Two Post-doctoral Positions

(EU Marie Curie Industry Host Fellowships)

Identification of Marker Genes for Depression


Major depression is a severe illness that affects ~10% of the European adult population. The currently available treatments for depression suffer from several drawbacks including slow onset of action, frequent non-responsiveness, high relapse rate and side effects. This warrants the development of more effective treatments. The most recent and commonly accepted hypothesis to describe the biological state of major depression postulates a selective decrease in neuroplasticity, which can be prevented or even reversed by antidepressants. This project is aimed at studying the mechanism of major depression by identifying novel genes involved in neuroplasticity. Such genes likely contribute to the adaptive response to antidepressant treatment and thus represent promising therapeutic targets. Global gene expression will be analysed in various models for depressive disorder, with emphasis on neurotrophic factors. Such models will be studied by genomics-based approaches, including DNA arrays or gene chips, and interpreted with the aid of novel bioinformatics tools. Genes that are differentially expressed as a result of changes in neuroplasticity will be subjected to functional analysis. The combination of neurobiology and biotechnology is a promising approach for the development of novel treatments for major depression.

Company Information

Solvay Pharmaceuticals is a leading international pharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery, development and manufacturing of human medicine. The company is part of the Solvay group, whose history dates back to 1863. The Pharmaceuticals sector operates globally in the fields of psychiatry, cardiology, gastro-enterology and gynaecology (see also The company ranks among the largest pharmaceutical companies with major research sites in The Netherlands and Germany. Around 400 people at the Weesp site in The Netherlands, in the immediate vicinity of Amsterdam, are directly involved in research into medicine for psychiatric disorders.


These two-year post-doctoral fellowships provide an excellent opportunity to enter the dynamic field of drug discovery. You will be based at our research site in Weesp and work in a multi-disciplinary environment equipped with state-of-the-art facilities. You will profit from our extensive training and career development opportunities. In addition to the expertise within the company, we have many collaborations with academic laboratories and alliances with several biotechnology companies..

We are looking for strong candidates with a Ph. D. degree and relevant experience in neurobiology, molecular biology and/or bioinformatics.

For general eligibility criteria, please visit the Marie Curie website at:

For further information,

please contact Dr. Eric Ronken

(e-mail or

Dr. Jaap Venema


To apply, please send a letter + CV (including the names and contact details of at least two references) either by e-mail or regular mail;

(P.O. Box 900, 1380 DA Weesp, The Netherlands).

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