Postdoctoral position for 3 years for Cardiovascular Diseases/CARIM-Cardiologie

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

Postdoctoral position for the discovery of novel RNA mechanisms in dilated cardiomyopathy patients at de department of Cardiology.

Job Specifications - (uitleg)

Solliciteer binnen 18 dagen op deze vacature

Job Description

The Heart Failure Research team of Prof.dr.Stephane Heymans within CARIM and the University (Hospital) of Maastricht is looking for a post-doctoral research to investigate the (epi)-genetics mechanisms of non-ischemic cardiomyopathies (dilated and hypertrophic cardiomyopathies & HFPEF), going from genetic variants/mutations, to the epigenetics (non-coding RNAs, splicing variants, …) of viral, toxic and inflammatory involvement of viral, toxic and inflammatory mechanism.


This team has a strong clinical-translational expertise in heart failure, with deep phenotyped cohorts (follow up of up to 10 years) not only of dilated cardiomyopathy, but also heart failure with preserved ejection fraction patients; with blood, monocyte, urine and cardiac tissue biobanking (including monocytes), and a long-term clinical and imaging follow-up. Our lab also specializes on screening approaches and functional characterization of effects of (non-)coding RNAs in monocytes/ macrophages, along the other cardiac cells.  Our lab has also ample experience in animal models, of HFPEF, myocarditis and acute myocardial infarction.


This Maastricht Cardiomyopathy cohort therefore represents a unique opportunity to perform RNA deep sequencing in the cardiac samples (RNA profiling, network analysis, splicing variants) and peripheral blood monocytes, whole exome sequencing (already done in 200 patients) in DNA, and discover/validate biomarkers in blood.

The Maastricht University and CARIM offers an excellent environment with a lot of clinical and experimental expertise in heart failure, including deep sequencing, genetics, immunology, bio-informatics and clinical phenotyping.

The current registry consists of 703 cardiomyopathy patients with an average age of 54 ± 12  years and a male:female ratio of 3:1. Of these, a total of 475 (68%) cardiomyopathy patients underwent endomyocardial cardiac biopsies (EMBs), with standard diagnostic evaluation of viral presence (HHV4, HHV6, Enteroviruses, PVB19), inflammation (CD45, CD3, CD68 staining and quantification), and fibrosis. On the other hand, 489 (70%) patients underwent genetic evaluation, including pedigree analysis and gene testing. Extensive genetic screening using whole-exome-sequencing is performed in 174 (36%) of these patients (aimed to 500 patients).


Needed expertise:

  • Immunology cell work in vivo  and in vitro.
  • Knowing how to use bio-informatics for RNA/DNA/Protein big data.
  • Knowledge of RNA mechanisms & deep sequencing.
  • Basic understanding or interest in heart failure disease in patients.


It concerns a temporary employment for the period of 1 year with the possibility of extension for 2 years.

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, 1 year possibility prolongation 2 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

Prof S. Heymans, Cardiologie