Phd Position In In Vitro Polarisation Of The Proximal Tubule - Functional Implications In Health And Disease (1.0 Fte)

Utrecht University
November 20, 2023
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
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Working Time:Negotigation
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PhD position in In Vitro polarisation of the proximal tubule - functional

implications in health and disease (1.0 FTE)

Job description

This PhD position in part of the SurfEx project. This project is dedicated to unravelling the intricate relationship between cellular polarisation and functional outcomes in epithelial cells. Renal tubular epithelial cells play a critical role in maintaining kidney function, and disruptions in their polarisation can have profound implications for health and disease. As highly motivated PhD fellow you will join our team and contribute to this cutting- edge research endeavour.

  • development of genetically modified tubular epithelial cell lines using the Crispr-Cas9 system to mimic renal tubulopathies, with a specific focus on perturbations in cell polarisation;
  • evaluate downstream pathways, such as autophagy, apoptosis, glucose metabolism, and metabolite absorption/secretion, in the context of polarised versus non-polarised renal tubular epithelial cells;
  • determine substrate features that support polarisation: Investigate how different 3D substrates, both chemically and biomechanically defined, influence tubule formation and phenotypic traits, including barrier function and transport capacity, in polarised epithelial cells;
  • analysis of recovery of functional polarisation upon injury: Examine the ability of polarised cells to recover transepithelial function following injury, particularly in relation to the restoration of cell polarity.
  • To accomplish these objectives, you will utilise advanced 3D cell culturing methodologies. Additionally, you will employ state-of-the-art techniques for structural and functional characterisation of proximal tubule transport. Furthermore, you will gain expertise in microfluidics and biofabrication technologies, allowing for In Vitro transepithelial transport studies and drug interaction assessments in polarised cells.SurfEx:SurfEx brings together 8 labs/industrial partners aiming to gain a new understanding of how the apical exchange surface of epithelial cells is formed and functions in health and disease. As one of the 12 PhD fellows within the SurfEx network, you will have the opportunity to work with leading academics and industrial partners from across Europe, gaining valuable experience in international collaboration and cutting-edge research. You will also benefit from a comprehensive training programme that includes workshops, courses, and secondments, all aimed at enhancing your research and professional skills.


    To be successful in this role, you should possess multiple if not all of the following:

  • MSc degree in cell biology, molecular biology, bioengineering, biomedical engineering, biotechnology, or related field;
  • strong laboratory skills, particularly in cell culture and genetic modification techniques (e.g. CRISPR);
  • an aptitude for interdisciplinary research and an eagerness to learn new methodologies;
  • excellent communication skills and the ability to work collaboratively in a diverse team.
  • To qualify for this position you cannot have resided or carried out your main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the Netherlands for more than 12 months in the 36 months preceding the recruitment date.

    Offer We offer: About the organization

    A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University, the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major strategic themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Pathways to Sustainability. Sharing science, shaping tomorrow.

    Additional information

    If you have any questions that you'd like us to answer, please contact Silvia Mihăilă (Assistant Professor) at [email protected].

    Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives.

  • your letter of motivation;
  • your curriculum vitae;
  • the names, telephone numbers, and email addresses of at least two references.
  • If this specific opportunity isn't for you, but you know someone else who may be interested, please forward this vacancy to them.Some connections are fundamental – Be one of them#FundamentalConnection

    The application deadline is 20/11/2023

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