PhD opportunity in autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD)

Leuven VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research

09 Jul 2018


VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research

Thomas Voets



About the Lab

The PKD Research Group of the Laboratory of Pediatrics (KU/UZ Leuven) and the Laboratory of Ion Channel Research (KU Leuven/VIB) are looking for a motivated PhD student to join their team.

Job description

Our translational research focuses on understanding the mechanisms behind cyst formation in autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD). This is the most common (prevalence of ca. 1/2000) inherited kidney disorder and it is characterized by the development of renal cysts leading to kidney failure and the need for dialysis and transplantation. There is currently no cure for ADPKD, mainly because the molecular mechanism behind cyst formation remains unresolved.

Our research group has developed a novel human renal cell line model derived from urine of ADPKD genotyped patients. This allows us to collect cells non-invasively from patients in an early and late disease stage, which presents the ideal tool to identify molecular factors that initiate cystogenesis. The aim of the PhD project is to further characterize these cells, identify molecular pathways that are altered in ADPKD patient-derived cells and investigate how these alterations influence cyst formation. This model will also be used for drug discovery as an essential step to select new molecules for pre-clinical testing.


We are looking for a motivated PhD-student with a keen interest in molecular and clinical research. Selection criteria include:

  • A master degree in Biomedical Sciences, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Biology, Biochemistry or Medicine.
  • Perseverance to tackle scientific challenges,
  • Ability to work in a team,
  • And above all, a strong drive to pursue a PhD degree.

We offer

  • We offer a PhD position for 1 year (to be extended for 4 years via competitive funding) in an interdisciplinary environment with access to state-of-the-art technology.
  • Start date of the position: 1st October 2018.

How to apply

Please complete the online application procedure and include a detailed CV and a motivation letter.

For more information contact Rudi Vennekens and Djalila Mekahli.