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PhD international registry and natural history study in VWM

The Amsterdam Leukodystrophy Centre, internationally known for its research into diseases of the white matter of the brain, has a vacancy for a PhD candidate who will work on being ready for clinical trials for the fatal disease vanishing white matter.
PhD international registry and natural history study in VWM
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  • Hours: 36 uur per week
  • Division: Women and Children's Centre
  • Contract type: fixed-term
  • Salary: € 2.570 - € 3.271
  • React until: 6 February 2022
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The project

The Amsterdam Leukodystrophy Center offers a PhD position for 4 years. The Center comprises a multidisciplinary research group, composed of child neurologists, neuropathologists, molecular and cell biologists, technicians, PhD students and graduate students. The research area mainly focuses on clinical signs, MRI/MRS, genetics, neuropathology, electrophysiology and molecular and cellular aspects of leukodystrophies, and on developing potential curative therapies, including gene therapy. More information on our research can be found at our website.  Vanishing white matter is a central research subject of the Center, approached from different sides. The current project is mainly focused on the clinical aspects and on being ready for trials when therapy developments allow testing in patients. 

Question about this vacancy?
Tanja Hart Tanja Hart +31621603178 Recruitment adviseur
About your role

This new research project focuses on vanishing white matter (VWM). VWM is a rare inherited disease affecting the brain white matter (a so-called 'leukodystrophy'), caused by mutations in any of the five genes encoding subunits of the translation initiation factor eIF2B. It is a devastating disease with chronic and episodic neurological deterioration, most often starting in early childhood. VWM is fatal and there is no curative therapy available. Recently, several  options for therapy have been identified and the first clinical trials are being developed. In order to facilitate international trials, the Amsterdam patient registry needs to become an international registry and the natural history of VWM needs to be well documented. Scales to serve as outcome measures need to be validated.

Key responsibilities:

- Perform a natural history study;

- Identify appropriate key outcome measure using strategies aiming at international consensus;

- Perform patient and family surveys.

About you

We are searching for enthusiastic PhD students with the following characteristics:

- Master’s degree in medicine;

- fluent in Dutch and English; fluency in other languages is a pre;

- affinity with the subject of the study;

- good writing skills;

- experience with building and managing databases;

- self-motivated and able to work independently, but also able to function well within a team environment;

- attention to detail, excellent documentation, communication and presentation skills.

Our offer
  • We offer an initial contract for 12 months that can be extended (after evaluation) for another 36 months.
  • In addition to a PhD wage, we offer, among other things, 8.3% end-of-year bonus and 8% holiday allowance.
  • Free and unlimited access to the training offer of our online learning environment GoodHabitz.
  • Your pension is accrued at The Dutch Pension Fund for government and education employees  (ABP). Amsterdam UMC contributes 70% of this scheme.
  • We reimburse 75% of your public transport travel costs and also offer a bicycle arrangement.
  • An active staff association and the Young Amsterdam UMC association, both of which organise fun (sports) activities and events.
  • For an overview of all our other terms of employment, see

Amsterdam UMC has an open culture. This means that we hope that everyone feels welcome in our organization and that we strive to offer equal opportunities to everyone. We therefore cordially invite all interested parties to respond to this vacancy.

About your workplace

The Amsterdam Leukodystrophy Center is part of the department of Pediatrics / Child Neurology at the Amsterdam University Medical Centers and internationally renowned for its research on genetic brain white matter disorders ('leukodystrophies'). The Amsterdam Leukodystrophy Center is headed by prof. dr. Marjo van der Knaap.  Working at Amsterdam UMC means working in an inspiring and professional environment, in which developing one`s talents and skills is encouraged. We offer you ample opportunity for development, deepening and broadening, additional training and a place to grow. PhD students are offered courses and teaching through the Graduate School Neurosciences Amsterdam Rotterdam (ONWAR).

What to expect
A job in our beautiful capital
Working for the most preferred employer in healthcare (intermediair 2021)
All colleagues have the same goal: contributing to tomorrow's care
We care not only for our patients, but also for you
Cooperation is characterised by mutual trust and interest in one another
We are constantly innovating, so you must be able to deal with change
Parking is limited at location VUmc, but by public transport you can get to the door
A full agenda, because our staff association organises many fun activities
Meet your colleagues Watch video’s of your future colleagues
Amsterdam UMC
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Let’s meet!

The first round of interviews is scheduled for the second week of February. Invitations to this first round of interviews are already possible during the publication deadline. 

Do you have any questions? For more information, please contact Marjo van der Knaap, head of the Amsterdam Leukodystrophy Centre, via

For more information about the application procedure contact Tanja Hart, Recruitment Advisor, via 06-21603178 or via

A reference check, screening and hiring test may be part of the procedure. Read hier whether this also applies to you. 

For Dutch citizens it is mandatory to provide a VOG (Verklaring Omtrent Gedrag). Foreign citizens need to provide comparable police clearing certificates.

In the event of proven equal suitability, internal candidates will be given priority over external candidates.

Acquisition in response to this vacancy is not appreciated.