PhD position for the Laboratory of Interneuron Developmental Dynamics

VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research

08 Nov 2019

VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research

VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research

Lynette Lim Lab



About the Lab

The VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research is part of the VIB Life Sciences Institute and is embedded within the University of Leuven, which ranks among the world’s top 50 universities. At our Center, researchers study the cellular mechanisms of health and disease in the central nervous system.

Dr. Lynette Lim, is starting up a new lab as of 1st January 2020 within the VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research. The aim of the research group is to understand how different nerve cells emerge and mature during brain development. To this end we use employ interdisciplinary approaches such as mouse genetics, virus tracing, cell fate-mapping, and single-cell RNA sequencing, with cutting-edge imaging techniques and bioinformatics to define how early cell identity influence cortical circuit formation. 

Job description

The Lim lab is looking for two full-time, highly motivated and dedicated PhD students to work in area of neuronal development. Proper function of the cerebral cortex requires precise inhibition of excitatory neurons in both time and space. This is achieved by GABAergic inhibitory interneurons, a highly diverse cell type that accounts for ~ 20% of all cortical neurons. Interneuron diversity is critically important for fine-tuning cortical circuits, but how this large repertoire of interneurons is generated during development remains largely unknown. There are two PhD studentships being offered: 

  • Position 1 will examine the development and functional maturation of SST+ long-range projecting neurons. 
  • Position 2 will examine how progenitor diversity in the MGE contribute to cortical inhibitory circuit development.

Job description

The PhD student will work closely and collaborate with other members of the laboratory to design, implement, and evaluate of his/her research projects. S/he will be expected to

  • hold a Master’s degree in life sciences or any related disciplines and have graduated with distinction.
  • work independently and drive the research project
  • keep up with the current literature on neuronal development
  • have good organisation skills and keep good records
  • be fluent in English (spoken and written)
  • be attentive to details
  • willingness to learn new techniques and protocols
  • high level of curiosity for neuroscience and developmental biology

He/She will also be responsible some aspects of lab organisation such as tracking and tagging of transgenic animal used in the respective projects.



  • You are skilled in the  maintaining lab notebook, following protocol, and learn quickly.
  • You have some experience in an experimental biology laboratory/ research environment.
  • Ability to perform rodent surgery, mouse perfusion, or dissection of embryonic mouse brain would be a plus.
  • You must be willing to work with laboratory animals (mice and rats); you have a Felasa B certificate or are willing to acquire it in the short term.
  • You are passionate about science and enthusiastic to be part of a dynamic research lab.
  • You value working with people from diverse background and culture.
  • You are fluent in English.
  • Be willingly to apply for a PhD Fellowship

Desirable but not required

  • Experience in CRISPR/cas9 gene editing is a plus
  • Experience in mouse in utero electroporation / injection is also a plus

Key personal characteristics

  • You must be very meticulous, proactive, independent and self-motivated.
  • You have excellent interpersonal communication skills, and strong time-management skills.
  • You are resilient.
  • You are a team player and can take responsibility.

We offer

  • The initial appointment is for one year, with possibility for extension. The successful candidate will be strongly encouraged to apply for external fellowship.
  • Access to top state-of-the-art infrastructure 
  • Mentoring, supervision, and training to be the next generation scientist, inclusive of transferable skills training programs available through VIB and KU Leuven.
  • Learn innovative techniques and tools, such as single cell sequencing, manipulating stem cells, CRISPR/cas9 gene editing and neurobiology
  • A stimulating international research environment Starting date : the position is available from Jan/Feb 2019 

How to apply?

Please use the VIB HR Application tool

Additional required information:

  • detailed CV
  • motivation letter describing your previous research experience
  • names and contact information of at least 3 references

For more information: please contact Lynette Lim: