PhD candidate 'Therapeutic mRNA for Endometriosis'

PhD candidate 'Therapeutic mRNA for Endometriosis'

Published Deadline Location
24 Oct 23 Nov Nijmegen

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Job description

Endometriosis is the most prevalent benign gynaecological disorder, affecting 6 – 10 % of women in reproductive age and as such it is one of the major causes of infertility and loss in quality of life. Inflammation plays a role resulting from a disbalance between immune-activating and down-modulating processes. Up to now, the development of therapies that address the underlying molecular and cellular mechanisms has remained underexplored. In this project we want to address the core of inflammation and fibrotic tissue remodeling by targeting messenger RNAs to macrophages which will then express therapeutic proteins inside the tissue. Will you help us?

This project is a collaborative effort between the departments of Medical BioSciences and Gynaecology and Obstetrics at the Radboudumc (Prof. Dr. Roland Brock/Prof. Dr. Annemiek Nap), and the department of Biomedical Engineering (Prof. Dr. Jan van Hest) at Eindhoven University of Technology (TUe) and thereby provides for a direct translation of fundamental research into a clinical setting.
The four-year project is funded through the “Open Technology Program” of the Dutch Science Organization NWO and is supported by three companies in the area of messenger RNA and nanoformulations and the Dutch Endometriosis Foundation.

The focus of the position at Radboudumc is on the design and functional testing of mRNAs. For this purpose, we will transfect macrophages in microfluidic tissue-on-a-chip models and assess the functionality of released proteins using fluorescence based assays. Furthermore, we will make use of ex vivo tissue explants from endometriosis patients to assess the activity of mRNAs on inflammatory and fibrotic processes. TUe will focus on developing a novel type of nanoparticle to improve targeted delivery which will be tested by Radboudumc.

Tasks and responsibilities
  • Establishmicrofluidic tissue-on-a-chip systems to investigate macrophage targeting and mRNA activity.
  • Formulate nanoparticles containing mRNA.
  • Perform functional assays to assess mRNA activity on-chip and in tissue explants.
  • Supervise MSc and BSc students and disseminate the obtained knowledge by scientific publications and presentations at (inter)national conferences, with the ultimate aim to finalize and publicly defend a PhD-thesis.
  • Prepare presentations for project meetings and write progress reports and present results.


Radboud University Medical Center (Radboudumc)


Our ideal PhD candidate has a Master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences, Molecular Life Sciences, Biotechnology or related field and experience in tissue culture and molecular biology.

Furthermore you will recognize yourself in:
  • Familiarity with fluorescence microscopy is a pre but not a must.
  • Able to operate and communicate in an international and interdisciplinary team.
  • Independent in the planning, execution and critical analysis of experiments.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 4 years.

Working at Radboud university medical center means that you are ahead of the curve and working together on the healthcare of the future. And there is more. Our secondary terms of employment are impressive. These are fully tailored to you thanks to our Employment Conditions Selection Model. At Radboud university medical center, you will be given trust, and you will take the responsibility to handle everything together. We provide annual courses, both professional and personal.
  • A gross monthly salary between € 2.789 and € 3.536 (scale 10A ) based on full-time employment.
  • From 1 November 2023 the wages will increase by 4%.
  • An annual vacation allowance of 8% and an end-of-year bonus of 8.3%.
  • If you work irregular hours, you will receive an allowance.
  • As a full-time employee (36 hours per week), you are entitled to approximately 168 vacation hours (over 23 days) per year.
  • Radboud university medical center pays 70% of the pension premium. You pay the rest of the premium with your gross salary.
  • Discount on your supplementary health insurance. You can make use of two collective health insurance policies: UMC Health Insurance and CZ Collective. They offer many extras to stay vital and healthy, such as a prevention budget, workshops, and apps.

In addition to our terms of employment, we also offer employees various other attractive facilities, such as childcare and sports facilities. Want to learn more? Take a look at the Cao UMC.



The department of Medical BioSciences provides an international and stimulating working environment for its 200 employees and is an exciting place to perform basic and translational research, and contribute to teaching. The department encompasses eighteen complementary research groups whose interests range from structure analysis, to immune function, protein engineering and nanomedicine to molecular physiology.

This project takes places in the group of Targeted Nanomedicines (Prof. Roland Brock and Dr. Wouter Verdurmen) that is part of the Department of Medical BioSciences at the Radboud university medical center. The group is involved in projects that all relate towards development of novel nanomedicine strategies in collaboration with clinical groups. As a unique characteristic, we combine research into nanomedicine strategies with the development and application of novel microfluidic tissue-on-a-chip systems. At Radboudumc, this project is performed in collaboration with the Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics.

Welcome to Radboud university medical center (Radboudumc), where scientific breakthroughs are born through the curiosity and passion of our collaborating researchers in a vibrant environment. We believe trust and excitement are crucial elements to achieving our goals, and we approach our research as teams and with the utmost rigor to make a significant impact on health and healthcare. Our researchers are driven by their fascination with the biological, psychological, and sociological mechanisms underlying health and healthcare. They collaborate with partners from all over the world to improve health outcomes for all. Radboudumc unites patient care, research, education, and corporate learning, which allows us to approach our mission to shape the health and healthcare of the future in an innovative and person-centered way.

Our ambition is to lead the way in the pursuit of prevention, sustainability, meaningful care. We believe that through our research, we can significantly improve the health and well-being of society. Join us on our mission to make a difference in healthcare. Become a part of our community of gifted researchers, professionals or patient partners who are dedicated to making a real impact on population health and healthcare.

Read what it is like to do a PhD at the Radboud University Medical Center.
Read more about working at Radboud university medical center means.


  • PhD
  • Health
  • max. 36 hours per week
  • €2789—€3536 per month
  • University graduate
  • 188710-P1350885-1


Radboud University Medical Center (Radboudumc)

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Geert Grooteplein-Zuid 10, 6525 GA, Nijmegen

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