Looking for potential candidate to apply for an FWO-SB predoctoral grant

Ghent VIB-UGent Center for Inflammation Research

19 Jun 2018


VIB-UGent Center for Inflammation Research

Peter Vandenabeele Lab



Job description

Our innate immune systems senses so-called pathogen-associated or danger-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs or DAMPs) that activate different intracellular signalling cascades thereby eliciting various proinflammatory immune responses in order to fight pathogens (in the case of PAMPS) or to repair damage. Several of these sensors can also induce cell death triggered by pathogens or endogenous alarm signals. However, the nature of these endogenous alarm signals is currently far from clear. Unwanted or uncontrolled cell death can lead to local tissue destruction and inflammation. 

Therefore it is of utmost clinical importance to understand the pathways controlling the signalling capacity of these endogenous danger sensors. Recently the new concept arose that, besides nucleic acids derived from pathogens, also endogenous DNA/RNA can act as potent triggers of inflammation. ZBP1 has been found to be a DNA/RNA sensor that can both sense viral and, under certain conditions, endogenous danger signals. 

These findings opens new avenues in our understanding of inflammatory reactions. We aim to identify ZBP1 ligand(s) and ZBP1-dependent signalling pathways leading to cell death and inflammation by using biochemical and CRISPR/CAS-based approaches. This is a hot topic in inflammation research.


  • You have recently obtained or will soon be obtaining a Master degree in a core field of molecular life sciences (biochemistry, biomedical sciences, biotechnology, bio-engineering, …), with very good study results.
  • Candidates are expected to apply for external PhD fellowships and need to be eligible for at least those fellowships obtainable from the Fund for Scientific Research-Flanders (FWO), except if they come with their own fellowships.
  • English is used in all VIB laboratories for scientific communication. Therefore, candidates must have an excellent command of English.
  • You are a team player with good communication skills.
  • You are able to work independently in an accurate manner.
  • You are motivated, dynamic and you report carefully.

 We offer

  • The candidate will have access to state-of-the-art tools and facilities, a rich training environment and the possibility to collaborate with many other groups within an excellence-based research institute
  • A working environment where quality work, trust, collaboration and commitment are essential.
  • A stimulating and supportive international research environment.
  • An excellent training program that allow further development of technical, soft and informatics skills.

 How to apply? 

Please send us your CV, transcripts of study, a 500 word (max.) personal statement and contact info of two references.  Please compile these documents in one PDF document and submit your online application before August 1, 2018.