PhD position in stem cells and nephrology

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven

Belgium

August 20, 2021

Description

PhD position in stem cells and nephrology

(ref. BAP-2021-581)

Last modification : Friday, July 16, 2021

We are a dynamic international team composed of researchers coming from at least 7 different countries forming the Paediatric Nephrology laboratory at KU Leuven in Belgium. We welcome students from different educational and cultural backgrounds to fulfil the complementary discipline topics of our research, and incentive all to work together as team. You will be closely supervised by research experts, but will certainly have freedom to demonstrate self- development and independency.

Project

We have an open position for a PhD candidate in an ongoing project based on fundamental and pre-clinical research with an impactful translational potential in nephrology.

Chronic kidney disease affects 10% of the worldwide population. If it evolves to kidney failure, transplantation is the only effective treatment. However, we face a threatening shortage of donor organs and thousands of patients die in the waiting list. The ultimate goal of this project is to increase the number of human kidney grafts available for transplantation. In order to meet this goal, we have been using human kidneys that are not considered fit for transplantation, due to inferior quality and are, therefore, donated for research. The innovative strategy is the administration of a unique kidney- derived stem cell type into these injured human kidneys during ex vivo normothermic machine perfusion (NMP), aiming at improved immunomodulation and effective tissue regeneration.

The results of this research have the potential to impact the supply of human kidneys to meet the increasing demand for transplantation, as the number of people suffering of kidney failure tends to sharply rise in the next 10 years.

Job description

  • Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Elena Levtchenko (Pediatric Nephrologist), Prof Dr. Ben Sprangers (Transplant immunologist – Rega Institute) and dr. Fanny Oliveira Arcolino
  • Main techniques involved: cell culture, molecular biology, microscopy and immunology assays and single cell transcriptomics
  • Role and responsibilities

  • You conduct research on kidney progenitor cells to be administered in ischemic human kidneys during machine perfusion
  • You analyse data and take initiative in identifying and resolving problems related to your research
  • You keep frequent and regular contact with the supervisors
  • You co-supervise ongoing master or bachelor student projects in your research area
  • You assist in administrative and technical support of activities within the research group
  • You write scientific manuscript(s) for publication and a PhD thesis
  • Profile
  • You have an excellent study record and are prepared to apply for a personal fellowship
  • You have a Master degree in biomedical sciences, medicine, biology, bio- engineering, biomedical engineering, bioinformatics or equivalent
  • You have expertise in tissue and/or cell-culture and molecular biology analysis methods (e.g. protein and gene expression analysis; microscopy). Candidates with experience in transcriptomics or bioinformatics have an advantage, but all are encouraged to apply
  • You have a multidisciplinary attitude and teamwork skills. You will be closely collaborating in a multidisciplinary team composed of PIs and postdocs
  • You are interested in international collaboration and research stays abroad
  • You are motivated and have a strong interest in the context of kidney transplantation and regenerative medicine
  • You have excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Offer
  • The current position is initially offered for 1 year, but can be prolonged upon positive evaluation
  • Candidates will be fully supported to apply for follow-up finances and personal fellowships
  • Interested?

    For more information please contact Mrs. Fanny Oliveira Arcolino, tel.: +32 484 43 77 57, mail: fanny.oliveiraarcolino@kuleuven.be.

    Interviews will be held in the last week of August/first week of September.

    KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at diversiteit.HR@kuleuven.be.

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