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According to the World Health Organization, lung diseases are the number one cause of death worldwide. Lung diseases almost without exception lead to extremely debilitating symptoms and loss of quality of life and productivity. Therefore, the Precision Medicine for more Oxygen (P4O2) program aims to identify treatable traits and innovative personalized therapeutic strategies to both prevent progression of early stage damage and to reverse established lung and systemic damage by stimulating tissue repair.
Environmental exposure to noxious compounds (external exposome) is a well-known trigger for chronic lung diseases. One of the hypotheses tested in this project of P4O2 is that the lifestyle-related ‘internal exposome’ modulates the sensitivity of the lungs to damage, with a central role for metabolically active tissues like skeletal muscle.
Consequently, a fundamental understanding of the underlying tissue crosstalk and cellular interactions will provide a mechanistic basis to modify or reverse the development of chronic lung disease.
A full description of the P4O2 program and consortium can be found on: https://p4o2.org/
Environmental exposure to noxious compounds (external exposome) is a well-known trigger for chronic lung diseases. One of the hypotheses tested in this project of P4O2 is that the lifestyle-related ‘internal exposome’ modulates the sensitivity of the lungs to damage, with a central role for metabolically active tissues like skeletal muscle. Consequently, a fundamental understanding of the underlying tissue crosstalk and cellular interactions will provide a mechanistic basis to modify or reverse the development of chronic lung disease.
To this end novel skeletal muscle cell culture models to mimic and modulate life style determinants of muscle metabolism and secretory actions will be developed, as well as organ on chip approaches to model lung-muscle interactions in vitro. With these advanced cell models into place, the impact of lung and muscle crosstalk on damage and repair responses following external exposome stimuli and internal exposome modulation will be investigated.
This project will be completed within the Department of Respiratory Medicine, with a long standing interest in lung - muscle interactions in lung disease, including COPD and lung cancer. As this project is embedded within the P4O2 program, the work will be performed in collaboration with academic partners at the UMCG and LUMC.
You hold a Master’s degree in the Molecular Biology / BioMedical Sciences field with a strong drive to further develop in this area. You have a real researcher’s mentality; open-minded, curious, enthusiastic, inquisitive and accurate. You are capable of working independently, but you are also a team player. You have good organization and communication skills and master the English language in spoken and written form. Prior experience with advanced cell culture models is beneficial.
As this project focusses on mechanisms underlying lung crosstalk with extra-pulmonary tissue in the context of damage and repair responses, the candidate is expected to have a great interest and affinity for intercellular communication, signaling pathways, and tissue regeneration.
Fixed-term contract: 48 months.
Temporary employment for 4 years. The first year will be a probation period, after a positive assessment the position will be extended for another 3 years, which happens in the vast majority of cases
Your salary would be € 2.395,- gross per month in the first year up to € 3.061,- gross per month in the fourth year according to the PhD-candidate salary scale. Each year an evaluation will take place.
The terms of employment of Maastricht University are set out in the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO). Furthermore, local UM provisions also apply. For more information look at the website http://www.maastrichtuniversity.nl > Support > UM employees.
Maastricht University is renowned for its unique, innovative, problem-based learning system, which is characterized by a small-scale and student-oriented approach. Research at UM is characterized by a multidisciplinary and thematic approach, and is concentrated in research institutes and schools. Maastricht University has around 20,000 students and 4,700 employees. Reflecting the university's strong international profile, a fair amount of both students and staff are from abroad. The university hosts 6 faculties: Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Faculty of Law, School of Business and Economics, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience.
NUTRIM School for Nutrition and Translational Research
NUTRIM School for Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism is part of the Faculty of Health Medicine and Life Sciences of the Maastricht University. NUTRIM catalyses translational research into metabolic and chronic inflammatory disorders (i.e. metabolic syndrome/diabetes, IBD/intestinal failure and COPD) that will contribute to innovative personalized lifestyle and medicine approaches with a focus on nutrition, toxicology and metabolism. Within NUTRIM, approximately 400 scientists including 245 PhD students, and an additional 70 support staff members work interdisciplinary together in 16 Biomedical, clinical, and behavioral-science departments. Through its research master and PhD programme NUTRIM aims to educate investigators of high scientific excellence and ambassadors to support and develop this research field.
Department of Respiratory Medicine
This project is situated within the Department of Respiratory Medicine where, besides research regarding pulmonary pathology in COPD and lung cancer, research is focused on the regulation of skeletal muscle mass and metabolism in health and disease. This Department has a long standing interest and expertise in experimental and clinical research into mechanisms of and interventions in the metabolic consequences of pulmonary disease.
Maastricht University (UM)
Universiteitssingel 50, 6229 ER, Maastricht
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