PhD positions: Bioinformatics analysis of cellular responses

Ph.D. positions (4 years) in bioinformatics analysis of cellular responses to material surfaces: Do cells read Braille?

The Tissue Regeneration group at the MIRA Institute for Biomedical Technology and Technical Medicine, University of Twente (, is dedicated to develop strategies for the treatment of bone and cartilage defects. The biomaterials surface topography influences the way the body responds to it. In cooperation with informatics and mathematics groups, we recently developed the TopoChip platform for high throughput screening of a library of surface topographies for cellular responses (Unadkat et al., PNAS, 2011, doi:10.1073/pnas.1109861108). Our experiments unveil a dependency of cellular behavior on certain topographic design parameters. Informatics and algorithm design play a key role in both the design of the topographies and in the analysis of the large amounts of data resulting from the screenings. We aim to develop this approach to a platform for the design of topographies that optimally trigger certain biological responses. Using our platform, we hope to be able to decipher the Braille code of cell responses to surface topographies.

We are now looking for a PhD student for this interdisciplinary project. The candidate should have a Master’s or equivalent degree in bioinformatics, computer science, mathematics, or in biomedical engineering with ample experience in informatics. Outstanding knowledge of scientific English both in speaking and in reading is required.

Terms of employment
The position will be with the Tissue Regeneration department, in the group of prof. Jan de Boer, which is part of the MIRA Institute for Biomedical Technology and Technical Medicine at the University of Twente (, in cooperation with Prof. Marcel Reinders of the Delft Bioformatic Lab of Delft University of Technology. We offer a top level research and academic environment with excellent opportunities for personal development. The assignment is for 4 years, with a go/no-go assessment at the end of the first year. Candidates are expected to finish the project with a PhD thesis and disseminate the results through publications in peer-reviewed journals and presentations at international conferences. The starting salary will be € 2042 in the first year and up to € 2612 gross per month in the last year.

Questions about the project should be directed to Prof. Dr. Jan de Boer (
Applications should consist of an application/motivation letter and a detailed CV.