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PhD Candidate Genomics of Prenatal Famine Exposure, Leiden

Department of Biomedical Data Sciences

Leiden Netherlands Biomedical Engineering Data Analysis Genetics Statistics

About the Project

We are looking for a PhD candidate in medical genomics. The research focuses on people who were exposed in utero to the Dutch Famine of 1944-1945 (the Hunger Winter). Why are they now more likely to have health problems?

You will work at the Molecular Epidemiology section within the department of Biomedical Data Sciences. The aim of your research is to understand how prenatal exposure to famine due to the Dutch Hunger Winter can lead to poorer cardiovascular health later in life. To this end, you will analyze genomics, epigenomics, and other large-scale data. You will apply advanced statistical analyses in R and structure your analyses to ensure reproducibility. In addition, you will generate focused, smaller scale data in the lab. You will participate and present in work discussions, including with our US partners in this research. Based on your work, you will write multiple articles to be submitted for publication in leading scientific journals.

Your profile

You hold a master's degree in biomedical, life or health sciences or in a similar field. You have a sharp and creative mind. During your internship(s) you have gained practical experience in analyzing data from human populations, preferably related to genetic or other large-scale omics data using R. You are also able to perform DNA analyses in the lab. In addition, your English is excellent in both speaking and writing.

What we offer

You will be given an employment contract for the production of a PhD thesis for the duration of the program with a maximum of four years. The salary amounts to € 2,495 gross per month in the first year, up to a maximum of € 3,196 in the last year with fulltime employment (scale Pro, CAO UMC).

Working at the LUMC

The LUMC, situated in Leiden, the Netherlands, is an academic medical centre for patient care, research and education, aiming to meet the challenges of tomorrow’s health care. It has a strong focus on research, connecting and combining fundamental research into disease-causing mechanisms with patient-focussed studies in areas like oncology, regenerative medicine and population health. The LUMC has research facilities that include capabilities for multiple appliances. The combination with clinical and societal outreach programmes allows for ground-breaking research and innovation in basic and applied science.

You will be embedded in the Molecular Epidemiology section of the Department of Biomedical Data Sciences. One of the main goals of the department is to identify molecular profiles and biological processes that contribute to the understanding of complex diseases and aging. To achieve this, we work with state-of-the-art genomics technologies and advanced methods for data analysis in human biobanks and cell systems. You will work in an environment that stimulates your scientific development and enthusiasm. You will be supervised by prof. dr. Bas Heijmans, whose research group has an excellent international track-record in the field of population epigenomics. The department excels in the analysis of large-scale data. This project offers ample opportunities for international collaboration.

More information

A detailed job description can be found at




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