PhD in Stem Cells in Netherlands

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Mouse embryonic stem cells with fluorescent marker

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Creation of contractile cardiac tissue from induced pluripotent stem cells

Promotor: Maurilio Sampaolesi

Description: Testing drugs for the effect on heart muscle contraction in a high-throughput fashion has been hampered so far because human cardiomyocytes are hard to culture. Current methods either use single cells or animal experiments. The aim of this project is to create contractile cardiac tissue by tissue-engineering. Induced pluripotent stem cells will be used to create cardiomyocytes, since these provide a renewable source. Next, these cardiomyocytes can be tissue-engineered in bio-artifial cardiac muscle. Use of such cardiac muscle will open the path to a new way of measuring contractile force and rhythm. This approach opens the path towards a novel platform for (patient-specific) drug screening and can provide insights in cardiac development and function.
Research techniques will encompass (stem) cell culture, tissue engineering, Q-PCR, immunohistochemistry, image analysis and a flavor of biological data intelligence.

We are a dynamic, young and interdisciplinary team, committed to coaching you to bring science to a next level.
Candidates must be highly motivated, persistent, curious and able to critically reflect.
We support applications for FWO and IWT.

Key words: tissue engineering, contractile, cardiac tissue, induced pluripotent stem cells

Programme: Molecular and Stem Cell Medicine

Start date: 2011-09-01
Application date: 2011-06-14
Publication date: 2010-12-14

Financing: To be applied for

Research group: Interdepartmental Stem Cell Institute

Remarks: Candidates must have obtained very good study results with minimum “distinction” (internationals scholars: masters degree obtained with minimum 70%)
For internationals scholars, we require an excellent command of English (minimum IELTS 7 or TOEFL 90/120 or similar level as determined by other tests).
External funding needs to be applied for.

We will be happy to provide more detailed information. Please contact Maurilio Sampaolesi ( or Lieven Thorrez (

Apply to : Click here to apply to this project

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