Netherlands: PhD student in regulation of metabolic programming by the intestinal microbiota

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Job description

The successful candidate will establish and characterize conventional and germ-free mouse models for the development as well as the programming of various aspects of metabolic disease and its sequelae. Characterization will include lipid analyses, gene expression assays and epigenetic analyses. The spectrum of the techniques thereby spans from in vivo to in vitro work and from physiology to basic molecular biology.


We are looking for a highly motivated candidate with a background in molecular biology or biochemistry and interest in molecular physiology and epigenetic research. Animal experimentation and molecular genetics form an essential part of this project.

The UMCG has a preventive Hepatitis B policy. You may be required to build up sufficient protection against Hepatitis B before you can be appointed. Vaccination is provided by the UMCG if necessary.

Conditions of employment

– We offer a temporary fulltime appointment as a PhD student of one year with the perspective of prolongation for an additional three years.
– A salary of € 2.178,- gross per month in the first year up to a maximum of € 2.790,- gross per month in the last year (scale PhD).
– The conditions of employment comply with the Collective Labour Agreement for Medical Centres (CAO-UMC).


University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG)


Department of Pediatrics

“regulation of metabolic programming by the intestinal microbiota”

Recent data indicated that changes in the early nutritional environment impact the development of chronic disease (obesity, diabetes, atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease) at adult age. Epigenetic mechanisms like DNA methylation or histone modifications have been proposed to be involved in this metabolic programming. Most of the cells and over 99% of the genes in our body belong to the population of intestinal bacteria, the microbiota that most components of our diet will encounter first. Thereby, an enormous pool of diverse metabolites with biological functions is provided by the microbiota that conceivably have an impact on the interaction between host and environment at all stages of our lives.
The current project (funded by STW) focuses on the interplay between diet and microbiota in the determination of disease risk. Specifically, the mechanisms are explored by which metabolites of the microbiota during early life influence the risk to develop chronic disease in the context of the metabolic syndrome (dyslipidemia, obesity, diabetes, fatty liver/NASH, atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease). Animal models for metabolic programming will be developed and phenotypically characterized, underlying molecular mechanisms are determined by studying epigenetic changes of DNA methylation and histone modification patterns.

Additional information

prof. Uwe Tietge

prof. Henkjan Verkade

Liver, Digestive and Metabolic Diseases

Welcome to Groningen

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