Ph.D. Position in Biochemistry
KU Leuven is hiring a Ph.D. student to obtain a Ph.D. on the project entitled ‘Towards a rapid diagnostic test for thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura’. The 4-year project will be executed at KU Leuven Campus Kulak Kortrijk, Kortrijk, Belgium.
|Location:||Kortrijk Chemistry, Kulak Kortrijk Campus|
|Apply before:||Monday, September 3, 2018|
Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) is a devastating thrombotic disorder. Patients with an acute TTP episode end up in the intensive care unit. A correct diagnosis of TTP and subsequent treatment with plasma exchange (to provide functional ADAMTS13) within 6 hours after admission, is crucial to save the patients’ life. It is however very difficult to correctly diagnose patients suffering from TTP as other thrombotic microangiopathies (TMA) have overlapping clinical signs, symptoms and biological parameters. The diagnosis of TTP is only conclusive if the activity of the disease-causing enzyme ADAMTS13 is determined and is less than 10%.
In addition, determining anti-ADAMTS13 autoantibody and ADAMTS13 antigen levels is needed to discriminate between immune-mediated and congenital TTP and to predict relapse of the disease. Today, ADAMTS13 testing is only available in TTP reference centers because the assays are labor-intensive and complex to execute. Hence, it takes 0.5 to 5 days until TTP diagnosis is consolidated by the availability of the ADAMTS13 parameters. This implies that physicians currently have to base their diagnosis of TTP on the clinical signs and symptoms rather than on objective biochemical parameters in order to timely to start plasma exchange therapy within 6 hours.
Therefore, the aim of the project is to develop 3 simple, fast, sensitive and cost-effective diagnostic assays that allow immediate determination of ADAMTS13 activity, anti-ADAMTS13 autoantibodies and ADAMTS13 antigen upon patient admission to the hospital in both reference and non-reference TTP centers. Developing such assays is an unmet need to greatly improve the diagnosis and subsequent targeted treatment of TTP.
- You have a master degree with distinction in biomedical sciences, biochemistry, bioengineering or pharmacy
- You are fascinated by scientific research and innovation
- You are motivated, enthusiastic and eager to learn
- You are able to work methodically and accurately
- You are able to work independently yet also being a team player
- You have excellent communication skills and fluently speak and write English
- You have a creative mind and strong skills for solving problems
- You have a good writing and oral expression
Applicants should submit a detailed curriculum vitae, PDF of degrees, a letter of motivation and contact information of 2 referees by email. Please mention “PhD application diagnostic assay” as the subject.
For more information please contact Prof. Dr. Karen Vanhoorelbeke, tel: +3256246061, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Dr. Nick Geukens, +3216377177, email: Nick.Geukens@kuleuven.be
To know more about the laboratory at KU Leuven Campus Kulak Kortrijk, please visit (http://www.kuleuven-kulak.be/irf/thrombosis/research/vanhoorelbeke-lab)
You can apply for this job no later than September 3rd, 2018.
Pre-selected candidates will be invited to the final selection round in Kortrijk, Belgium which will be held in the week of September 10th 2018. Travel expenses will be reimbursed up to 100€.