- Are you interested to understand mechanisms linked to gastrointestinal disorders such as IBD and IBS? In that case you might be the right candidate to fill in the vacancy for a doctoral fellowship described below:
About the project: “When the gut feels ‘itchy’: the role of Mas-related G protein-coupled receptors in the gastrointestinal tract.”
As one of the largest bodily surfaces in contact with our outer world, the gastrointestinal (GI) tract is continuously exposed to potential threats or harms. To maintain proper gut functioning in this challenging environment, a balanced neuro-immune communication is of vital importance. Not surprising, disturbances in this balanced neuro-immune communication have major consequences on gut functioning and are thought to underlie several GI disorders, including Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) and Irritable Bowel syndrome (IBS). Within the Laboratory of Cell Biology & Histology (CBH) the research group of Prof. Dr. Jean-Pierre Timmermans current research focusses on Mas-related G protein-coupled receptors (Mrgprs), which represents a family of GPCRs generally described as ‘itch receptors’ in the skin. Interestingly, we recently discovered that these Mrgprs are expressed in the GI tract and seem to play a similar role as they do in the skin. Hence, our current mission is to further unravel the functional importance of Mrgprs in the GI tract and evaluate their role as underlying players in the pathology of IBD and IBS, with a focus on translation to the human gastro-intestinal tract. In this way, our findings could generate novel therapeutic targets and strategies in tackling these debilitating disorders.
Project description in dutch
Within the Laboratory of Cell Biology & Histology, we have a vacant position for a doctoral fellowship supervised by Prof. Dr. John-Paul Bogers and Prof. Dr. Jean-Pierre Timmermans.
About the project
Pancreatic cancer has a 5-year overall survival rate of less than 10%, and this prognosis has hardly improved over the last 2 decades. Where chemo- and radiotherapy seem to be fairly successful in many tumor types, pancreatic cancer remains quite resistant to these conventional therapies. To improve outcome, hyperthermal treatment acts as a sensitizer to conventional therapies.
In this project the candidate will investigate the synergic effect of hyperthermal treatment and conventional anticancer conventional therapies for pancreatic cancer using in vitro assays and the chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) model. In addition, the determination of a thermoresistancy/thermosensitivity biomarker would be a major goal.
We are looking for a highly motivated, enthusiastic, critical and creative individual to join our team. The candidate should have a strong interest in translational oncology research and wet lab or dry lab experience in this field would be an advantage.
The position is open for candidates that have:
• MSc in Biomedical Sciences, Biotechnology, Biochemistry, Medicine, Veterinary Sciences, or equivalent;
• Proficient in verbal and written English• Ability to summarize data extracted from literature and to define research objectives
• Passion for science, self-motivation, flexibility and team spirit.
• Experience with techniques such as cell culture, CAM model, qRT-PCR, fluorescence microscopy and/or bioinformatics would be an advantage.
• You will actively work on the preparation and defense of a PhD thesis in the field of Biomedical Sciences with the goal to investigate the synergic effect of hyperthermal treatment and conventional anticancer therapy and discover a potential biomarker that can predict sensitivity to heat treatment.
• You perform scientific research and report on your results though congress participation and high-quality, peer-reviewed articles.
• You will work closely with both academical and industrial partners
Starting date: October 1st , 2021 or January 2nd, 2022For further information, please contact Prof. Dr. John-Paul Bogers or Prof. Dr. Jean-Pierre Timmermans