Careers at UMC Utrecht
Vacancy number: 2021/0905
Apply to: May 29 2021
Education: University
Employment: Temporary contract, with possibility of permanent contract
Full-time/Part-time: 36 - 36 hours

The dysregulation of lipid metabolism is at the center of several human diseases, including cancer, fatty liver and cardiovascular disease. For this reason we are interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms that regulate lipid homeostasis in health and disease. As part of the European ITN consortium EndoConnect a 4 year PhD position is available to study the role of the endosomal system in regulating intracellular cholesterol levels. More specifically, we will study the molecular regulation of LDL-receptor trafficking and cholesterol exit from lysosomes in healthy and disease conditions. An important challenge will be to understand the role of CORVET and CHEVI complexes (Jonker et al., Nature Communications) in LDL-receptor recycling.

 We will use a wide range of modern experimental approaches with a strong focus on microscopy, including live cell microscopy and correlative light – electron microscopy (CLEM). These will be combined with gene editing and biochemical strategies and mass spectroscopy methods.

 As a PhD student within EndoConnect you will be part of an international team of young researchers. You will have your individual research project at your host organization, and to broaden your PhD training you will undertake internships at complementary EndoConnect partner organizations. In addition, you will follow advanced interdisciplinary courses by leaders in the field of molecular and cell biology, metabolism, physiology and biomedical research.


Utrecht is a beautiful city located in the center of the Netherlands, close to Amsterdam and its international airport. You will be based in the Cell Biology section of the Center for Molecular Medicine of the UMC Utrecht, a dynamic institute with international and interactive research groups and access to a large number of facilities. You will be enrolled in the PhD program of Biomembranes, which offers an interdisciplinary program to PhD students from different faculties. Research in the Klumperman group focuses on the role of the endo-lysosomal system in health and disease, including metabolic disorders, neurodegenerative diseases and cancer. The ultimate aim is to use this knowledge to manipulate endo-lysosomes for treatment of these diseases. The lab is internationally known as expert center for immuno-electron microscopy and correlative light electron microscopy (CLEM). Judith has been (co)-promotor on 18 successfully completed PhD theses, (co)-authored 165 peer-reviewed publications and is a regular speaker on international conferences.  

 More information can be found on these websites:



We are looking for a broadly-trained and highly-motivated PhD candidate with an (almost completed) MSc in Medical Biology, Life Sciences, Biochemistry or a related field. Experience and/or affinity with microscopy is an advantage. The candidate should have good command of oral and written English. Excellent communication skills and the ability to work within an interdisciplinary and international research group are essential.

Successful candidates must fulfil the criteria defined by the European Commission:

- you have to be in the first 4 years of your research career and not been awarded a doctoral degree at the time of recruitment.

- At the time of recruitment, you may not have resided in the Netherlands for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the reference date.

We offer an ambitious, international research environment with a positive, social atmosphere and ample opportunity for personal and scientific development. The lab has excellent facilities for microscopy, biochemistry and molecular biology and direct access to other technology platforms, such as proteomics. We have an expert team of technicians that will train you in the required lab skills. As part of the local and international communities involved in this project you will have ample opportunities for training and courses.

The maximum salary for this position (36 - 36 hours) is € 3.196,00 gross per month based on full-time employment. This job is based on a permanent position, starting with a contract for a year.

In addition, we offer an annual benefit of 8.3%, holiday allowance, travel expenses and career opportunities. The terms of employment are in accordance with the Cao University Medical Centers (UMC).

More information

If you have any questions about this vacancy, please contact Judith Klumperman, Hoogleraar / afdelingshoofd, phone number: 088-7556550, e‑mail adress:

Acquisition based on this jobopening is not appreciated.


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