PhD Candidate Immune Modulation of Cardiovascular Disease

Applicants are invited to apply for a PhD position in environmental sciences at Leiden University, Netherlands. Successful candidate will have funding to work and study for three years in Netherlands. Applications should be submitted as soon as possible.

The Division of Biotherapeutics at the Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research (LACDR) is looking for a

Project description

Aging is one of the most dominant drivers of cardiovascular diseases, which are the leading cause of mortality worldwide. An acute cardiovascular event, such as a myocardial infarction or stroke, is often triggered by rupture of an atherosclerotic lesion. Atherosclerosis is caused by the combination of lipid accumulation and immune processes in the arterial wall. As we age, our immune system undergoes a gradual functional decline, causing impaired responsiveness to stress and weakened maintenance of homeostasis, also called immunosenescence. However, the contribution of immunosenescence to atherosclerosis is virtually unknown. The PhD student will join our enthusiastic team studying the different immune aspects of atherosclerotic lesion development to discover new therapeutic targets and strategies for the treatment of atherosclerosis. Key responsibilities

The aim of your PhD project is to provide fundamental knowledge regarding the contribution of age-associated maladaptive inflammatory responses to cardiovascular disease. You will search for new targets to restore immune homeostasis to extend health span and inhibit progression of atherosclerosis. The project will involve in vitro and in vivo experiments in which you will modulate immune cells and identify novel druggable targets to inhibit atherosclerosis. You will perform flow cytometry to visualize aging in immune cells in both experimental mouse models and cardiovascular disease patients. Research at our faculty and institute

The Faculty of Science is a world-class faculty where staff and students work together in a dynamic international environment. It is a faculty where personal and academic development are top priorities. Our people are committed to expand fundamental knowledge by curiosity and to look beyond the borders of their own discipline; their aim is to benefit science, and to make a contribution to addressing the major societal challenges of the future. The research carried out at the Faculty of Science is very diverse, ranging from mathematics, information science, astronomy, physics, chemistry and bio-pharmaceutical sciences to biology and environmental sciences. The research activities are organized in eight institutes. These institutes offer eight bachelor's and twelve master's programs. The faculty has grown strongly in recent years and now has more than 2.200 staff and almost 4.200 students. We are located at the heart of Leiden's Bio Science Park, one of Europe's biggest science parks, where university and business life come together. For more information, see

The Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research (LACDR) is a leading institute dedicated to world-class research and education in drug discovery and development. LACDR comprises a diverse and international team of approximately 150 researchers and is ideally located at the Leiden Bio Science Park, the largest life science cluster in The Netherlands. For more information, see

Within the LACDR, the Division of BioTherapeutics operates at the forefront of research in the field of therapeutic modulation of cardiovascular disease. Two closely linked research lines focus on the importance of lipids and immunity in the development of cardiovascular events. The research aims to develop intervention strategies in cardiovascular diseases by using genomics, specific gene knock-out technology and vaccination protocols, which leads to a unique approach for the development of new therapies for the treatment or prevention of atherosclerosis.

Terms and conditions

We offer a position for initially one year. After a positive evaluation of the progress of the thesis, personal capabilities and compatibility the appointment will be extended by a further three years. Salary rangefrom 2,325 to 2,972 gross per month (pay scale P in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities). Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3 %), training and career development and sabbatical leave. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. For international spouses we have set up a dual career program. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break. More at

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 by the research school.


LeidenUniversityis strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from members of underrepresented groups. Information

For more information on this position, please contact Dr. Amanda Foks, email: If you have any questions about the procedure, please contact Mrs. Cathy van der Ploeg (e-mail:, telephone: +31 71 527 5134). Applications

To apply for this vacancy, please send your application no later than June 4 2019 by e-mail to Please ensure that you quote the vacancy number (19-241) in the subject header and include the following additional documents quoting the vacancy number: - Application letter; - CV.


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