Postdoc CRISPR technologies in neurogenomics

We are looking for an ambitious and innovative candidate with the initiative and expertise to play a leading role in applying new CRISPR technologies for high impact research on neurodegenerative disorders.

About the position

A challenging postdoctoral position that will use innovative (high-throughput) genome editing tools to study how dysfunctions at the level of DNA and RNA regulatory elements drives toxic cellular phenotypes in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) using advanced human in vitro systems. You will have the opportunity to play a pivotal role in a multi-disciplinary team that connects large scale genomic analyses of patients with detailed functional experiments using iPSC-based in vitro modelling.

Your research will focus on decoding cell specific regulatory codes that are vulnerable to toxic risk factors in ALS - a fatal neurodegenerative disorder that affects 1 in 350 people. These regulatory codes are determined by functional elements that act at the level of either DNA or RNA to ensure correct expression, post-transcriptional processing and/or localization of key mRNA transcripts. It is already known that a failure in the maintenance of such regulatory codes is key to pathological events in both laboratory models of ALS and patients. Recent work by the project supervisors has provided new insights into this through multi-omic single cell analyses of patient tissue, large scale human genetics studies and transcriptomic analyses of novel ALS iPSC models. However, innovative and scalable technologies are needed to bridge key knowledge gaps and to connect prioritized DNA / RNA regulatory elements with functional outcomes in neural cell types. These relationships will need to be characterized at single cell resolution and interpreted in an isoform-specific manner. To fulfil these needs, you will implement a CRISPR based screening approach to manipulate key regulatory targets that have been prioritized using existing transcriptome, epigenome and genetic datasets from ALS patients. Your objective will be to quickly extend from low throughput evaluation of high priority targets in simple cell lines, to higher throughput investigations conducted using disease relevant iPSC models. Your work will be supported by interactions with colleagues that can provide the necessary supporting expertise in ALS, bioinformatics, genomics and iPSC models.

The department

The project will be performed within the department of Translational Neuroscience,  at the UMC Utrecht Brain Center. The project supervisors,  Kevin Kenna and Jeroen Pasterkamp, have extensive experience in ALS, human neurogenomics and iPSC-based in vitro models. You will also be embedded within the Dutch ALS centre, a world leading and highly multi-disciplinary unit dedicated to the advancement of ALS research. 

Your profile

  • You have PhD level experience in genome biology, molecular biology, neurobiology or a related scientific discipline.

  • Prior experience with genome editing technologies is essential. Prior experience with high-throughput genome editing (CRISPR screens), CROP-seq, Perturb-seq, CRISPR based deletion scanning or base editors is especially valued.

  • Prior experience with research involving DNA / RNA regulatory elements is valued but not essential.

  • Prior experience with neuronal cultures and iPSC models is valued but not essential.

Our offer

  • A salary between € 3359 and € 5292 gross per month (scale 10), based on full-time employment (36 hours).
  • An employment contract for 3 years, with a preferred start date in Q1 of 2024. Upon a positive performance, the appointment can be extended.  
  • Year-end bonus of 8.3% and holiday allowance of 8%.
  • A favorable pension scheme with ABP: we cover 70% of the premium.
  • Access to a variety of courses and training through GoodHabitz.
  • Cao à la carte: the option to select additional employment benefits in exchange for gross salary, such as purchasing a bicycle, reimbursement for your internet subscription, and memberships.

Get in contact

Do you have questions about the vacancy? Please contact us!

Marie Hagen

088 75 688 05