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Autoreactive B cells play a central role in rheumatoid arthritis (RA), as demonstrated by the remarkable response of patients to B cell-targeted therapies. Our team recently identified that RA is characterized by a restricted autoreactive B cell pool. Interestingly, B cell receptors (BCRs) displayed by these B cells harbor an extensive amount of glycans in their antigen-binding regions, providing a selective advantage. This is where you come in!
You will identify the functional importance of glycans attached to the BCR for autoreactive B cells and elucidate how they are involved in the loss of immunological tolerance. The project involves both fundamental and translational research in a multidisciplinary and enthusiastic team consisting of biologists, immunologists, rheumatologists, and technicians. Using recently developed technologies in the field of mass spectrometry, the goal of this project is to understand the role of the glycans present on the B cell receptor and secreted antibodies. This analysis aims to provide new insights into the pathogenesis of RA and the role glycans play in it.
Fixed-term contract: duration program.
You will be given an employment contract for the production of a PhD thesis for the duration of the program with a maximum of four years. The salary amounts to € 2,901 gross per month in the first year, up to a maximum of € 3,677 in the last year with fulltime employment (scale Pro, CLA UMC).
At the Leiden University Medical Center, we continuously work on improving patient care. We invest in groundbreaking, international research and work with the latest equipment. Together with our team of doctors, medical specialists, teachers, academic researchers and supporting staff, we aim for the best quality in health care, education and international research. And we need you to realize our goals!
At the Department of Rheumatology, a EULAR Centre of Excellence, we specialize in characterizing the disease pathogenesis of various autoimmune diseases. The Rheumatology laboratory is comprised of 35 enthusiastic postdocs, PhD students, and technicians. The Rheumatology outpatient clinic and the scientists in the lab work closely together to integrate fundamental and clinical research as much as possible. Furthermore, this project is part of the recently obtained EU project called "Glycan Switch," which is a collaborative effort between the Department of Rheumatology, the Centre for Proteomics and Metabolomics (CPM) at the LUMC, and researchers from Croatia and Portugal.
At the LUMC we continuously work on improving patient care. We invest in groundbreaking, international research and work with the latest equipment. Together with our team of doctors, medical specialists, teachers, academic researchers and supporting staff, we aim for the best quality in health care, education and international research.
Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC)
Albinusdreef 2, 2333 ZA, Leiden
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