ESR11: Metabolomics of vascular function

at Leiden University /The Netherlands
Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research
Prof. Dr. Thomas Hankemeier (

Candidates with a background in analytical chemistry, mass spectrometry, chemistry, biochemistry and/or pharmacology are invited to apply for a PhD position in the Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research  (AnalyticalBioSciences and Metabolomics Group at the Division of Systems Biomedicine andPharmacology; lead: Prof. Thomas Hankemeier) at Leiden University, TheNetherlands.

The aim of your PhD project is to develop an advanced analytical platform for metabolic phenotyping of vascular function for blood vessels-on-a-chip. You will establish miniaturized metabolomic setups to profile metabolites from in-vitro as well as ex-vivo cell experiments and develop methods for the functional metabolic assessment of endothelial function, which includes oxidative/nitrosative stress, endothelial activation and inflammation. Blood samples from animal models with defined endothelial phenotypes will serve as reference, and blood will be perfused through blood vessels-on-a-chip. You willuse tracer-based metabolomics technique, and you will aim to study individual cells in your organ-on-a-chip models. To validate results, you will analyse metabolic profiles in combination with other phenotypic readout and omics  and sensors. Finally, you will aim to translate the developed strategies into a diagnostic assay to screen blood samples using metabolomics and blood vessels-on-a-chip. To achieve your goals, you will collaborate with several other PhD students in this ITN program.

Secondments: integration of metabolomics data with iNOS protein and other endothelial function data (one month at SAS/Slovakia), preparation of reconstructed 3D tissues as models for metabolomic profiling (one month at the company MatTek In Vitro Life Science Laboratories s.r.o./Slovakia) and Integration of miniaturized metabolomics into robotic platform for diagnostic applications (3 months at the company Interscience/Netherlands)

Requirements: Master/Engineering degree in Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biology or Biomedical Engineering preferably with majors in Analytical Chemistry. Interest in the field of metabolomics, pharmacology, microfluidics and chemometrics applied to biological samples is desired. Knowledge in the field of (bio)chemical sensing and endothelial biochemistry are great assets.

Planned start date: 1st July 2019

Application deadline: 30th April 2019

Contact: Applications should be sent to Prof. Dr. Thomas Hankemeier at and Dr. Amy Harms at