PhD candidate in computational modeling of cardiac arrhythmias, FHML/School for Cardiovascular Dise

Jul 27, 2016
Oct 27, 2016
Organization Type
University and College
Full Time

The Department of Cardiology, FHML/School for Cardiovascular Diseases/CARIM is looking for a PhD candidate for the project “Integrative computational modeling of calcium handling and cardiac arrhythmias”

Job Specifications - (uitleg)

Solliciteer binnen 18 dagen op deze vacature

Job Description

Heart rhythm disorders are a major cause of death and disability. Research during the last 30 years has identified a wide range of molecular alterations in individual cardiomyocytes that can promote cardiac arrhythmogenesis. Ca2+ ions have emerged as critical regulators of cardiac electrophysiology, contractility, development and remodeling. Through all these processes, Ca2+ also modulates the likelihood of various arrhythmias. However, it remains unclear exactly which Ca2+-dependent processes are harmful.

In this project, the PhD-candidate will participate in ongoing experimental research (in particular confocal microscopy and patch-clamp experiments) to delineate the cellular and molecular mechanisms of cardiac arrhythmias. He/she will employ the thereby generated data to develop novel dynamic computational models (programmed in C++ and Matlab) to investigate the potential central role of (abnormal) Ca2+ handling in cardiac arrhythmogenesis. These models can be employed to integrate available data, design future experiments, predict potential effects of (antiarrhythmic) drugs, and extrapolate molecular and cellular findings to a multi-cellular environment, thereby providing important new insights to improve the treatment of cardiac arrhythmias.


The ideal candidate has successfully completed a master’s degree (or equivalent) in biomedical engineering, biochemistry, molecular biology, medicine, or related disciplines. He/she has a strong intrinsic motivation to commit to a 4 year PhD-program, a demonstrable interest in cardiovascular research, and an analytical mindset. Advanced knowledge of scientific English and excellent communication skills are required. Previous experience with computational modeling / programming experience, or relevant experimental techniques in molecular biology or electrophysiology is considered a plus.


Temporary employment for 4 years. Your salary would be € 2.174,- gross per month in the first year up to € 2.779,- gross per month in the fourth year according to the PhD-candidate salary scale. Each year an evaluation will take place.

The terms of employment of Maastricht University are set out in the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO). Furthermore, local UM provisions also apply. For more information look at the website > Support > UM employees.


Temporary, 4 years


Maastricht University is renowned for its unique, innovative, problem-based learning system, which is characterized by a small-scale and student-oriented approach. Research at UM is characterized by a multidisciplinary and thematic approach, and is concentrated in research institutes and schools. Maastricht University has around 16,000 students and 4,000 employees. Reflecting the university's strong international profile, a fair amount of both students and staff are from abroad. The university hosts 6 faculties: Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Faculty of Law, School of Business and Economics, Faculty of Humanities and Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience.


CARIM School for Cardiovascular Diseases

The Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht (CARIM), School for Cardiovascular Diseases, is one of the top institutes for translational cardiovascular research in Europe. It is among the world leaders in the fields of research into vascular and thrombotic disorders and atrial fibrillation as well as translational heart failure research. It has also made important international contributions to molecular imaging in the cardiovascular field.

With an annual budget of approximately 22,000,000 Euros in 2015, CARIM is one of the largest cardiovascular research institutes in Europe, producing more than 550 scientific articles and approximately 30 PhD dissertations per year. CARIM employs 250 researchers from 13 disciplines, about 120 PhD students and 50 technical and support staff members.

Over the last ten years, CARIM papers have been published in high-impact journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, Nature Medicine, Nature Cell Biology, Cell Metabolism, Journal of Experimental Medicine, Circulation, Lancet Neurology, and the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Bibliometric analyses illustrate that CARIM publications have been cited 1.97 times more often than the world average for the cardiovascular field in the period of 2009 until 2012.

CARIM is recognized by the KNAW as a research school and as an international training site for Early Stage Researchers in the framework of the Marie Curie Program.

Cardiovascular scientists from around the world join CARIM because it values open communication, close cooperation, high ambitions, good facilities and a critical learning environment. 

Additional Information

Dr. Jordi Heijman, Department of Cardiology

Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht

Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Maastricht University