PhD position - The impact of physical inactivity on skeletal muscle metabolism in type 2 diabetes

PhD position - The impact of physical inactivity on skeletal muscle metabolism in type 2 diabetes

Published Deadline Location
25 Jan 25 Mar Wageningen

Job description

Do you have a strong interest and background in academic research in the field of skeletal muscle metabolism and metabolic health? Are you interested in generating mechanistic knowledge on the role of muscle disuse on skeletal muscle metabolism in individuals with type 2 diabetes, and testing a potential countermeasure to preserve muscle mass and metabolic health during periods of physical inactivity? Then this position as PhD candidate at the chair group Human and Animal Physiology may be of interest to you.

As a PhD candidate on this project at Wageningen University, you will enrol in a 4-year PhD trajectory and contribute to understanding the impact of physical inactivity on skeletal muscle metabolism in individuals with type 2 diabetes. To this end you will conduct randomized, controlled trials involving experimental muscle disuse models including forearm cast immobilization and whole-body bed rest.

You will use state-of-the-art methodologies including arteriovenous forearm balance, stable isotope tracers, and continuous glucose monitoring under fasting, postprandial, and hyperinsulinaemic-euglycemic clamp conditions to measure muscle amino acid and glucose kinetics in conditions of impaired physical inactivity. This project is funded by the Dutch Diabetes Foundation (i.e. Diabetes Fonds), and will involve engagement of and dissemination to patient groups for optimal utilization of the research findings.

Your key activities and responsibilities will include:
  • conduct randomized controlled trials to investigate the impact of muscle disuse (e.g. limb immobilization, bed rest) on skeletal muscle metabolic health, muscle protein turnover, and clinically relevant outcomes in individuals with and without type 2 diabetes;
  • evaluate the impact of an interventional strategy (i.e. an exercise mimetic) on clinical outcomes and underlying mechanisms in individuals with and without type 2 diabetes;
  • perform molecular analyses on the collected biological samples;
  • write academic publications (with support from the supervisory team) and present findings at national and/or international conferences;
  • prepare medical ethical approval documents and progress reports;
  • actively contribute to other research activities and a stimulating research culture within the immediate research group and larger chair group;
  • supervise research assistants and BSc/MSc students, where appropriate.

You will work here
The research is embedded within the chair group Human and Animal Physiology which is led by Prof. Jaap Keijer. You will be supervised by Dr Marlou Dirks (primary supervisor) and Dr Silvie Timmers.

Specifications

Wageningen University & Research

Requirements

You have:
  • a scientific drive and curiosity, and are pro-active, detail-oriented, and capable of working well in a supportive academic environment;
  • a 'hands-on' mentality, and excellent organization and communication skills to execute detailed human physiology intervention studies;
  • eagerness to pursue an academic career and contribute to innovative metabolic research in skeletal muscle physiology;
  • aspire to positively contribute to a collaborative research culture that stimulates personal development and academic advancements of those you work with.

You also possess:
  • a successfully completed MSc degree in biomedical sciences, physiology, life sciences, nutrition, or any other academic degree in a relevant discipline;
  • experience with human intervention studies in the field of (skeletal muscle) physiology is preferred;
  • interest in studying skeletal muscle amino acid metabolism and how this is affected by physical inactivity and type 2 diabetes;
  • interest in linking human physiology with molecular mechanisms via state-of-the-art molecular techniques;
  • excellent organization skills, independent working, and hands-on mentality;
  • excellent writing and oral communication skills in English;
  • preferably fluent in Dutch for effective communication with patients;
  • good social skills to initiate dissemination strategies for patient follow-up and implementation in patient societies.

For this position your command of the English language is expected to be at C1 level. Sometimes it is necessary to submit an internationally recognised Certificate of Proficiency in the English Language. More information can be found here.

Conditions of employment

Wageningen University & Research offers excellent terms of employment. A few highlights from our Collective Labour Agreement include:
  • partially paid parental leave;
  • working hours that can be discussed and arranged so that they allow for the best possible work-life balance;
  • the option to accrue additional compensation / holiday hours by working more;
  • there is a strong focus on vitality and you can make use of the sports facilities available on campus for a small fee;
  • a fixed December bonus of 8.3%;
  • excellent pension scheme.

In addition to these first-rate employee benefits, you will receive a fully funded PhD position and you will be offered a course program tailored to your needs and the research team.

