Vacancies: Phd positions – Better estimates of hormonal exposure to improve diagnosis and treatment in endocrine diseases (BEED-ED)

Are you interested in improving hormone measurements and implement your research findings into clinical practice?

In a joint research project, the departments of Endocrinology at Ghent University and KU Leuven are currently hiring two enthusiastic and highly motivated PhD researchers to participate in our new research project “Better estimates of hormonal exposure to improve diagnosis and treatment in endocrine diseases”. This project is funded by the TBM program of FWO Vlaanderen (Applied Biomedical Research with primary social finality) for a period of 4 years and will start October, 1st 2021.

The main goals of the BEED-ED project are to improve diagnostic accuracy of free steroid hormone measurements (with a focus on free testosterone and free vitamin D), to contribute to the knowledge on the clinical relevance thereof and to have a positive impact on the availability of free steroid hormone assessments in routine clinical diagnostic settings. As such, our project will lead to better targeted care of endocrine diseases in both the general population as well as in specific patient groups (such as obese patients, pregnant women, patients with chronic kidney disease, …).

This translates into three main research objectives:

  1. developing and validating accurate analytical methods for free steroid hormone measurements (by using equilibrium dialysis and mass spectrometry)
  2. evaluate and if needed improve/develop (disease-specific) free hormone calculators, with a specific focus on conditions where the binding protein milieu (production, metabolism, binding affinity) is altered, such as in patients with chronic kidney disease, obesity or during pregnancy
  3. define limitations and best clinical use of such calculators to develop an operational clinical sample workflow for direct measurements of free steroid hormone concentrations in selected samples.

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