PhD position 9: Mechanisms of platelet and coagulation activation in inflammatory vessel-on-a-chip models (Maastricht/Mainz)

We offer a PhD position for biomedical doctoral students at the School for Cardiovascular Disease in Maastricht (CARIM, Netherlands) and the Center for Thrombosis and Hemostasis (Mainz, Germany). As this project is part of the MSCA ITN “Thrombo-Inflammation in Cardiovascular Disease” (TICARDIO), you will be trained in an international, interdisciplinary joint doctoral degree program striving to train the next generation of biomedical researchers. Your PhD project will be supervised by Prof. Dr. Johan Heemskerk in Maastricht and by PD Dr. Kerstin Jurk in Mainz. Furthermore, a research stay at ISAS (Dortmund, Gearmand, Prof. Dr. Albert Sickmann) offers you the opportunity to get insights into non-academic resarch.

Activities and responsibilities

Project description
Interactions between platelets, coagulation, and the vessel wall are central to regulatory mechanisms that prevent or amplify coagulation and thrombo-inflammation. We hypothesize that the reciprocal amplification of dysfunctional platelets and endothelial cells (EC) contribute to thrombo-inflammatory diseases.
You will elucidate how the coagulation steering by platelets and anticoagulation regulation by ECs becomes dysfunctional. A novel microfluidics technique of 'inflamed vessel-on-a-chip', in which human ECs are subjected to flowing coagulating blood, will be applied. Multicolour (multiphoton) microscopy will be used to measure in real-time local endothelial and platelet activation, thrombus buildup, thrombin and fibrin formation, and leukocyte adhesion. Platelet-derived (anti)coagulant factors will be blocked pharmacologically, whereas endothelial thrombomodulin will be downregulated by siRNA. The importance of identified (anti)thrombotic pathways will be validated by: (i) modulating the release of bioactive molecules from ECs; (ii) interfering with platelet secretion; (iii) checking for a role of extracellular vesicles; and (iv) using blood samples from patients. At ISAS, you will use the proteomics facility to perform mass spectrometric analyses of plasma and cell proteins from vessels-on-a-chip to identify post-transcriptional coagulation modifications, such as regulated by platelets and (inflamed) ECs.

Qualification profile

>> You have a Master degree (or equivalent) in biomedical sciences or a similar field
>> You are in the first four years of your research career and do not hold a doctoral degree
>> Your must not have resided in the Netherlands for more than 12 months in the 3 years prior to the recruitment
>> Ideally, you have experience in cell culture and microfluidics; background in the analysis of platelets and coagulation; and interest in analytical methods: proteomics, phosphoproteomics, data evaluation and bioinformatics


Benefits of working in an ITN
>> You will be working within our international group of > 30 researchers
>> You will be involved in cutting-edge research in an interdisciplinary environment
>> You will contuct your research at three academic and non-academic research locations
>> You will receive excellent network-wide and local training with conference participation
>> You will receive a 36 months contract with all national social security (and family allowance, if applicable) at the University Medical Center Maastricht
>> You will optain a joint doctoral degree from Universities of Maastricht and Mainz, if all requirements are fullfilled

How to apply
Please visit for information about the recruitment process and all required application documents.

Application deadline: July 15, 2019

Send application to

Please visit for information about the recruitment process and all required application documents.

While applying for the job please refer to jobvector and use the following reference number: JV-50056785

About Universitätsmedizin Mainz

Center for thrombosis and hemostasis The scientific activities of the researching physicians and scientists of the medical units of the Mainz University Medical Center are characterized by a broad content spectrum. In recent years, university medicine has been able to confirm its national and international position through a large number of excellent publications and the acquisition of...
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