PhD Candidate in Vivo Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Spectroscopy

Leiden University, Netherlands is inviting applicants to apply for a PhD position in environmental sciences. Successful candidate will have funding to work and study for three years in Netherlands. Applicants should apply as soon as possible.

The Faculty of Science and the Leiden Institute of Chemistry are looking for a

to study the role of default mode activation in Alzheimer's disease.

Project description

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disease and is an increasing health problem in the aging population worldwide. Currently no definitive in vivo biomarker of AD is available and this impedes both clinical diagnosis in human and drug discovery in transgenic animal models. Previous studies including our magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study showed that main disease marker (A protein) depositions occur mainly in default mode areas of the brain. It is not clear why these brain regions are particularly vulnerable to AD. Since these areas are chronically active, it can be hypothesized that prolonged metabolic activation renders the system vulnerable to Alzheimer's disease. Due to a lack of non-invasive methods, chronic metabolic activation pathways and their association with A deposition in default mode regions have not been studied so far. In this project, we will get direct in vivo access to metabolic pathways in default mode areas of AD mice using novel ultra-high field magnetic resonance microimaging and spectroscopic methods to understand regional differences in AD progression and resolve also gender-related differences. The AIO will optimize and apply ultra-high field in vivo NMR methods at 17.6T for metabolic profiling together with magnetic resonance microimaging for in vivo A plaque visualization, that were originally developed in our group. The results will be validated with HR MAS NMR and immunohistology methods. Identifying crucial changes in chronically active pathways, which coincides with seeding of A deposition in default areas will provide not only the understanding of the mechanism of AD progression, but also provide us early biomarkers of the AD. Our organisation

The Faculty of Science is a world-class faculty where staff and students work together in a dynamic international environment. It is a faculty where personal and academic development is top priorities. Our people are committed to expand fundamental knowledge by curiosity and to look beyond the borders of their own discipline; their aim is to benefit science, and to make a contribution to addressing the major societal challenges of the future. The research carried out at the Faculty of Science is very diverse, ranging from mathematics, information science, astronomy, physics, chemistry and bio-pharmaceutical sciences to biology and environmental sciences. The research activities are organized in eight institutes. These institutes offer eight bachelor's and twelve master's programs. The faculty has grown strongly in recent years and now has more than 1,300 staff and almost 4,000 students. We are located at the heart of Leiden's Bio Science Park, one of Europe's biggest science parks, where university and business life come together.

The chemistry and life science research in the Leiden Institute of Chemistry (LIC) is organized around two major research areas: 'Chemical Biology' and 'Energy & Sustainability'. The institute's research themes illustrate the central position of chemistry between biology, medicine and physics. The various research topics carried out within these themes are ideal for executing interdisciplinary research.

Terms and conditions

We offer a position for initially one year. After a positive evaluation of the progress of the thesis, personal capabilities and compatibility the appointment will be extended by a further three years. Salary range from 2,325 to 2,972 gross per month (pay scale P in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities). Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3 %), training and career development and sabbatical leave. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. For international spouses we have set up a dual career programme. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break.

All our PhD students are embedded in the Leiden University Graduate School of Science. Our graduate school offers several PhD training courses at three levels: professional courses, skills training and personal effectiveness. In addition, advanced courses to deepen scientific knowledge are offered by the research school.


Leiden University is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from members of underrepresented groups. Information

Enquiries can be made to: Dr. A. Alia, email: If you have any questions about the procedure, please contact secretary Liesbeth van der Velden, email: Applications

To apply for this vacancy, please send no later than 15 October 2019 an email to the secretary of the 'Biophysical Organic Chemistry' group, Liesbeth van der Velden, email: veldenevander@lic. leidenuniv.

Deadline: As soon as possible
Apply Link: Please send your application via email.

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