Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

Horizon 2020 ITN Early Stage Researcher position

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    King's College London
    United Kingdom
    Mobility Incoming
    Natural sciences
    First Stage Researcher (R1) (Up to the point of PhD)

These positions are funded by the Horizon 2020 programme of the European Union and will be available 1st January 2020. Appointments will be on a full-time basis for a period of 3 years. Remuneration will be in line with the European Commission rules for Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant holders (Early-Stage Researchers, Initial Training Network).


NEUcrest is a four-year EU Horizon 2020 project funded by Agreement 860635. The neural crest is an essential stem cell population of vertebrate embryos. The project focuses on integrating academic, clinical and industrial research for a better understanding of neural crest development and neural crest related diseases. These pathologies are a major group of congenital diseases in human, and a heavy societal concern. The NEUcrest network comprises 20 partners in academia, industry and hospitals from seven European countries, gathered in a synergistic effort to advance knowledge and outreach of these diseases.


The Ph.D projects are highly multidisciplinary and will develop scientific strategies from experimental embryology, genome editing, imaging and generation of genomic datasets. A full list of projects and partners:


PhD Projects will be available through the lab of Prof Karen Liu, King’s College London:

  1. The Role of ALK and GSK3 in normal and pathogenic neural crest migration: Objectives: Establishment of cellular assays to profile pathological changes in neural crest migration; to profile the migratory capacity of human neuroblastoma cell lines expressing high levels of ALK; phosphoproteomic profiling of ALK/GSK3 phosphorylation targets in neuroblastoma and neural crest. This project led by Prof Karen Liu (King’s College London) and Prof Angela Nieto (UMH, Spain). To apply: https://tinyurl.com/yycpnlxj
  2. Generation of neural crest cells from patient-derived hiPSCs for disease modelling and therapeutic applications. This industrial project will be led Dr Erin Knock and Dr Wing Chang with student based at STEMCell Technologies, Cambridge UK. Academic supervisor will be Prof Karen Liu (King’s College London). Applications, see: https://jobs.stemcell.com/job/cambridge/early-stage-researcher/8172/13717239
  3. Gene Discovery in Human NC development and pathologies. Aims: Identification of novel candidate gene variants responsible for congenital NC phenotypes; Candidate variant calling using our knowledge of the NC-gene regulatory network; Establishment of human iPSCs from syndromic NC patients; Generation of animal/cellular models for the study and selection of novel candidate genes. This project led by Prof. Irene Mathijssen MD Ph.D, co-supervisors: Jeroen van de Peppel Ph.D, Han van Neck Ph.D (all Erasmus MC, Rotterdam) and prof. Karen Liu Ph.D (KCL, London). . To apply please mail to i.mathijssen@erasmusmc.nl.

Training for transverse skills in outreach and industrial managements are deeply embedded in the programme. The NEUcrest ITN and PhD project are due to start in January 2020. Person Specification: First degree or Masters in Biological Sciences, Cell Biology, Genetics and Molecular Biology. Mobility requirement: EU applicants are eligible to apply. Applicants must not have been based in the country of registration for more than 12 months in the last 3 years.


Start date: Positions are available from 1st January 2020. Informal enquiries about these positions or the NEUCrest network may be made to Prof Karen Liu (karen.liu@kcl.ac.uk)


To Apply: Applications, in English, should include a detailed CV, certificates of examination grades (bachelor/master), a letter describing your career goals, skills and experience, as well as two letters of recommendation.  Informal inquiries may be made to karen.liu@kcl.ac.uk. Deadline for applications is 15 December 2019, or until posts are filled.


The responsibility for the funding offers published on this website, including the funding description, lies entirely with the publishing institutions. The application is handled uniquely by the employer, who is also fully responsible for the recruitment and selection processes.