Your challenge

As from July 2019, we have two vacancies for early stage researchers in PhD projects in the MIRIADE project (Multi‐omics Interdisciplinary Research Integration to Address DEmentia diagnosis) to develop novel assays in body fluids to improve the diagnosis of dementias.

Project of ESR10: focus on dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB):
Your main tasks and responsibilities in this project are:

  • To develop customized panels of immunoassays for analysis of novel biomarker candidates;
  • Optimize these panels for biomarker detection in both CSF and blood using state of the art technologies, such as single molecule arrays;
  • Technically and clinically validate these novel tests in relevant patient samples from different cohorts;
  • To process and to analyse the data;
  • To communicate results by means of oral presentations and scientific publications;
  • Perform two secondments (Internship) of 3 months at the patient organization ‘Alzheimer Nederland’, to organise inventories to learn about patient perspectives towards early diagnosis, and reachout to the public and patients.

Project of ESR11: focus on Amyloid blood assay development and implementation):
Your main tasks and responsibilities in this project are:

  • Analytically validate the performance of newly developed Simoa Amyloid assays according to FDA, CLSI, or pharma requirements;
  • Clinically validate novel Amyloid tests in relevant patient samples from different cohorts, to define the context of use of the novel assays;
  • To process and to analyse the data, using state of the art statistics and cut-off evaluation;
  • To develop guidance for collection and storage of blood samples using data generated with qualified assays;
  • To communicate results by means of oral presentations and scientific publications;
  • Perform a secondment (Internship) of 6 months at ADx NeuroSciences in Ghent, Belgium to learn about assay validation in the context of pharma requirements and preparing a marketing/business case for assay commercialization.

As early stage researcher you work in close collaboration with the head of the research group (Prof. Charlotte Teunissen), postdoc (Dr. Eline Willemse), and second supervisor (Dr. Minke Kooistra from Alzheimer Nederland for ESR10; Erik Stoops of ADx Neurosciences in Belgium for ESR11). You will be part of a young, multidisciplinary team, with ample experience, and an excellent position within the expert field of biomarker development and patient outreach.

Your profile

We are looking for a highly motivated and enthusiastic early stage researcher with a strong interest in dementia, biochemistry and public outreach. You are pro-active and precise, have excellent communication skills, talents for organising, and work optimally when collaborating with others. You like to solve scientific problems. You have an intrinsic motivation and capacity to continuously improve yourself.

To be eligible for this position, the applicant must satisfy the following requirements conform the Marie Curie admission requirements:

  • Must not already hold a PhD;
  • Must be within the first four years (full-time equivalent) of their research career;
  • Must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) within the Netherlands for more than 12 months in the three years immediately prior to their recruitment.

In addition, you meet the following requirements and experience:

  • Aiming to obtain a PhD degree
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal;
  • Research master’s degree in the field of biochemistry (or related). In addition, training in antibody based methods and biostatistics is a strong pre;
  • Experience in writing (international) publication(s);
  • Ability to generate scientific outputs for publication in peer reviewed journals;
  • You are willing to travel to attend secondments, training and academic events;
  • You have the ability to work within an internationally diverse team and to attain with the requirements of the funder.

Your work environment

The mission of the Neurochemical Laboratory of the Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc, is to improve patient care for neurological disorders by developing biomarkers in body fluids. A primary area of attention is the early diagnosis of dementia, for which there is close collaboration with the Alzheimer Center. A second area of focus is Multiple Sclerosis, for which there is collaboration with the MS Center Amsterdam. We also work with diagnostic companies to make the new tests widely available. The research group has strong expertise in the identification of new biomarkers and the development of new biomarkers until implementation. In some cases, the production of highly pure recombinant proteins is crucial for the development of biomarkers tests, and we want to implement novel protein production methodologies for several proteins involved in neurodegenerative diseases. The group consists of 30 employees, including 11 PhD students, 5 postdocs and 10 research analysts.

The MIRIADE project
The project is being pursued in the framework of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network (Multi‐omics Interdisciplinary Research Integration to Address DEmentia diagnosis). The overarching goal of the MIRIADE project is to train a novel generation of scientists able to accelerate dementia biomarker development. MIRIADE comprises of ten world-leading research organisations, 5 small to large industries and 2 patients organisations, from 12 countries in the EU, South-Korea and USA. A total of 15 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) will be hosted across the network. The project will leverage existing proteomics datasets to identify the most promising candidate biomarkers for the major forms of dementias. It will develop an openly accessible integrated data platform for biomarker development (ESR1). ESR project 2 will focus on the prediction of protein-antibody interactions success in biomarker assay development. ESR3 will characterise protein surface accessiblility states in specific biological matrices, to improve biomarker assay development. ESR4-6 will develop specific reaction monitoring assays and validate these in CSF and blood of patients with AD (ESR4), FTD (ESR5) or DLB(ESR6). ESR7-10 will develop novel immunoassays in CSF and blood for all dementias (ESR7); AD (ESR8), FTD (ESR9) or DLB (ESR10). ESR11 and 12 will focus on the market-ready development of plasma abeta42 and abeta40 assays (ESR11) or neurofilament light (ESR12). ESR13 will develop reference methods for SRM assays for amyloid and neurofilament light CSF and blood assays. ESR14 and 15 will focus on innovation of the process, in order to generate a roadmap for efficient biomarker development. ESR14 will study how data are organized, shared, reused and integrated in academia and ESR15 will compare and evaluate different workflows of biomarker development.

We offer

Salary Scale -: marktconform gross when employed full-time (depending on qualifications and experience).

Successful candidates will receive an attractive base-salary in accordance with the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, for 36 months. The exact (net) salary depends on the EU-defined country correction factor, and on local tax regulations (for additional information see EU MSCA website).

Next to your local PhD training, you will participate in an attractive educational program customized to the MIRIADE early stage researchers. The MIRIADE training program consists of annual training weeks across Europe to optimally develop your academic and transferable skills, as well as the basis of innovation and entrepreneurship. This training program prepares you for a prosperous career as biomarker expert.

Fellows will also benefit from a mobility allowance. In addition a family (if applicable) allowance (an additional financial allowance paid with the salary) is on offer to fellows with a spouse &/or child/children at time of recruitment. Successful applicants are eligible for parental leave in keeping with Amsterdam UMC standard employment policy.

For Dutch citizens it is mandatory to provide a VOG (a declaration of good behaviour).

If you don’t have the nationality of an EU/EEA country or Switzerland, you need a residence permit in the Netherlands. We will help you with the application for this. You can find information on the general conditions here: general conditions.

Additional information

The starting date of this project will be 1 July 2020.

Information and application

Don’t hesitate to call us!
If you’re interested about this position, you can contact Prof. dr. Charlotte Teunissen, via telephone number +31 20 444 3872.
If you need more information about the application procedure, contact Brend de Jong, corporate recruiter at +31 20444 5635.

You can apply till 23 February 2020 by using the apply button.

Acquisition based on this vacancy is not appreciated.