We have an exciting and challenging vacancy for a PhD student who will conduct scientific research on the influence of external exposures such as pesticides on the development of Parkinson's disease. A wonderful project at the intersection between exposome, epidemiology and clinical neurology. Will you become our new collegue?
Parkinson's disease is a disabling brain disorder that currently affects over 50,000 people in the Netherlands. This number is expected to double in the next 20 years. To curb the rapid growth in the number of people with Parkinson's, there is an urgent need to identify risk factors for Parkinson's disease that can serve as targets for large-scale preventive interventions.
Current evidence suggests that exposure to toxic substances in our environment plays an important role in the development of Parkinson's disease. Concerns have been raised about pesticides in particular. However, there are still some important gaps in our knowledge. For example, exposure to external exposures such as pesticides has not been determined at the individual level in previous research, but at the group level. Also, in previous studies, Parkinson's disease was diagnosed based on error-prone methods, the number of participants was relatively small, and confounding factors were not adequately identified. Because of these shortcomings in previous research, the causal relationship between exposure to external exposures such as pesticides and the development of Parkinson's disease is not (yet) certain.The aim of this PhD project is to gain new insight into the role of external exposures such as pesticides as a possible cause of Parkinson's disease, by investigating exposure to (a mix of) pesticides in the environment and the risk of Parkinson's disease at an individual level.
This will be done in two complementary ways:
- Longitudinal observational research by linking existing data sources with nationwide coverage for the entire Dutch population, and
- The design and conduct of a high-quality case-control study using measurements in the home environment, body materials and historical questionnaires.
The new knowledge from this project should lead to a broad public debate on the influence of external exposures such as pesticides on the development of Parkinson's disease, with the ultimate goal of making our living environment healthier and preventing new cases of Parkinson's disease.Tasks and responsibilities
- Designs and conducts scientific research on the role of external exposures such as pesticides in the development of Parkinson's disease.
- Generates and analyzes data to contribute to scientific publications and presents findings at scientific meetings.
- Works in a multidisciplinary team of researchers to conduct collaborative research aimed at unraveling the role of pesticides in the development of Parkinson's disease.
- Works with research groups in the Netherlands and abroad.
- Concludes the project with a scientific dissertation.