Netherlands: 6 PhD positions in Drug Research at Leiden University

Font size: Decrease font Enlarge font

Job description

The Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research (LACDR) is part of the Faculty of Science of Leiden University. The LACDR is a leading institute which performs fundamental and strategic scientific research in the field of innovative drug and target discovery. Within the Division of Biopharmaceutics of the LACDR 2 intertwining research lines focus upon the role of lipids (1) and inflammation (2) in the development of cardiovascular disease. Our research aims to identify genes responsible for the occurrence of cardiovascular disease by using genomics, specific gene knock-out technology and vaccination protocols, in order to develop novel experimental therapies to prevent and/or treat cardiovascular disease. We are now looking for:

6 Talented PhD students Biopharmacy (1.0 fte)
Vacancy number 13-253

Atherosclerosis is the main underlying pathology of cardiovascular disease, which is still a major cause of death in the Western society. Current therapeutic strategies to prevent atherosclerosis are primarily based on the use of statins, inhibitors of the novo cholesterol synthesis that decrease serum LDL cholesterol levels. Despite the proven effectiveness of statins and their widespread use, the incidence of cardiovascular disease still remains high. The PhD students will join our enthusiastic team studying the different aspects involved in atherosclerotic lesion development to discover new therapeutic targets and strategies for the treatment of atherosclerosis.

2 PhD positions: new pharmaceutical targets for atherosclerosis

In the framework of GENIUS, a national consortium for “Generating the best evidence-based pharmaceutical targets for atherosclerosis” in which six Dutch Academic Medical Centers participate, are PhD positions available focusing on the identification of new druggable targets at the interface between dyslipidemia and inflammation and investigation of targets identified in patients with premature atherosclerosis using mechanistic studies in mouse models.

1 PhD position: regression of atherosclerosis

Current therapies for atherosclerosis primarily slow down the development of existing lesions and thus do not eliminate the huge lesion burden already present in the adult population. The aim of this project will be to delineate the mechanisms required for induction of atherosclerotic lesion regression by combining studies in state-of-the art mouse models with advanced systems biology and develop new therapeutic strategies to induce and visualize atherosclerotic lesion regression by directly targeting macrophages inside the atherosclerotic lesion.

1 PhD position: arterial thrombosis

Cardiovascular events develop as a result of rupture of an atherosclerotic lesion and the subsequent development of a thrombus that can eventually lead to complete occlusion of the artery. The objective of this project is to uncover the mechanisms that control the relationship between arterial thrombosis and venous thromboembolism. For this project the PhD student will closely collaborate with the department of Thrombosis and Hemostasis at the Leiden University Medical Center.

2 PhD positions: vaccination against atherosclerosis

Within the framework of an EU grant, “Vaccination in Atherosclerosis”, we aim in an international setting with industrial and academic partners to develop a novel treatment for atherosclerosis. The PhD students in this project will work on the identification of epitopes that can be used for the development of an atheroprotective vaccine. The project will involve in vitro and in vivo testing of newly developed experimental vaccines and will focus on modulating the role of regulatory T cells in atherosclerosis.


We are looking for enthusiastic, bright, well-motivated, and ambitious scientists with a recent Master degree in Biopharmaceutical Sciences, Biology, Medical Biology, Biomedical Sciences, or equivalent. Experience with in vivo studies (artikel 9, proefdierkunde), microscopical techniques and molecular biology is an advantage. You should display great team spirit and easily communicate in English, both verbally and in writing.  

Conditions of employment

Appointment will be according to the terms of the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO Nederlandse Universiteiten), for the duration of one year with an extension of three years after positive evaluation. The salary will be set on € 2062,- per month in the first year up to € 2638,- in year four. An appointment with Leiden University includes a pension build-up and facilitates other benefits such as an annual holiday premium of 8% and an end-of-year premium of 8.3%. All our PhD students are embedded in the Leiden University Graduate School of Science Our graduate school offers several PhD training courses at three levels: professional courses, skills training and personal effectiveness. In addition, advanced courses to deepen scientific knowledge are offered though other PhD training networks.


Leiden University

Leiden is a typical university city, hosting the oldest university in the Netherlands (1575). The University permeates the local surroundings; University premises are scattered throughout the city, and the students who live and study in Leiden give the city its relaxed yet vibrant atmosphere.

Leiden University is one of Europe’s foremost research universities. This prominent position gives our graduates a leading edge in applying for academic posts and for functions outside academia.


Additional information

For more information, please contact Prof. dr. J. Kuiper ( and Dr. M. van Eck (

Additionally, you can check the websites of the Faculty of Science and the division of  and More information on employment at Leiden University can be found at:

Be Sociable, Share!

No Comments

Post your comment comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.