PhD student – project aiming to develop an RNA targeting therapy for Hereditary Cerebral Haemorrhages with Amyloidosis

Department : Department of Human Genetics
Vacancy number : D.16.VC.CV.02
Appointment : 36 hours per week
Starting date : as soon as possible
Educational requirements : Master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences or equivalent
Maximum salary : € 2,222 gross per month in the first year, amounting to € 2,846 in the fourth year
Closing date for applications : 22 February 2016


The position

As a PhD student, you will work on a project aiming to develop an RNA targeting therapy for Hereditary Cerebral Haemorrhages with Amyloidosis – Dutch type (HCHWA-D) also called Katwijk disease. The research will lead to a thesis and PhD defence.

The project

HCHWA-D is a hereditary disease that is caused by a mutation in the amyloid precursor protein (APP) that results in aberrant amyloid deposits in the small blood vessels of the brain and fatal haemorrhages. This HCHWA-D project will focus on designing a therapy that will target the mutant APP RNA to prevent amyloid deposition in the blood vessels. The project is under supervision of Dr Willeke van Roon-Mom in close collaboration with ProQR. Dr van Roon-Mom is head of a research group that is developing RNA targeting therapies for several neurodegenerative disorders. The position is supported by ProQR, a Leiden Biotechnology company that specializes in RNA targeting therapies

The department

The Department of Human Genetics of the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) consists of sixteen self-contained research units that perform research in 4 different themes. The research team led by Dr Willeke van Roon-Mom is part of the research theme ‘Functional Genomics of Muscle, Nerve and Brain Disorders’. This theme links to the LUMC Medical Profile Area ’Translational Neuroscience’. The mutation that causes HCHWA-D was identified at the LUMC and the LUMC therefore has world-wide expertise in the field. The team collaborates closely with other departments within the LUMC, including Clinical Genetics, Neurology and Radiology, patient organizations as well as with research groups outside the Netherlands. The department is part of the Graduate School Medisch Genetisch Centrum Zuid-West Nederland (MGC).

Your profile

You are a highly motivated student with a strong interest in molecular biology. You hold a Master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences or equivalent and have gained ample experience with molecular and cell biology research, preferably in the field of neuroscience. You possess strong laboratory skills in different PCR applications, cell culture techniques, protein work and cell imaging technologies. Experience with neuronal differentiation of induced pluripotent stem cells is an advantage. In addition, you should also possess Article 9 certification for working with animals. Excellent oral and written communication skills in English are essential.

We offer

You will be employed on the basis of a 36-hour week. Appointment is for the duration of the PhD. Your salary will depend on your qualifications and experience, with a maximum of € 2,222 gross per month in the first year, progressing to € 2,846 gross per month in the fourth year based on a full time position (scale PhD students, CAO-UMC).

More information

If you have any questions, of if you want more information about this position, please contact Ms W.M.C. van Roon-Mom, Assistant Professor of Human Genetics, telephone +31 (0)71 526 94 35, email

For this job, references will be requested.

As part of the application procedure, you will be expected to give a presentation and undertake a scientific writing test.


If you are interested in this job and you meet the requirements in the job profile, we encourage you to apply. You can respond till the closing date. Please use the application form to apply.

You can include annexes for example, your motivation letter or CV. You may rest assured that your details will be treated with strict confidentiality.

If we are planning to employ you, we will ask you for a Certificate of Good Conduct (VOG). The costs will be reimbursed.

Closing date
22 February 2016

+31 (0)71 526 94 35

Further details