At present, the availability of donor organs is desperately insufficient to meet the need. The availability of high-quality donor organs - needed for a successful transplantation - will be even further at risk due to ageing and lifestyle changes of the population. Namely, organs retrieved from elderly, obese or unhealthy lifestyle donors and those donated after cardiac arrest do not recover from injury inherent to surgery as completely as young organs. New strategies are needed to solve the donor organ shortage.
In the Flagship 'Organ Transplantation: making unsuitable donor organs suitable', Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus Medical Centre and Technical University Delft join their research forces (https://convergence.nl/flagship-organ-transplantation/
). Technological innovations are envisioned to build a long‐term machine perfusion platform to not only sustain but also recover donor organ viability out‐of‐the‐body. Hence, damaged donor organs will be made suitable for transplantation.Job description
This vacancy is for a PhD candidate who will principally focus on ethical aspects as well as on patient and societal preferences regarding new strategies to organ transplantation (kidney, liver, heart, and lung). Through all aspects of the research program, the technologically innovative strategy for organ transplantation will raise important societal questions about prioritization, health‐related quality of life, well‐being, and cost‐effectiveness issues. The PhD candidate job position will (1) determine the best approach for clinical implementation of repaired donor organs in an ethical way, necessary for good clinical decision-making for future patients and for policy making (e.g. allocation guidelines); (2) determine the ethical implications of the availability of 'repaired' organs for clinical care and for the distribution of organs (a scarce resource) in terms of allocation, indication and prioritization; (3) quantify patients' and societal preferences for different transplantation strategies; (4) provide guidance for shared decision-making and allocation systems that meet ethical and legal requirements concerning refurbished and other new options for donor organs; and (5) be involved in generating tools to monitor the costs, (clinical) benefits and stakeholder preferences after organ transplantation. Besides research responsibilities, the PhD candidate will also participate in our teaching programs (up till 0.15fte).