Postdoctoral researcher Structural and functional neuroanatomy at Faculty of Science – Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences. The Amsterdam Brain and Mind Project is the neuroscience and cognition research alliance between the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and VU University Amsterdam (VUA).

Leading experts from both universities will join forces to study the link between our physical brain and our mind. Although we seem to understand the mechanisms of our brain better every day, it largely remains a mystery.

Salary : €2,532 to €3,996 gross per month

Deadline: 7 January 2016
Vacancy number: 15-468

The Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences, UvA in collaboration with the Complex Trait Genetics lab at the Center for Neurogenomics and Cognitive Research, VUA are seeking applicants for a Postdoc position for the project ‘Advanced in vitro and in vivo modeling to study the role of astrocytes in Major Depression Disorder’.

Project description

Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is among the most common psychiatric disorders. But current treatments are not effective. Better understanding of the mechanisms involved is needed to develop therapies and intervention. Multiple studies show that early-life stress (ES) is an important risk factor for MDD, and twin and SNP-based analyses indicate a clear genetic role in MDD. How genes and environment interact and what the underlying cellular mechanisms are remains elusive.

Neuronal dysfunction in the pathogenesis of MDD is widely investigated. But a role for astrocytes is only recently emerging and still largely unexplored. To gain further insight into how ES effects brain cells of patients with high genetic risk for MDD, we will study how astrocyte structure and function is altered in MDD patients using advanced induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology. In order to create a sophisticated humanized in vivo model for MDD in the near future, we will here investigate the effect of ES on astrocyte structure and function in an established mouse model of ES.

This new collaborative project will give many new avenues for future studies to study MDD etiology and will serve the identification of new interventional targets.

Requirements / Qualifications – 

We are seeking a postdoctoral researcher who is expected to generate and validate IPSC-derived neural cells from human subjects, and/or has experience with molecular and in vitro cellular biological methods. Having worked with histological techniques and animal behavioral tests is an advantage. The ideal candidate will be proficient in cell culture (primary, cell lines), cellular and behavioral mouse techniques.

Minimum qualifications include a PhD degree in cellular or molecular neurobiology with strong focus on cell culture and mouse behavior. In addition, we require effective communication skills in English, good organizational and interpersonal skills and the ability to work in a dynamic team.

Further information

For additional information please contact:


The appointment will be on a temporary basis for a period of 2 years (initial appointment will be for a period of 1 year and after satisfactory evaluation it will be extended with one additional year).

Based on a full-time appointment (38 hours per week) the gross monthly salary will be maximal €3,996 (scale 10-max) based on the salary scale valid from 1 January 2016 and depending on expertise and previous experience. The Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO) is applicable.

Application Procedure – Job application

Due to limitations in recruitment budget we will only consider candidates that are currently in Europe. Please do not respond if you are not in this continent.

Applications may only be submitted by email.

To process your application immediately, please quote vacancy number 15-468 and the position you are applying for in the subject-line.

Applications must include a curriculum vitae, a list of publications, a cover letter of motivation and the names and contact details of two academic referees. Please combine all documents in one single attachment and also mention the months (not just years) in your CV when referring to your education and work experience.

Apply now

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