Post-doc in Molecular Cartilage Biology and discovery of osteoarthritis disease-modifying drugs

Post-doc in Molecular Cartilage Biology and discovery of osteoarthritis disease-modifying drugs

Published Deadline Location
2 May 21 May Maastricht

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Job description

Would you like to enrich your academic career by contributing to innovative molecular solutions for battling osteoarthritis, one of the leading modern-day health threats?! Then apply now for a position as a post-doc in the Molecular Cartilage Biology (MCB) group at the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Maastricht University.

Job Description
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a heterogeneous and invalidating disease of the joint characterized by joint degeneration and pain, severely impacting most daily activities. In the Netherlands alone, 1.5 million patients suffer daily from the consequences of OA, which is expected to grow to 2.5 million by 2040. The global OA incidence is taking pandemic forms, with a current estimate of more than 500 million patients. Despite these pessimistic patient numbers, the massive global impact of OA on socio-economic systems and the quality of life for the individual patient, there are no pharmacological treatment options that delay or halt the progression of OA.

In this project, we aim to identify unique small-molecule-based disease-modifying drugs (DMOADs) that can provide a biomolecular basis for future pharmacological osteoarthritis treatments. We approach this by high-throughput screening of large compound libraries containing tens-of-thousands of candidate drugs. In these screenings, we employ various core osteoarthritis molecular pathways as druggable targets. These large-scale drug screening activities are ongoing and will be finished in the course of this year and deliver a unique collection of candidate small-molecules for OA treatment.

In this exciting project, you will be selecting promising candidate small-molecules from the highthroughput screenings for further study. Your biomolecular studies will include, but will not be limited to, detailed identification of biomolecular pathways involved in small-molecule activity, dose-response studies, efficacy on primary OA patient cells and tissues from the joint, selecting the most-promising small-molecules with respect to their molecular specificity to mitigate OA pathological pathways and the most-promising pharmacological characteristics.

This research project is part of a recently started project funded by Stichting de Weijerhorst (klik hier voor meer informatie), and will be conducted in the Molecular Cartilage Biology group of Prof. Dr. Welting, at the Laboratory for Experimental Orthopedics, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Maastricht University. Funded by the same project, two Ph.D. students will also be active in the Molecular Cartilage Biology group and work on drug and genetic screening activities. We offer a stateof-the-art laboratory and research environment, a timely and thriving area of research with plenty of opportunities to make an impact, an energetic and innovative young team, and many opportunities for academic self-development including teaching skills.

  • You hold a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, Biochemistry or a related Life Science background with a clear molecular focus;
  • You have good knowledge and a natural affinity for molecular biology;
  • You have experience or a strong interest in molecular pharmacology;
  • You have excellent scientific presentation and writing skills;
  • You are a creative academic thinker;
  • You are an independent scientist but with a positive team player attitude;
  • You are passionate about making a difference and pushing the boundaries in the area of Molecular Cartilage Biology and application of your knowledge in the orthopedic field for the benefit of osteoarthritis patients.

What we offer
As Post-doc at Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, you will be employed by the most international university in the Netherlands, located in the beautiful city of Maastricht. In addition, we offer you:
  • Good employment conditions. The position is graded in scale 10 according to UFO profile Researcher, with corresponding salary based on experience ranging from €3226,00 and €5090,00 gross per month (based on a full-time employment of 38 hours per week). In addition to the monthly salary, an 8.0% holiday allowance and an 8.3% year-end bonus apply.
  • An employment contract for a period of 24 months with a scope of 1.0 FTE.
  • At Maastricht University, the well-being of our employees is of utmost importance, we offer flexible working hours and the possibility to work partly from home if the nature of your position allows it. You will receive a monthly commuting and internet allowance for this. If you work full-time, you will be entitled to 29 vacation days and 4 additional public holidays per year, namely carnival Monday, carnival Tuesday, Good Friday, and Liberation Day. If you choose to accumulate compensation hours, an additional 12 days will be added. Furthermore, you can personalize your employment conditions through a collective labor agreement (CAO) choice model.
  • As Maastricht University, we offer various other excellent secondary employment conditions. These include a good pension scheme with the ABP and the opportunity for UM employees to participate in company fitness and make use of the extensive sports facilities that we also offer to our students.
  • Last but certainly not least, we provide the space and facilities for your personal and professional development. We facilitate this by offering a wide range of training programs and supporting various well-established initiatives such as 'acknowledge and appreciate'.

