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Many factors appear to govern the allergic response to food proteins including how the timing (age starting to eat the food, how often the food is consumed), dose (amount of food that is consumed) and route of exposure and the context in which the protein is recognised by the immune system. These factors are currently not incorporated in an allergenicity assessment, which might be the reason that current methods are not predictive. In the project we will develop an in vitro skin model to predict the allergenicity of novel food proteins and identify biomarkers (transport, immunological, integrity) that can distinguish food allergens from non-allergenic proteins.
For this Ph.d position, we seek a highly motivated biomedical scientist/immunologist or equivalent background to develop a skin model to measure the effect of the legume reference set of extracts and proteins on transport across the skin epithelium, immunological response and integrity of the skin. The Ph.D candidate will compare different skin models (e.g., commercial models, models based on skin biopsies and/or surgical tissue from allergic and/or non-allergic patients). Transport will be measured using analytical techniques such as LC-MS, immunoblot, SDS PAGE, and immunochemistry. For the immunological response, cytokine release will be measured together with cell characterization by flow cytometry or CyToF. The integrity of the skin will be measured using ELISA and/or Luminex (e.g., IL-1α or MIF, FLG).
The Ph.d candidate will have full access to the training scheme offered within the ALLPreT project including the development of technical and soft skills (e.g., networking, organization of meetings, grant writing, work/private balance and presenting for different audiences). Also position includes two secondments and are a mandatory part of your new PhD fellowship position, where the company Mattek in Vitro Life Science Laboratories for a period of 2 months, and Medical University Vienna, Austria for a period of 3 months will be the hosting institutes.
The position is provisional for a period of 1 year, with the prospect of extension for a further 3 years. The goal is a promotion.
The position is part of an innovative and international EU funded Marie Skłodowska-Curie Doctoral-Network (project ALLPreT - No 101072377) and that will mean that the usual MSCA DN eligibility criteria apply and will be verified during the application process. For more information on MSCA, please see: Home | Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions.
Other positions in this Marie Skłodowska-Curie project ALLPreT can also be found on https://www.allpret.eu/en
We are looking for a candidate who meets the following requirements:
The maximum salary for this position (36 - 36 hours) is € 3.336,00 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).
The Department of Dermatology/Allergology of the UMC Utrecht (JCI credited) offers care to patients with skin disorders and allergic diseases and performs scientific research. The department occupies an international top position in the field of food allergies (in children and adults). We are also one of the most important centers in the world in the field of eczema, urticaria/angioedema.
Nationally, UMC Utrecht is the only NFU (Dutch Federation of University Medical Centers) recognized expertise center for food allergies and eczema for both children and adults. The research is done in close collaboration with partners of the Center for Translational Immunology within the UMCU, which gives us access to many laboratory facilities equipped with high standard, and very advanced methodologies and instruments.
University Medical Center Utrecht (UMC Utrecht)
Heidelberglaan 100, 3584 CX, Utrecht
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