The Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy (GRIP) of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences has an opening for a PhD candidate in the Pharmaceutical Analysis unit. This unit has research activities in the lab-on-a-chip (P.I. Sabeth Verpoorte) and nanofluidics and sensing (P.I. Klaus Mathwig) areas. The position is in the Verpoorte group, and is funded by a recently awarded EU project, Integrated Tissue Slice Culture and NMR Metabolomics – A Novel Approach Towards Systemic Understanding of Liver Function And Disease.

Research in the Verpoorte group is devoted to better understanding micro- and nanofluidic systems and how they can be applied to chemical and cell biological problems. Lab-on-a-chip / microfluidics technology enables sub-microliter liquid handling in integrated multifunctional microdevices for (bio)chemical processing. Our research is driven by interdisciplinary, (inter)national collaborations focusing on questions related to understanding and treating disease. Our research portfolio includes projects in three areas, namely organ-on-a-chip, biochemical paper-based analysis, and microfluidic component development.

In this EU project, also known by its acronym, TISuMR, we will focus on the development of an innovative technology platform that integrates nuclear magnetic resonance metabolomics and micro-imaging with microfluidic tissue-slice perfusion culture. This platform is poised to revolutionize life science research by providing unprecedented local insight into physiological processes in intact tissues under highly controlled conditions, and with high temporal and spatial resolution. Together with partners Prof Marcel Utz (University of Southampton) and Prof Jan Korvink (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology), our efforts will centre on liver tissue-slice culture, with the immediate target of elucidating the mechanism of liver damage by drug-induced cholestasis.

Within GRIP, the PhD candidate will work together with a postdoc (or postdocs) and technician on the development of in vitro microculture systems based on microfluidic perfusion of precision-cut liver slices. These incubation systems serve as advanced in vitro systems to provide better, more in vivo-like environments for slices. As such, they will act as the benchmark for micro magnetic resonance imaging studies to investigate the basic mechanisms involved in the development of the liver disease, (drug-induced) cholestasis. This work will be done in collaboration with Prof Peter Olinga of GRIP, who works at the forefront of drug development and has an excellent track record in the field of experimental disease models, particularly those based on precision-cut tissue slices. Centrifugally driven, microfluidic incubation devices designed for interrogation of slices directly in the core of a high-field magnet will also be designed and implemented, with support from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and University of Southampton. It is expected that GRIP researchers will contribute substantially with their expertise to the realization of protocols and integrated analysis / culture systems for the liver slices, which will then be applied for NMR experiments in Karlsruhe and Southampton by the other partners in the project.


The successful candidate for this PhD position in the Pharmaceutical Analysis group will have the following qualifications/qualities: • a Master’s degree in Pharmacy / Pharmaceutical Sciences, Toxicology, Biomedical Sciences, Technology or Engineering; or related areas • experience with in vitro assays would be considered an asset • very good knowledge of written and spoken English; knowledge of Dutch an asset • very good communication skills, so as to function as an excellent team player in this collaborative effort • enthusiasm and initiative to perform creative pharmaceutical research in an interdisciplinary setting.

Conditions of employment

The University of Groningen offers a salary of € 2,191 gross per month in the first year to a maximum of € 2,801 gross per month in the final year (salary scale Dutch Universities), based on a fulltime position (1.0 fte) excluding a 8% holiday allowance and an 8.3% end of the year bonus. The position is offered for four years. Each successful candidate will first be offered a temporary position of one year with the option of renewal for another three years. Prolongation of the contract is contingent on sufficient progress in the first year to indicate that a successful completion of the PhD thesis within the contract period is to be expected. A PhD training programme is part of the agreement and the successful candidate will be enrolled in the Graduate School of the Faculty. The conditions of employment are available at the University of Groningen website under Human Resources:

Application You may apply for this position until 15 March / before 16 March 2016 Dutch local time by means of the application form on the website for this position (click on “Apply” at the bottom of the page for the advertisement on the university website, to be found at

Applications for the position should include: • curriculum vitae (name, address, degree(s) with transcript(s) of grades, research experience, educational and employment history, etc.) • motivation letter • name and (email) address of two professional references • vacancy number of this position.

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.


For information you can contact:

Prof. E.M.J. Verpoorte,

(please do not submit application material to this address)

PhD position Pharmaceutical Analysis (1.0 fte) (217018)

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