The gross salary for the first year is € 2.770 - per month rising to € 3.539,- in the fourth year in according to the Collective Labour Agreements for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU) (scale P). This is based on a full-time working week of 38 hours. We offer a temporary contract for 18 months which will be extended for the duration of the project if you perform well.

There are plenty of options for personal initiative in a learning environment, and we provide excellent training opportunities. We are offering a unique position in an international environment with a pleasant and open working atmosphere.

You are going to work at the greenest and most innovative campus in Holland, and at a university that has been chosen as the “Best University” in the Netherlands for the 19th consecutive time.

Employer

Wageningen University & Research

Wageningen University & Research
The mission of Wageningen University & Research is “To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life”. Under the banner Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen University and the specialised research institutes of the Wageningen Research Foundation have joined forces in contributing to finding solutions to important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment. With its roughly 30 branches, 7,600 employees (6,700 fte) and 13,100 students and over 150,000 participants to WUR’s Life Long Learning, Wageningen University & Research is one of the leading organisations in its domain. The unique Wageningen approach lies in its integrated approach to issues and the collaboration between different disciplines.

Read the 5 reasons why your future colleagues enjoy working at WUR and watch this video to get an idea of our green campus!

We will recruit for the vacancy ourselves, so no employment agencies please. However, sharing in your network is appreciated.

Additional information

For more information about this position, please contact Dr Marlou Dirks, Assistant Professor, by email: marlou.dirks@wur.nl.

For more information about the procedure, please contact Noorien Abbas, corporate recruiter, by email:noorien.abbas@wur.nl

Do you want to apply?
You can apply directly using the apply button on the vacancy page on our website which will allow us to process your personal information with your approval. As part of the application process you are asked to provide a motivation letter and complete curriculum vitae.

This vacancy will be listed up to and including 25 March 2024. We hope to schedule the first interviews on 8 April 2024. The intended starting date of the PhD is from 1 June 2024.

Equal opportunities
Wageningen University & Research (WUR) employs a large number of people with very different backgrounds and qualities, who inspire and motivate each other. We want every talent to feel at home in our organisation and be offered the same career opportunities. We therefore especially welcome applications from people who are underrepresented at WUR. A good example of how WUR deals with inclusiveness can be read on the page working at WUR with a functional impairment.

Specifications

  • PhD
  • Health
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • P1418806-1

Employer

Wageningen University & Research

Learn more about this employer

Location

Droevendaalsesteeg, 6708 PB, Wageningen

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Application procedure

For more information about this position, please contact Dr Marlou Dirks, Assistant Professor, by email: marlou.dirks@wur.nl.

For more information about the procedure, please contact Noorien Abbas, corporate recruiter, by email:noorien.abbas@wur.nl

Do you want to apply?
You can apply directly using the apply button on the vacancy page on our website which will allow us to process your personal information with your approval. As part of the application process you are asked to provide a motivation letter and complete curriculum vitae.

This vacancy will be listed up to and including 25 March 2024. We hope to schedule the first interviews on 8 April 2024. The intended starting date of the PhD is from 1 June 2024.

Equal opportunities
Wageningen University & Research (WUR) employs a large number of people with very different backgrounds and qualities, who inspire and motivate each other. We want every talent to feel at home in our organisation and be offered the same career opportunities. We therefore especially welcome applications from people who are underrepresented at WUR. A good example of how WUR deals with inclusiveness can be read on the page working at WUR with a functional impairment.

Application procedure

Application procedure

For more information about this position, please contact Dr Marlou Dirks, Assistant Professor, by email: marlou.dirks@wur.nl.

For more information about the procedure, please contact Noorien Abbas, corporate recruiter, by email:noorien.abbas@wur.nl

Do you want to apply?
You can apply directly using the apply button on the vacancy page on our website which will allow us to process your personal information with your approval. As part of the application process you are asked to provide a motivation letter and complete curriculum vitae.

This vacancy will be listed up to and including 25 March 2024. We hope to schedule the first interviews on 8 April 2024. The intended starting date of the PhD is from 1 June 2024.

Equal opportunities
Wageningen University & Research (WUR) employs a large number of people with very different backgrounds and qualities, who inspire and motivate each other. We want every talent to feel at home in our organisation and be offered the same career opportunities. We therefore especially welcome applications from people who are underrepresented at WUR. A good example of how WUR deals with inclusiveness can be read on the page working at WUR with a functional impairment.

Make sure to apply no later than 25 Mar 2024 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).