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We are looking for an enthusiastic PhD student keen on entering the exciting research field of intercellular communication via nano-sized extracellular vesicles. Extracellular vesicles currently receive a remarkable amount of attention due to their role as vehicles for information transfer in several biological processes and their potential use as disease biomarkers. Funded by a recently obtained ERC starting grant, you will be exploring the role of extracellular vesicles in regulation of adaptive immune responses, using murine in vitro cell cultures. A strong focus will be put on unraveling the role of vesicle-associated small RNA types in this type of immune regulation. The (functional) characterization of extracellular vesicles is technically challenging and the project involves several in-house developed assays for vesicle analysis, such as high-resolution flow cytometry. In addition, super-resolution microscopy and advanced RNA sequencing analysis of the transcriptomes of extracellular vesicles and vesicle-targeted cells will be performed. This project will lead to the generation and defense of a PhD thesis.


The successful candidate:

  • Is highly motivated and inquisitive with interest in cellular immunology and genomics/transcriptomics;
  • Has a MSc. degree in biological or biomedical sciences and practical experience in cell biology and molecular biology; having obtained a certificate for conducting animal experiments (‘Article 9’ ) is an advantage;
  • Has strong communicative skills and good knowledge of the English language.


We offer a challenging research position in a multidisciplinary and motivated research team. The position is a temporary full-time appointment for one year. After a positive evaluation, the appointment will be prolonged for another three years. The gross salary starts at € 2,083 in the first year and increases to € 2,664 per month in the fourth year of employment. Utrecht University offers a pension scheme, a holiday allowance of 8% per year, an end-of-year bonus of 8.3% and flexible employment conditions . Conditions are based on the Collective Employment Agreement of the Dutch Universities.

Over de organisatie

Utrecht University has great ambitions for its teaching quality and study success rates. This also applies to its clear research profiles which are centred aroundfour themes: Sustainability, Life Sciences, Youth & Identity, and Institutions. Utrecht University plays a prominent role in our societyand contributes to finding the answers to topical and future societal issues.


The Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Utrecht University (FVM-UU) is the only Veterinary School in the Netherlands and belongs to the international top in education, fundamental and clinical research and veterinary medical patient care. Detailed information about the FVM-UU and Utrecht University is available via the website www.uu.nl . The Cell Biology division of the department of Biochemistry & Cell Biology focuses on understanding how extracellular vesicles are formed by immune cells and how these vesicles can affect the behavior of other immune cells. Other lines of research within the department focus on how extracellular vesicles in body fluids can be used as indicators for the immune status in humans and murine model systems.

Aanvullende informatie

Informal inquiries should be directed to dr. Esther Nolte-‘t Hoen:

+31 30 253 4336 or E.N.M.Nolte@uu.nl

The first interviews will be held in week 34.

Please do NOT send your application to this address


Please send your application accompanied by a letter of motivation and a curriculum vitae via the 'application' button below.

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