Postdoctoral position – TRP channels in somatosensation and pain

Leuven VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research

19 Jul 2019


VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research

Thomas Voets lab



About the Lab

The Laboratory of Ion Channel Research (LICR), headed by Thomas Voets, is a vibrant and international research team, embedded in the VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain and Disease Research (VIB-CBD) and the KU Leuven Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine. 

Research within LICR is focused on transient receptor potential (TRP) ion channels, and we use a large variety of molecular, cellular and in vivo approaches to study their functional properties, cellular regulation and (patho)physiological roles. Moreover, through intense collaborations with clinical and industrial partners, we aim at translating this knowledge into new TRP channel-based therapies for important medical conditions including chronic pain, diabetes, cardiac disease and bladder dysfunction.

Job description

We are currently looking for a talented and motivated postdoctoral researcher to join our team investigating the role of TRP and related ion channels in somatosensation and pain. 

The overall objective is to elucidate cellular and subcellular processes that determine the localization and function of sensory channels in the skin and other target organs, to define how these processes are affected in pathological pain states, and to use this knowledge to design novel treatment strategies for chronic pain. Within this research context, the successful candidate will have a large degree of freedom to develop her/his research question and project.



  • A PhD in biomedical sciences, (neuro)biology, biophysics, bioinformatics or related field
  • Effective written and verbal English communication skills
  • A strong publication record with first-author papers in well-established international journals

Desirable but not required:

  • Hands-on experience with the following is an asset: super-resolution imaging, single-cell transcriptomics, in vivo imaging, patch-clamp electrophysiology, pain models, bioinformatics

We offer

An internationally renowned research team (LICR), within a top quality neuroscience center (VIB-CBD), located in Europe’s most innovative university (KU Leuven)

Direct access to state-of-the-art infrastructure and core facilities at VIB-CBD and KU Leuven

Excellent personal development opportunities in both scientific and academic career skills

Financial support is available for 3 years but the successful candidate is encouraged to obtain an independent fellowship (Marie-Curie, EMBO, or National funding organizations) during this time.

How to apply?

Please complete the online application, including the following items:

  • Your CV with publication list
  • The names and email addresses of 2 referees
  • A one-page letter outlining your motivation and research vision

For more information please contact Thomas Voets

For extra information:

Have a look at some of our recent publications:

• Vandewauw I, De Clercq K, Mulier M, Held K, Pinto S, Van Ranst N, Segal A, Voet T, Vennekens R, Zimmermann K, Vriens J, Voets T: A TRP channel trio mediates acute noxious heat sensing. Nature 2018, 555:662-666.

• Janssens A, Gees M, Toth BI, Ghosh D, Mulier M, Vennekens R, Vriens J, Talavera K, Voets T: Definition of two agonist types at the mammalian cold-activated channel TRPM8. Elife 2016, 5.

• Ghosh D, Pinto S, Danglot L, Vandewauw I, Segal A, Van Ranst N, Benoit M, Janssens A, Vennekens R, Vanden Berghe P, Galli T, Vriens J, Voets T: VAMP7 regulates constitutive membrane incorporation of the cold-activated channel TRPM8. Nature Communications 2016, 7:10489.

• Uvin P, Franken J, Pinto S, Rietjens R, Grammet L, Deruyver Y, Alpizar YA, Talavera K, Vennekens R, Everaerts W, De Ridder D, Voets T: Essential role of transient receptor potential M8 (TRPM8) in a model of acute cold-induced urinary urgency. European Urology 2015, 68:655-661.

•  Vriens J, Nilius B, Voets T: Peripheral thermosensation in mammals. Nature Reviews Neuroscience 2014, 15:573