PhD candidate

Assessment of donor kidney quality and regenerative capacity| 1.0 FTE

About this position

The PhD candidates will be working within the Organ Transplantation Flagship, in which researchers and clinicians work together to remove barriers to transplantation from a fundamental science as well as clinical perspective. The scarcity of donor organs makes it ever more crucial to carefully evaluate the transplantability of organs from suboptimal donors.
However, there are currently insufficient tools available to reliably assess transplant organ quality. This PhD project is therefore focussing on developing a broad range of measurements to assess organ quality and furthermore on exploring the regenerative capacity of donor organs in peri-transplant organ perfusion fluids and in body fluids after transplantation. Increasing knowledge on stem cell biology opens the way to applying regenerative treatment to transplant organs and the PhD student will explore regenerative therapies in in vitro organoid models, which can eventually be tested in ex vivo transplant organs.

 

About this Flagship

Ageing and lifestyle changes lead to population alterations and are increasingly affecting social and health-related issues. These changes do have an impact on organ transplantation where patients of all ages need high-quality organs to be transplanted successfully. Organs retrieved from elderly, obese or unhealthy lifestyle donors and those donated after cardiac arrest do not recover from injury inherent to surgery as completely as young organs. Therefore, there is great reluctance to accept organs of marginal donors because of fear of non-function in the recipient. At present, the availability of donor organs is desperately insufficient to meet the need, and new strategies are needed to solve the donor organ shortage.

In this Flagship, we envision technological innovation to build a long-term machine perfusion platform to not only sustain but also recover donor organ viability out-of-the-body. Damaged donor organs will be made suitable for transplantation.

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Employer

The PhD candidate will be employed at the Department of Internal Medicine of the Erasmus MC and work in collaboration with researchers at the Department of Surgery.
The Erasmus MC is one of the largest transplant centers in Europe. The Departments of Surgery and Internal Medicine are part of the recently established Erasmus MC Transplant Institute, which forms an inspirational environment for organ transplant patient care, research and education. Biomarker research and regenerative medicine are spear points of the Transplant Institute, and the Institute offers access to state-of-the art equipment for the project. The PhD candidate will be integrated in a multidisciplinary team including clinicians, postdocs, PhD students and technicians with diverse expertise.

What we offer

  • You will be employed by Erasmus MC a challenging position within the largest University Medical Center (UMC) in the Netherlands with high ambitions in the field of healthcare, education and research;
  • You will receive a temporary position for 3-3.5 years;
  • A maximum gross monthly salary of € 4800,-  (scale 10, based on 36-hour work week;
  • Excellent fringe benefits, such as a 13th month
  • Pension insurance with ABP. We take care of approximately 2/3 of the monthly contribution;
  • Special benefits, such as an in company physiotherapist and bicycle repairer. And there is also a gym where you can work on your fitness after work.

About Convergence

The pressing and complex social challenges of our time call for convergence; crossing boundaries between institutions and disciplines to create new perspectives and solutions. For this reason TU Delft, Erasmus MC and Erasmus University Rotterdam are joining forces in Convergence. Within the convergence theme Health & Technology we form new frameworks that promote scientific discoveries and technological innovation in health and healthcare. We do this by working on groundbreaking research and innovation bundled in 10 international leading research flagships.

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Additional information

For more information about this PhD position please contact:
Prof. Carla Baan <c.c.baan@erasmusmc.nl> and Prof. Marlies Reinders <m.e.j.reinders@erasmusmc.nl>

Apply for this position

Please send your application for this position, together with your motivation letter and curriculum vitae before 16 February 2023 to:

healthandtechnology@convergence.nl