PhD in Molecular Cell biology

PhD in Molecular Cell biology

Published Deadline Location
10 Jul 4 Aug Amsterdam
Want to know more about the molecular pathways that underly neuronal function and disease? The department of Functional Genomics, part of the CNCR at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and Human Genetics at Amsterdam UMC, is seeking applicants for a PhD...

Job description

The majority of dementias, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD), are characterized by intraneuronal tau pathology reflects a severe disturbance of protein homeostasis: ‘proteostasis’. Although tau pathology is considered to be a causal factor resulting in clinical symptoms like memory loss, the mechanism by which tau aggregation induces memory impairment is unknown. The integrated stress response (ISR) is a key proteostatic pathway that controls translation that has specifically been implicated in memory processing and is dysregulated in neurons with early stage tau pathology in brains of AD patients.

In a collaborative project we team up with Michel van de Oever and Priyanka Rao-Ruiz for engram cell tagging and FACS-assisted proteomics to obtain mechanistic insight into the role of the ISR in memory formation and persistence by engram cells and -importantly- how these are disturbed by tau pathology.

My group at Amsterdam UMC-Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam focuses on proteostatic stress mechanisms in neurodegenerative disease and is part of the Center for Neurogenomics and Cognitive Research. We use state-of-the-art molecular and cell biological technology (e.g. confocal microscopy, quantitative automated high content microcopy, CRISPRi, proximity biotinylation etc.) and (iPSC) cell models for proteostatic disturbance in neurodegenerative diseases, including tau pathology and stress responses.


Amsterdam UMC


We are looking for a PhD student with the ambition to pursue a career in the molecular and cell biology of dementia. Furthermore, you possess:
  • A master’s degree in biomedical sciences, or similar degree with a neuroscience specialization;
  • Hands-on expertise and motivation for the analysis of molecular pathways is required;
  • Experience with cell culture and preferentially iPSC-derived neuron culture is desirable;
  • Proficiency in the English language.

Conditions of employment

  • A challenging position in a socially involved organization.
  • A contract for the duration of the training program. After a satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, the contract will be extended for a total duration of 4 years.
  • Placement in salary scale OIO: € 3.017 (1st year) to € 3.824 (4th year) gross based on a full-time employment. Additionally, you will receive, among other things, an 8.3% year-end bonus and 8% holiday allowance. Calculate your net salary here.
  • Free and unlimited access to our online learning platform GoodHabitz.
  • Pension accrual with ABP, of which we pay 70% of the premium.
  • Reimbursement of your public transportation travel costs. Prefer to come by bike? Then we have a good bicycle scheme.
  • An active staff association and Young Amsterdam UMC association, both of which organize fun (sporting) activities and events.


Amsterdam UMC

We are an inclusive university community. Diversity is one of our most important values. We believe that engaging in international activities and welcoming students and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds enhances the quality of our education and research. We are always looking for people who can enrich our world with their own unique perspectives and experiences.

The Faculty of Science of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The Faculty of Science inspires researchers and students to find sustainable solutions for complex societal issues. From forest fires to big data, from obesity to medicines and from molecules to the moon: our teaching and research programs cover the full spectrum of the natural sciences. We share knowledge and experience with leading research institutes and industries, both here in the Netherlands and abroad.

Working at the Faculty of Science means working with students, PhD candidates and researchers, all with a clear focus on their field and a broad view of the world. We employ more than 1,250 staff members, and we are home to around 6,000 students.

About the department(s)
The department of Functional Genomics is part of the Center for Neurogenomics and Cognitive Research in Amsterdam, and the department of Human Genetics, location VUmc.

Our PhD candidates participate in the Graduate School Neurosciences Amsterdam Rotterdam.

Additional information

During the publication period, applications will be handled continuously. If the vacancy is filled, it will be closed prematurely.

If you have any questions about this position, please feel free to contact prof. dr. Wiep Scheper, Teamleader Molecular Neurodegeneration, via

For more information about the application procedure, please contact Chey Edwards, Recruitment Advisor, via or via +316 214 87 245.

A reference check, screening and hiring test may be part of the procedure. Read here whether that applies to you. If you join us, we ask you for a VOG (Certificate of Good Conduct).

Internal candidates will be given priority over external candidates in case of equal suitability.

Acquisition in response to this vacancy is not appreciated.


  • PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • max. 36 hours per week
  • €3017—€3824 per month
  • Doctorate
  • 12257



De Boelelaan 1117, 1081HV, Amsterdam

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Application procedure

Application procedure

Make sure to apply no later than 4 Aug 2024 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).