Job ID: 103397

PhD candidate ‘Electrophysiological characterization of human iPSC-derived neuronal models for neurodevelopmental disorders (BRAINmodel)’

Position: Ph.D. Student

Deadline: 28 February 2023

Employment Start Date: 1 April 2023

Contract Length: 4 years

City: nijmegen

Country: Netherlands

Institution: radboudumc

Department: human genetics


This  PhD position is available for a fixed term of 4 years to perform research on the electrophysiological characterization of human iPSC-derived neuronal models for neurodevelopmental disorders/ASD at the Human Genetics Department at the Radboudumc in Nijmegen.

The project will capitalize on a hiPSC phenotyping platform that we have established and which is based on the differentiation of patient-derived neurons on micro-electrode arrays (MEAs), to interrogate the functional consequences of ASD-linked variants at the level of E/I balance (Frega et al., 2019; Gunnewiek et al., 2020; Linda et al., 2022; Mossink et al., 2022). You will combine neuronal network measurements with single cell electrophysiology measurements to unravel how synaptic properties underly specific network phenotypes.  The functional phenotyping will employ measurements using state of the art high-density microelectrode arrays (MEAs) on 2-dimensional neuronal networks as well as on early developmental stages of brain organoids.

The project is part of an interdisciplinary collaboration within a consortium financed by the ZonMW PSIDER program Brainmodel. The candidate will closely interact with research group of Prof. M. Verhage (VUmc).  In Nijmegen the  research will be located at the Human genetics Department (Nadif Kasri group) and embedded in the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour of the Radboud University Medical Center.

Our research team at the Radboud university medical center is renowned for its genetic, molecular and electrophysiological research in the field of neurological and neurodevelopmental disorders. Over the past years we have developed unique knowledge and resources, such as the human (patient) induced pluripotent stem cell lines, including the required experimental platforms for in-detail assessment of the derived human neuronal in-vitro network models.

Tasks and responsibilities

  • The PhD student will be responsible for generating patient and isogenic hIPSC cell lines for several NDDs.
  • Designs and performs scientific research.
  • Works in a team with PhD students, scientists and clinicians.
  • Discusses, plans and performs research in a stimulating environment.
  • Works in a highly international research group and is willing to travel to other institutes within Europe.In addition you possess the profile below:
    • Academic degree (MSc) in molecular life sciences, biomedical sciences or a related discipline.
    • A strong background in cellular neuroscience and neurophysiology is a must.
    • Experience with cell culture of primary neurons and/or induced pluripotent stem cells.
    • Preferentially has basic hands-on experience in single cell electrophysiology.
    • Highly motivated to work in an interdisciplinary environment at the cutting edge of science.
    • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills are essential.

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