PhD Student at The Immunoglobulin Research Group
Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients has significantly improved with the use of new biological drugs such as adalimumab (anti-TNF) or tocilizumab (anti-IL-6R). However, a particular biological is not always effective in an individual patient, and response over time varies. Therefore, treatment decisions could greatly benefit from methods to select the best drug in each patient. For several years we have been studying the factors that underlie (un)successful treatment with biologicals of inflammatory diseases, and demonstrated that biological drug may trigger formation of anti-drug antibodies, which interferes with therapy efficacy. Paramount to study the mechanisms of (non-)response is the development of highly specific immunoassays to monitor e.g. the antibody response to a drug over time. In this project we aim to further unravel the contributing role of cytokines such as TNF to clinical response and disease progression of RA during treatment with anti-cytokine drugs. We will design, develop, and clinically validate novel immunoassays of blood samples to optimize patient-tailored therapy of individual RA patients. In particular, we intend to optimize biomonitoring of response to therapy by simultaneously measuring serum levels of inflammation-related molecules targeted by biologicals as well as levels of active drug. Can we quantify levels of cytokines in the presence of vast amounts of cytokine blockers, and what do these levels reveal about disease progression during therapy?
Where you will work:
The Immunoglobulin Research group is part of the Department of Immunopathology. We investigate structural and functional properties of antibodies with the aim of understanding their role in immunological processes and their therapeutic application (both of plasma-derived polyclonal antibodies and of antibodies produced by recombinant technology). The department comprises ca. 50 people (postdocs, PhD-students, undergraduate students and technicians) that all work on related research topics. This project will be carried out within the context of the Landsteiner Laboratory of the Academic Medical Center of the University of Amsterdam in close collaboration with Rheumatologists at Reade as well as several other academic and non-academic partners.
We are looking for:
- enthusiastic, highly motivated and ambitious candidate;
- master degree in Biomedical or Biopharmaceutical Sciences, or equivalent education;
- interest in antibodies and immunology;
- interested both in basic science as well as in its clinical application;
- strong communicational skills/team player;
- good command of written and spoken English.
A job in a unique organization. Nowhere else in the world can you find a company that combines medical, pharmaceutical and scientific research in one innovative concern. We offer you the following employee beneftis:
- salary and conditions are conform CAO Sanquin;
- ample development prospects;
- a temporary position as a PhD student (4 years)
- 8,33% year-end;
- by full-time employment (36 hours) 201 vacation hours;
- reimbursement of travel expenses;
- collection agreements with various insurers;
For further information, please contact Dr. Theo Rispens (Project leader) via Phone nummer: +31(0)20-5123158 or Dr. S. M. van Ham (Head of department) via Phone number: +31(0)20-5123171.
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