PhD Position in Developmental Biology

PhD Position in Developmental Biology

Published Deadline Location
18 Jun 16 Jul Utrecht
Join our European PhD training network and make your contribution to our understanding of the processes that polarise epithelial cells!

Job description

We are excited to welcome a PhD candidate to become part of our dynamic research team. Join our research efforts to understand how epithelial cells become polarised, functionally specialise, and function.

Your job
Cell polarity – the asymmetric distribution of components and functions within a cell along a directional axis – is a fundamental property of cells that is present across the kingdoms of life. Most cells need to distribute proteins, organelles, and functions along an axis of polarity in order to carry out their specialised functions and organise the 3D multicellular body.

The PhD position is part of the European PhD Training network SurfEx, funded by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (EU programme for doctoral education). The project uses the nematode C. elegans as a model system. Within this animal model, the polarisation of cells can be followed with single cell resolution, and polarity regulators can be studied using the advanced genetic toolkit available, including CRISPR/Cas9 genome engineering to generate mutants and inducible degradation variants, to be able to inactivate candidates in specific cells and at specific times in development.

The aim of this project is to identify and characterise novel components involved in the polarisation and specialisation of the apical surface of intestinal epithelial cells. Objectives of the project include:
  • identifying components of the terminal web and brushing border in elegans using proximity labelling proteomics with baits localised at the microvilli tip, core or base, and the terminal web;
  • validation of candidate components: likely novel components of the apical exchange surface (ranked through bioinformatics approaches) will be endogenously tagged with fluorescent proteins via CRISPR/Cas9, and their subcellular localisation will be examined by spinning disc confocal microscopy;
  • detailed functional analysis of validated candidates using the advanced genetic toolkit available in elegans, including inducible protein degradation to inactivate candidates in the intestine only and at specific times in development.

SurfEx brings together 8 labs/industrial partners aiming to gain a new understanding of how the apical exchange surface of epithelial cells is formed and functions in health and disease. As one of the 12 doctoral candidates within the SurfEx network, you will have the opportunity to work with leading academics and industrial partners from across Europe, gaining valuable experience in international collaboration and cutting-edge research. You will also benefit from a comprehensive training programme that includes workshops, courses, and secondments, all aimed at enhancing your research and professional skills.

Specifications

Utrecht University

Requirements

We are looking for a colleague with the following qualifications:
  • a Master's degree (or equivalent) in Biology;
  • a strong background in at least one but preferentially two of the following areas: Developmental Biology, Cell Biology, or Molecular Biology;
  • a strong interest in performing in vivo studies in elegans;
  • proficiency in academic English.

To qualify for this position you cannot have resided or carried out your main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the Netherlands for more than 12 months in the 36 months preceding the recruitment date.

Conditions of employment

We offer:
  • the opportunity to participate in the education programme of the Graduate School of Life Sciences and in the Marie Curie PhD training network (SurfEx);
  • a position for four years (1.0 FTE);
  • a gross monthly salary between €2,770 and €3,539 in the case of full-time employment (salary scale P under the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO NU));
  • 8% holiday pay and 8.3% year-end bonus;
  • a pension scheme, partially paid parental leave and flexible terms of employment based on the CAO NU.

In addition to the terms of employment laid down in the CAO NU, Utrecht University has a number of schemes and facilities of its own for employees. This includes schemes facilitating professional development, leave schemes and schemes for sports and cultural activities, as well as discounts on software and other IT products. We also offer access to additional employee benefits through our Terms of Employment Options Model. In this way, we encourage our employees to continue to invest in their growth. For more information, please visit Working at Utrecht University.

Employer

Universiteit Utrecht

A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University, the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major strategic themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Pathways to Sustainability. Sharing science, shaping tomorrow.

At the Faculty of Science there are 6 departments to make a fundamental connection with: Biology, Chemistry, Information and Computing Sciences, Mathematics, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Physics. Each of these is made up of distinct institutes that work together to focus on answering some of humanity’s most pressing challenges. More fundamental still are the individual research groups – the building blocks of our ambitious scientific projects.

You will work in the group of Professor Mike Boxem in the Developmental Biology division (Department of Biology). The Boxem group works closely together with the groups of Professor Sander van den Heuvel, Dr Suzan Ruijtenberg, and Dr Martin Harterink, who also primarily use C. elegans as a model system. You will therefore be part of an interdisciplinary and dynamic team of researchers that share many common interests and approaches.

Additional information

For more information, please contact Mike Boxem at m.boxem@uu.nl.

Do you have a question about the application procedure? Please send an email to science.recruitment@uu.nl.

Specifications

  • PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • 36—40 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 4009

Employer

Location

Budapestlaan 6, 3584CD, Utrecht

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Application procedure

As Utrecht University, we want to be a home for everyone. We value staff with diverse backgrounds, perspectives and identities, including cultural, religious or ethnic background, gender, sexual orientation, disability or age. We strive to create a safe and inclusive environment in which everyone can flourish and contribute.

To apply, please send us the following documents via the 'apply now' button:
  • a curriculum vitae, including full personal and academic details;
  • a motivation letter outlining your interest in the position and your suitability, including your research experience, research skills and research interests (max. 2 pages);
  • academic transcripts;
  • the names and contact details of two academic referees.

If this specific opportunity isn’t what you are looking for but you know someone else who may be interested, please forward this vacancy to them.

Some connections are fundamental – Be one of them
#FundamentalConnection

Application procedure

Application procedure

As Utrecht University, we want to be a home for everyone. We value staff with diverse backgrounds, perspectives and identities, including cultural, religious or ethnic background, gender, sexual orientation, disability or age. We strive to create a safe and inclusive environment in which everyone can flourish and contribute.

To apply, please send us the following documents via the 'apply now' button:
  • a curriculum vitae, including full personal and academic details;
  • a motivation letter outlining your interest in the position and your suitability, including your research experience, research skills and research interests (max. 2 pages);
  • academic transcripts;
  • the names and contact details of two academic referees.

If this specific opportunity isn’t what you are looking for but you know someone else who may be interested, please forward this vacancy to them.

Some connections are fundamental – Be one of them
#FundamentalConnection

Make sure to apply no later than 16 Jul 2024 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).