCU). Louis Bont has a longstanding research interest in pediatric infectious diseases, especially in respiratory viruses and Down syndrome. His research group investigates among others RSV vaccines, RSV in Down Syndrome and development of the immune system in Down Syndrome. The research group of Linde Meyaard focuses on inhibitory immune receptors in context of cancer, inflammation and immunopathology of viral infections with the aim to develop clinical applications.

You will be working within the PRIDE team led by dr. Bont. Dr. Eveline Delemarre, postdoctoral researcher will provide daily supervision. She has a combined background in medicine and basic immunological research. You will closely collaborate with drs. Bianca Streng, MD, who is leading the clinical trial.

The Bont-Meyaard research group composes an international team of clinical researchers, basic scientists, lab technicians and research nurses. Talent development has top priority within our research group. The CTI conducts all research on immunological diseases within the UMCU. It is a well-facilitated department with experts in all fields of immunology and is embedded in the focus area “Infection and Immunity”. We have state-of-the-art flow cytometry, imaging and other in-house facilities.


  • PhD
  • Health
  • max. 36 hours per week
  • max. €3271 per month
  • University graduate
  • 2022/01798


University Medical Center Utrecht (UMC Utrecht)

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Heidelberglaan 100, 3584 CX, Utrecht

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