The terms of employment at Maastricht University are largely set out in the collective labor agreement of Dutch Universities. In addition, local provisions specific to UM apply. For more information, click here.

Maastricht University
Why work at Maastricht University?
At Maastricht University (UM), everything revolves around the future. The future of our students, as we work to equip them with a solid, broad-based foundation for the rest of their lives. And the future of society, as we seek solutions through our research to issues from all around the world. Our six faculties combined provide a comprehensive package of study programmes and research.

In our teaching, we use the Problem-Based Learning (PBL) method. Students work in small groups, looking for solutions to problems themselves. By discussing issues and working together to draw conclusions, formulate answers and present them to their peers, students develop essential skills for their future careers.

With over 22,300 students and more than 5,000 employees from all over the world, UM is home to a vibrant and inspiring international community.

Are you drawn to an international setting focused on education, science and scholarship? Are you keen to contribute however your skills and qualities allow? Our door is open to you! As a young European university, we value your talent and look forward to creating the future together.

Click here for more information about UM.

Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences
At the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences (FHML), everything revolves around healthy living. Our research and education are not solely focused on recovery, but place a strong emphasis on prevention, health preservation, and health promotion. Our aim is to use our knowledge and expertise to genuinely contribute to the well-being of individual people as well as society in total.

In, research, and healthcare, FHML is closely collaborating with the academic hospital in Maastricht, together forming the Maastricht University Medical Center (MUMC+). FHML is strongly connected in education, research, and care with the Maastricht academic hospital, together with which it forms the Maastricht University Medical Centre (MUMC+).

FHML, which is the largest faculty of Maastricht University, is formed by an (inter)national community of employees and students. The faculty offers a wide range of Dutch and English-taught bachelor's and master's programs in innovative educational concepts in which the emphasis is always on building bridges to practice.

The multidisciplinary research of the FHML focuses on a number of carefully chosen topical current themes. In addition to research aimed at gaining new insights, it also concerns research whose results can be directly translated into concrete applications and innovations. The implementation of the various research programs is organized in our six graduate schools and two institutes.

Care and Public Health Research Institute (CAPHRI)
CAPHRI works towards better health for everyone through innovative solutions for healthcare and public health care. CAPHRI builds bridges between science and society by conducting research with an inclusive and participatory approach. The research focuses on prevention and innovation ranging from public - and primary health care, to person-oriented long-term care.
Our research has a strong multidisciplinary approach with attention to local, regional and global themes embedded in six research lines: Ageing and Long-Term Care, Creating Value-Based Health Care, Functioning, Participation and Rehabilitation, Health Inequities and Societal Participation, Optimising Patient Care; and Promoting Health and Personalised Care.

Working at CAPHRI means being engaged in an active and inspiring academic setting and making a real contribution to the improvement of care and public health. CAPHRI attracts top scientists from around the world and is known for its comprehensive PhD training programme for young talented scientists. (hyperlink:

Are you interested in this exciting position but still have questions? Feel free to contact Prof. dr. Tim Welting at for more information.

Do you have any questions regarding the procedure, please contact Patrick Claus (Recruiter) at

Or are you already convinced and ready to become our new post-doc in Molecular Cartilage Biology and discovery of osteoarthritis disease-modifying drugs? Apply now, no later than 21st of May 2024, for this position.

Please upload your CV, motivation letter, grade list, contact information of 2 referees.

The vacancy is open for internal and external candidates. In case of equal qualifications, internal candidates will be prioritized.

Maastricht University is committed to promoting and nurturing a diverse and inclusive community. We believe that diversity in our staff and student population contributes to the quality of research and education at UM, and strive to enable this through inclusive policies and innovative projects led by teams of staff and students. We encourage you to apply for this position.


Maastricht University (UM)


  • Postdoc
  • Health
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €3226—€5090 per month
  • Doctorate
  • 930


Maastricht University (UM)

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P. Debyelaan 25, 6229HX, Maastricht

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