PhD position at Amsterdam UMC to study intestinal immunology in early life

We are looking for a PhD candidate with a focus on identifying milk-born and microbiota related molecules that can play a role in early gut intestinal maturation in health and disease.

The successful candidate will be enrolled in the AMC Graduate School and be supervised by Dr. Bruno Sovran, Prof. Dr. Wouter de Jonge, and Dr. Tim Lambers (Friesland Campina). The position sits within an industrial collaboration with Friesland Campina. This program aims to unravel the beneficial effects of milk-born factors in intestinal function during postnatal development. This particular project will take place in the context of life-threatening necrotizing enterocolitis and sepsis occurring in preterm neonates. Breast feeding has been shown to contribute to intestinal maturation and prevent these conditions. The project aims to delineate this process. Premature neonatal intestinal organoid models will be used to model cellular and molecular effects of identified metabolites, or signaling molecules on epithelial cell proliferation and differentiation.

About Amsterdam UMC

Clinical and Lab Setting

The position is at the Department of Gastroenterology and the Tytgat Institute for Gastrointestinal and Hepatology disease, both associated with the Amsterdam University Medical Centers (AMC and VUMC).


As well as the general AMC/VUMC core, the laboratory has extensive facilities to study intestinal neonatal organoids, next-generation sequencing facilities, an imaging suite, and a platform for metabolomics analysis. The Tytgat Institute harbors state-of-the-art gastroenterology and hepatology research, and offers unique (>70FTE) GI-focused research lab space and facilities. Its laboratory is ISO 15589 accredited.

Area of Research

The PhD candidate will build on a large cohort of preterm and neonatal samples to study intestinal development and factors involved in early-life inflammatory disease. The Centers offer state-of-the-art art sequencing and imaging facilities, and facilities to analyze microbial and metabolic profiles during intestinal development and intestinal failure in term and preterm neonates, as well as neonatal intestinal organoids (murine and human).

Candidate Requirements

Required Education Level

A degree (MSc or equivalent) in Health and/or Life Sciences (Medicine, Biology, Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Immunology, Biomedical Sciences, Biochemistry, or a closely related field). Candidates in the final stages of obtaining their degree are also invited to apply.

Required Languages

English: excellent, both written and spoken.


We expect a Master´s degree (or equivalent) in Health and/or Life Sciences or Medicine. Furthermore, the applicant should be able to perform team-oriented as well as independent work. Desirable methodological skills:

  • Excellent background in Molecular Biology,
  • Biochemistry,
  • Cell Biology,
  • Immunology and/or Microbiology,
  • with hands-on knowledge of analytical methods.

Knowledge and skills in bioinformatics (R programming) are an advantage.

Additional Information


Applicants can be of any nationality and shall at the date of recruitment by Amsterdam UMC, be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and have not been awarded a doctoral degree.


We offer a full time (36h) PhD position. You will be employed by the AMC Medical Research BV. The AMR BV has an end-of-year bonus of 8.3% and holiday payment of 8% of the gross yearly salary.

How to Apply

Please create one PDF file comprising your CV and a cover letter including contact details of two references.

Email the PDF to Dr. Bruno Sovran ( and Prof. Wouter de Jonge ( by May 1st, 2022. Please contact Dr. Sovran or Prof. De Jonge if you have any questions.

Agency applications will not be considered.

Wouter J. de Jonge