Netherlands: PhD Student in Epigenetic Mechanisms in Cardiovascular Disease at LUMC

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Job description

As a PhD student you will study epigenetic mechanisms in cardiovascular disease. Specifically, you will identify epigenomic signatures of immune cells that determine cell fate decisions crucial to atherosclerosis and investigate epigenetic priming of circulating cells induced by pro-atherogenic lipid profiles. To this end you will combine DNA methylation profiling technologies (arrays and next-generation sequencing) with advanced data-analysis methods in cell culture models and unique biomaterial from patients. Your project is embedded in the nation-wide GENIUS consortium which aims to generate pharmaceutical targets for atherosclerosis by uncovering interactions between lipid profiles and immune networks.


You hold a Master’s degree in (medical) biology, life sciences or comparable. You have a creative and sharp mind, can effectively collaborate with researchers from other disciplines, and have proven affinity with statistical/bioinformatics data-analysis. Experience with genome technologies (e.g. micro-arrays or next-generation sequencing), cell culture techniques, and/or software for data-analysis (e.g. ‘R’) is recommended. Only applications including a personal statement of interest will be considered.

Conditions of employment

You will be employed on the basis of a 36-hour week. Appointment is for a maximum of four years, to be completed with a doctoral thesis. Your salary is € 2,141 gross per month in the first year, amounting to € 2,743 in the fourth year (scale PhD students, CAO-UMC).

The terms of employment offered by the LUMC are highly favourable. For example, you will receive an 8% holiday remuneration, a year-end bonus, a pension arrangement with the National Civil Pension Fund, and, if applicable, a bonus for unsocial hours. Also, as employee of one of the University Hospitals in the Netherlands, you will naturally join our collective health insurance policy.

Moreover, the LUMC offers excellent facilities in the area of education, child-care centres, and career advice. In addition, you may enjoy various leave arrangements and other extras.

Contract type: Temporary, maximum of four years


At the Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC), we are continually seeking to improve the quality of healthcare. The LUMC aims for excellence in patient care, research, teaching, training and continuing education. The objective of researchers of the Molecular Epidemiology Section, among whom 9 PhD students, and the department of Cardiology, is to identify molecular profiles and biological pathways that increase our understanding of common diseases and, eventually, the prospect of healthy ageing. To this end, we apply state-of-the-art genome technologies and advanced data-analysis methods in human biobanks and (cell) model systems. Since 2005, Molecular Epidemiology embeds a lab on epigenomics research, which made a significant contribution to the field for example through its epigenetic studies of the Dutch Famine. Because the research is embedded within the dept. of Medical Statistics & Bioinformatics, you will work in an excellent environment for the analysis of high-dimensional epigenomics data.

Additional information

If you have any questions, or if you want more information about this position, please contact
Dr. Bas Heijmans (principal investigator), Medical Statistics & Bioinformatics, telephone +31 (0)71 526 9785.

Please send your email, including your motivation and CV, to Make sure to do this before 16 September, 2013. Clearly state the vacancy number of the position you are applying for.

It is also possible to apply via our online form at

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