PhD Student focusing on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)

Ghent VIB-UGent Center for Medical Biotechnology

17 Oct 2019


VIB-UGent Center for Medical Biotechnology

Karolien De Bosscher Lab




The translational nuclear receptor research (TNNR) team is looking for a highly motivated PhD student for a project focusing on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). 

Worldwide, 24% of the adult population suffers from NAFLD and the prevalence is rapidly increasing in the Western world. To date, dietary and lifestyle interventions are the only treatment option underscoring the need for therapeutic targets for advanced NAFLD (NASH). 

Within this project, you will be involved in a detailed characterization of a novel discovered interaction between two nuclear receptors functioning at the core of hepatic energy metabolism. Further insights in this interaction may give rise to the rational design of a therapeutic strategy for the progressive form of NAFLD, called NASH. This study will involve mouse models, human primary hepatocytes and patient samples. Techniques used will include animal handling, immunohistochemistry, metabolomics, RNA-sequencing, proteomics, Western blotting, qPCR and ChIP(seq). 


  • The candidate should have a strong interest in metabolic diseases; 
  • Good communication and writing skills (English); 
  • You should be able to work independently, as well as function as part of a team;
  • As the project will include animal models, a FELASA diploma or the willingness to obtain a FELASA is required. 

We offer 

  • We offer a position for 1 year with the possibility of extension for 4 years in case of a positive FWO/BOF application. The candidate will have to apply for an FWO PhD-fellowship in February 2020. 
  • He/she will work in a stimulating multicultural environment and gain expertise in two high-quality laboratories, more precisely the molecular mechanism-oriented lab from Prof. Dr. Karolien De Bosscher and the in vivo-oriented labs from Prof. Dr. med. Anja Geerts and Prof. Dr. Lindsey Devisscher. 
  • In addition, he/she will have access to cutting-edge technologies, personal career assistance and high level training courses. The position is immediately available. 

How to apply?

Motivated candidates are asked to apply online.  Applications by email will not be considered.

Candidates should send a CV, transcript of study records, copy of the diploma (if applicable) and motivation letter along with reference letters and names/contact details of the references.

For more information, please contact Prof. Dr. Karolien De Bosscher or Prof. Dr. Lindsey Devisscher

The deadline for application is November 30, 2019.