PhD Candidate in the Field of Supramolecular Biomaterials – Leiden University – Leiden

  • Leiden

Leiden University

The Faculty of Science Leiden and Leiden Institute of Chemistry, SBC department are looking for a

PhD candidate in the field of supramolecular biomaterials

Work and profile
The biochemical and biophysical cues of the stem cell environment that act in a concerted and spatiotemporal manner lead to the formation of the 200 cell types and organs of the human body; how this precisely occurs remains unclear, but it is necessary to guide their production for use in the biomedical area. Standard differentiation protocols in vitro mimic known stages in development by the timed addition of biochemical cues on 2D substrates, however these protocols lack the complexity of the 3D natural extracellular matrix (ECM), with its mechanical character that evolves in time. Supramolecular materials can recapitulate the structural and dynamic character of the ECM being based on non-covalent interactions, however their mechanically soft character remains challenging to mimic the properties of adult tissues. In this project, we will study supramolecular biomaterials whose properties can be mechanically modified in both space and time using external triggers. The candidate will focus on stem cell (3D) culture and differentiation, and directing cell behavior in advanced 3D in vitro models.

Selection criteria

  • Master’s degree in life sciences or related field
  • Experience with (3D) cell culture
  • Excellent proficiency in English;
  • Ability to work as a team player in a multidisciplinary environment;
  • Initiative, creativity and an independent working attitude are highly valued
  • Description of organisation and terms of employment
    We offer a position for 1 year initially, with a possibility of extension to a full PhD contract upon satisfactory performance. You will be appointed in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. The salary ranges from € 2.770,- to € 3.539,- gross per month (pay scale P).

    Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3 %), training and career development. 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 programme. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break.

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