August 3, 2018

Promovendus FHML/School for Cardiovascular Diseases/CARIM -CARDIOLOGIE (4 years)

Research project: Microvasculaire functie bij hartfalen met behouden/preserved ejectie fractie (HFpEF)

De afdeling cardiologie zoekt een promovendus voor het onderzoeksproject “Microvasculaire functie bij hartfalen met behouden/preserved ejectie fractie (HFpEF)” Mannen en vrouwen zijn niet gelijk in de wereld van hartfalen. Hartfalen (HF) kan onderverdeeld worden in twee soorten: HF met verminderde/reduced ejectiefractie (HFrEF) of HF met behouden/preserved ejectiefractie (HFpEF).

Link tot academic transfer


July 31, 2018

Position for PhD student FHML/School for Cardiovascular Diseases/CARIM -dept Pathology (4 years)

Research project: studies the role of hypoxia, inflammation and matrix turnover in atherosclerosis

The team is embedded in the Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht (CARIM) of Maastricht University Medical Center and studies the role of hypoxia, inflammation and matrix turnover in atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis develops in the large arteries under the influence of high plasma cholesterol, hypertension and diabetes. Our group investigates the rupture of an atherosclerotic plaque, which is the actual cause of a myocardial infarct and / or stroke.

Link tot academic transfer



June 7, 2018

Project title: PhD studentship on vascular dementia research

Location: University of Birmingham (Institute of Inflammation and Ageing) & Maastricht University (CARIM, Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht)

Deadline: July 2nd 2018

Project description

White matter really matters in cerebral Small Vessel Disease: WNT signalling in the endothelial – oligodendroglial crosstalk

The PhD candidate will work at the interface between cardiovascular and neuro-sciences as part of a joint project between Maastricht University and the University of Birmingham. This project is focused on the crosstalk between endothelial cells and oligodendrocytes (OL) via WNT signalling in the context of cerebral small vessel disease (cSVD).

Neurodegenerative diseases represent a critical challenge to society due to population ageing, amongst which cSVD provides a promising area for therapeutic intervention because of its well-known cardiovascular risk factors (e.g. ageing, hypertension, diabetes). cSVD impairs cognitive function, and is characterized by the presence of lesions in myelin-rich white matter regions (WML) and Blood Brain Barrier (BBB) leakages, amongst other structural abnormalities. This indicates that oligodendrocytes (OL), the cells responsible for generating and supporting myelin, are especially vulnerable to injury in this condition. While the development of WML in cSVD is influenced by hypertension and other cardiovascular risk factors, specific mechanisms causing  WML have not been investigated.

The production of myelin during development places a major metabolic demand on OL and its precursors (OPCs) that must be satisfied by a sufficient blood supply. WNT signalling is critically important for developmental processes including blood vessel and blood brain barrier formation. It also mediates complementary actions to ensure the proper adjustment of OPC/OL function based on the oxygen and nutrients supply. The relevance of such mechanism in cSVD is unknown, but could explain the burden of WML and the presence of BBB leakages occurring from the newly formed, immature, leaky blood vessels.

In this project, the PhD student will study WNT signalling in OL/OPC, and its crosstalk with endothelial cells, to identify potential therapeutic strategies to limit BBB leakages and preserve myelin integrity in cSVD

Role description

·      Design and performs scientific research;

·      Works in a team with PhD students, scientists and clinicians;

·      Discuss plans and performs research in a stimulating environment;

·      Work in a highly international research group across two different sites: University of Birmingham and Maastricht University.

Requirements Applicants must be European residents, achieve the required University of Birmingham IELTS score (average 6.5 overall and no less than 6.0 in any one category), and be willing to spend 1.5 year in each University. The successful candidate will be registered as a PhD student at Birmingham University and will also be registered at Maastricht University. The graduation will result in a joint PhD degree from the two universities.

·Honours degree (2:1 or 1st class) in molecular life sciences, biomedical sciences, medical biology, neurosciences or a related discipline;

·Strong background in vascular and/or neuroscience research and/or pharmacology is an asset;

·Certification to work with animals and experience with conducting animal studies is an asset;

·Experience with cell culture work and molecular biology techniques is required;

·Highly motivated to work in an interdisciplinary environment;

·Excellent interpersonal and communication skills are essential;

·Willingness to work flexibly;

Your application must enclose the following information and documents:

• A detailed CV, including your nationality, country of birth and education;

• Names and addresses of two referees;

• A covering letter highlighting your research experience/capabilities;

• Copies of your degree transcripts;

• Evidence of your proficiency in English language.

Additional informations / contact Starting period: < November 2018

Full-time fixed-term employment for 3 years

Dr. Sébastien Foulquier, PhD, Dept of Pharmacology and Toxicology, CARIM, Maastricht University



Dr. Daniel Fulton, PhD, Institute of Inflammation and Ageing, University of Birmingham