More 4 EU

Researcher working outsite Europe? Please take this survey.

Survey

12/05/2020

PhD positions in autoimmune rheumatology research in the Netherlands


The Amsterdam Rheumatology Center for AutoImmune Diseases (ARCAID) features an international, interdisciplinary and intersectoral approach to train a diverse group of Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) to become the future leaders in autoimmune rheumatology research and creators of improved bench-to-bedside approaches. The long-term ambition of the ARCAID programme is to establish a strong and coherent international network that connects highly skilled young researchers as well as established scientists, who will continue to inspire each other to excel in making discoveries in translational immunological rheumatology far beyond the funding period.

Most important for now is that the ARCAID project has just recruited 15 of the 20 fellows, but there are still 5 positions available for PhD students! If you are interested to become part of this project, read about the open positions, check the eligibility requirements, and when you fit, apply via the online application form on our website.

Applicants need to fully respect three eligibility criteria:

  1. Early-stage researchers (ESR) must, at the date of recruitment by the PI, be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience, so time spent on any issue different from research experience does not count in these 4 years) of their research careers and have not been awarded a doctoral degree.This is measured from the date when they obtained a master degree which formally entitles them to embark on a doctorate.
  2. Conditions of international mobility of researchers: researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of the recruiting host organization for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date. Compulsory national service, short stays such as holidays, and time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention are not taken into account.
  3. English language:candidates must demonstrate that their ability to understand and express themselves in both written and spoken English is sufficiently high for them to derive the full benefit from the network training. Information about TOEFL can be found here .

The following PhD positions are still available: 

ESR 1: Initiate a pilot prevention trial in individuals at high risk for developing rheumatoid arthritis

  • Host: Prof. Dr Ronald van Vollenhoven, Amsterdam Rheumatology and immunology Center (ARC), Department of Rheumatology & Clinical Immunology, Amsterdam UMC, location AMC
  • The PhD candidate will plan and initiate a clinical trial in individuals who are at high risk of acquiring rheumatoid arthritis (RA); this work will include developing the protocol, obtaining the necessary approvals, and establishing the needed collaborations. At-risk individuals will be identified using a combination of clinical and laboratory variables, and randomly assigned to treatment with an immunomodulator or placebo.

ESR 2: Clinical studies of treating-to-target in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus

  • Host: Prof. Dr Ronald van Vollenhoven, Amsterdam Rheumatology and immunology Center (ARC), Department of Rheumatology & Clinical Immunology, Amsterdam UMC, location AMC
  • The PhD candidate will plan and initiate a pilot clinical trial for patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) to test the proposed strategy of “treating-to-target” (T2T) with remission as the target. This work will include developing the protocol, obtaining the necessary approvals, and establishing the needed collaborations. Patients will be randomly assigned to T2T vs. regular care treatment.

ESR 7: The B cell lineage in ANCA-associated vasculitis: functional characterisation and identification of novel targets

  • Host: Dr. S.W. Tas, Department of Rheumatology & Clinical Immunology, Laboratory for Experimental Immunology, Amsterdam UMC, location AMC/VUMC
  • The PhD candidate will investigate the B cell lineage in ANCA-associated vasculitis aimed at functional characterisation and identification of novel targets. This research project will be the first to investigate B lineage cells in AAV in 3 different compartments of the immune system: peripheral blood, lymph nodes and bone marrow. We will use a novel cutting edge technology such as multi-parameter CyTOF PhosphoFlow, RNA- and ChIP-sequencing. Ultimately, we will also validate various therapeutic targets in an animal model of AAV. These types of experiments have not been performed previously and the impact of the findings is likely to reach beyond AAV, as it may simultaneously advance our understanding of fundamental B cell biology in general and of principles that are shared between AAV and other systemic autoimmune diseases such as primary Sjögren’s Syndrome, SLE and RA. 

ESR 8: State-of-the-art in vivo PET-CT imaging of immune cell subsets in chronic inflammatory diseases and cancer

  • Host: Dr. S.W. Tas, Department of Rheumatology & Clinical Immunology, Laboratory for Experimental Immunology, Amsterdam UMC, location AMC/VUMC
  • The PhD candidate will develop PET-CT imaging of immune cell subsets and soluble mediators in chronic inflammatory diseases and cancer. This research project will be truly translational: we will start with in vitro studies to develop novel tracers, followed by in vivo studies in preclinical models and ultimately proof-of-concept studies in humans, including correlation of imaging results with ex vivo tissue analysis. The overarching goal of this project is to develop a novel strategy to visualize to what extent these diseases are driven by specific immune cell subsets or certain soluble mediators in the individual patient, which may ultimately predict to what therapy the individual patient may respond best (i.e. checkpoint inhibitors, cytokine inhibitors or depleting antibodies). This concept will also be tested in disease models. These unique experiments have not been performed previously and the impact of the findings is likely to be big, as it may advance our understanding of pathological processes that play an important role in these diseases and ultimately guide treatment decisions.

ESR 11: Understanding auto-immune disorders through computational modelling.

  • Hosts: Prof. dr. A.H.C. van Kampen (Antoine), Bioinformatics Laboratory, Clinical Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Bioinformatics, Amsterdam UMC, location AMC (https://bioinformatics.amc.nl/) & Dr Lisa van Baarse, Amsterdam Rheumatology and immunology Center (ARC), Department of Experimental Immunology, Amsterdam UMC, location AMC
  • The molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis are not well understood. In this project we aim to combine (single cell) omics data and (multi-scale) computational modelling to gain further insight in these disorders. In particular we will focus on the role of stromal cells.

Chech the full description of the projects here.

More information about the selection procedure here.

Deadline: 30 of May 2020.