Postdoc Position to study development and function of human neurons transplanted in the mouse brain

Leuven VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research

19 Jul 2019


VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research

Pierre Vanderhaeghen Lab



About the Lab

The Vanderhaeghen Lab (Stem Cell and Developmental Neurobiology Lab at the VIB/KULeuven Center for Brain & Disease Research, is seeking a creative postdoc to to study the development and plasticity of human cortical neurons transplanted in the mouse brain.

Job description

This highly multidisciplinary project will combine cutting-edge approaches including human pluripotent stem cell technology, mouse brain transplantation, electrophysiology, two-photon cellular imaging in vivo, optogenetics, and viral tracing.

The project will be undertaken in active collaboration with the Vision-to-Action Laboratory (Vincent Bonin, PI) at Neuro-Electronics Research Flanders in Leuven, Belgium, (NERF).

Using a combination of patch-clamp recordings and in vivo functional imaging, the candidate will investigate the function and plasticity of human cortical pyramidal neurons xenotransplanted in the mouse brain. This technology was pioneered in the Vanderhaeghen lab (Gaspard Nature 2008; Espuny-Camacho Neuron 2013; Neuron 2017; Cell Reports 2018) and constitutes a unique in vivo model to gain insights on human-specific features of cortical neurons, from their developmental patterns to functional integration into neural circuits. It is also used to model specific human brain diseases and to explore the rational design of brain repair targeting the neocortex.

Selected references

Suzuki et al., Cell (2018) 173:1370-1384.

Espuny-Camacho et al., Cell Reports (2018) 23:2732-2743.

Espuny-Camacho et al., Neuron (2017) 93:1066-1081.

Michelsen et al., ,Neuron (2015) 85:982-97.

Espuny-Camacho et al., Neuron (2013), 77: 440-456.

Gaspard et al.,Nature  (2008) 455: 351-357.


  • We are seeking highly motivated individuals with a strong expertise and interest in neuronal circuit function and/or assembly.
  • PhD in neuroscience, biology or related field.
  • Strong experience in electrophysiology or in vivo multiphoton imaging are required. We seek a highly motivated individual with strong quantitative and technical skills and a collaborative spirit.
  • Creative, enthusiastic, critically thinking, enjoy teamwork and excellent oral and written communication skills in English.
  • Molecular biology, systems, cognitive or behavioral neuroscience experience are a plus but not a requirement.

We offer

  • A versatile and challenging academic position with very diverse contacts in a world-class research environment operating at an international level, and various opportunities to broaden your expertise
  • A competitive compensation package based on expertise and experience
  • Starting Date: as soon as possible

How to apply?

Please complete the online application procedure and include a detailed CV incl. list of publications, a motivation letter, and the contact information of three referees.

For more information contact Pierre Vanderhaeghen.