Vacancy at Maastricht University, the Netherlands

Vacancy at Maastricht University, the Netherlands

PhD candidate in Vascular phenotyping: From arteriosclerosis to aortopathy

Department of Biomedical Engineering – Dr. Bart Spronck, Dr. Koen D. Reesink, and Prof. Tammo Delhaas

Department of Biochemistry – Prof. Leon J. Schurgers

Accelerated arterial stiffening increases cardiac workload, and eventually leads to heart failure. Aortic aneurysm rupture is lethal in 4–5 out of 10 cases. What do arterial stiffening and aneurysm rupture have in common, one may ask? Biomechanics and mechanobiology!

The heart of this project will be the assessment of arterial/aneurysmal structure and function. In our laboratory we are currently performing such studies on small (murine) arteries using a dynamic, biaxial testing methodology ( You will expand and use this methodology to test large arteries.

In your PhD project, you will:

  • Conduct human tissue studies and animal experiments
  • Develop and improve biaxial testing of human and animal large arteries
  • Be involved in the finalisation stage of DynamX-L development
  • Devise and optimise testing protocols
  • Collaborate closely with basic scientists, engineers, and MDs

You will study several pathologies, including the effects of hypoxia in utero on arterial development, thoracic aortic aneurysm and dissection (TAAD), and diabetes. By looking at such broad spectrum of diseases, we aim to identify common functional and structural (patho)physiological denominators.


  • Master’s degree or equivalent in Medicine, Biomedical Sciences, Biomedical Engineering, or a related field
  • Affection with biomechanics
  • Willingness to perform/assist in animal experiments (preferably holding a Dutch Article 9 of the Experiments on Animals Act /Wet op de Dierproeven certification)
  • Strong team player; perseverant
  • Eager to learn and to collaborate with people outside one’s field of expertise

This position offers a dynamic and challenging multi-disciplinary environment, where you will work closely with two other PhD students (one MD, one engineer) and a postdoc. Our team is embedded in the CARIM School for Cardiovascular Diseases, a top cardiovascular research institute with expert supervision and high-tech infrastructure. Within CARIM, the Department of Biomedical Engineering focuses on applied cardiovascular engineering in both cardiac and vascular fields, and maintains strong ties with Maastricht University Medical Centre.


Your application should at least contain a motivation letter in which you clearly describe how you envision yourself in this PhD position, and a curriculum vitae.

Apply before September 14, 2021 at

Contact: Bart Spronck, PhD; Assistant Professor in Biomedical Engineering;

PhD; Assistant Professor in Biomedical Engineering;