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PhD scholarships, Cardiac arrhythmias - 2019BAPFFBDEF020

The research groups 'Cardiovascular disorders' and 'Physiopharmacology' of the Faculties of Medicine and Health Sciences and Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences have two full-time vacancies in the context of a Concerted Research Action (GOA) for

PhD scholarships from the Special Research Fund (BOF-GOA) in the field of research into cardiac arrhythmias

We are looking for two motivated PhD students to develop a fascinating research project entitled: "Neureguline-1 as therapy for atrial fibrillation and the role of the NRG-1/ErbB4 system in atrial remodelling". Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common arrhythmia in daily clinical practice and one of the main causes of strokes and acute heart failure. AF is induced by electrical, contractile and structural remodelling of the atria. In addition, AF itself induces these changes which can lead to a vicious circle (AF generates AF). Structural remodelling of the atria is characterised by inflammation and fibrosis in the walls of the atria and is considered to be the substrate for subsequent electrical and contractile dysfunction of the atria. The current therapy is mainly limited to 'electrical' approaches (cardioversion, medication, ablation), but has no effect on structural changes. Therefore, there is a need for new therapies for AF that address the underlying structural remodelling of the atria. In this project we will test the hypothesis that the neureguline-1 (NRG-1)/ErbB system has an inhibitory effect on the development of atrial fibrosis and fibrillation. The first vacancy consists mainly of research based on heart tissue of patients and an AF pig model. The second vacancy consists mainly of research using a mouse model of AF.

Your mission

  • You are preparing a doctoral thesis in the field of neureguline-1 as therapy for atrial fibrillation and the role of the NRG-1/ErbB4 system in atrial remodelling.
  • You publish scientific articles related to the research project to which the appointment is made.
  • You follow a doctoral programme at the University of Antwerp.

Your profile

  • You hold a Master's degree in Medical, Biomedical, Pharmaceutical, Veterinary Sciences or similar qualification.
  • You can present excellent study results.
  • Also final-year students can apply.
  • Your research qualities are in line with the university's policies.
  • Experience with cardiovascular research is an added value.
  • You have or are willing to obtain a FELASA C certificate.
  • You have knowledge of statistics and specific software (SPSS, R, GraphPad,...).
  • You have strong analytical skills.
  • You can easily deal with MS Office.
  • You work meticulously with an eye for detail.
  • You have a sense of initiative and a proactive attitude.
  • You have a good oral and written knowledge of English.
  • You are quality-oriented, honest, creative and collaborative.

We offer

  • a doctoral scholarship for a period of two years, renewable once by two years after positive evaluation;
  • the starting date of the grant is to be agreed, between 1 April 2019 and 1 August 2019;
  • a gross grant amount that varies from € 2.373,36 - € 2.516,73;
  • a dynamic and stimulating research environment.

How to apply?

  • Applications may only be submitted online, and this until 15 February 2019 at the latest. Your application file must contain a CV and motivation.
  • A pre-selection will be made on the basis of the submitted applications.
  • The further selection procedure is function-oriented and is determined by the selection committee.
  • The interviews of the candidates preselected by a selection committee will take place on a date to be agreed between 16/2/2019 and 14/3/2019.
  • For information about filling in the application form, please contact
  • More information about the research team and the current research lines is available at: and
  • If you have any questions about the position, please contact us:

For the first vacancy:

For the second vacancy:

The University of Antwerp is a family friendly organization, with a focus on equal opportunities and diversity. Our HR-policy for researchers was awarded by the European Commission with the quality label HR Excellence in research.

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