PhD position to study the molecular regulation of innate immune and cell death pathways

Ghent VIB-UGent Center for Inflammation Research

13 Jun 2020


VIB-UGent Center for Inflammation Research



Job description 

We are looking for a motivated and talented student to unravel the function of receptor-interacting kinase 1 (RIPK1) in cell death and inflammation.

RIPK1 has emerged as a major signalling hub downstream of several immune receptors, where it regulates cell death and inflammation through kinase-dependent and -independent mechanisms. As a scaffold molecule, RIPK1 facilitates the activation of the MAPK and NF-kB pathways and prevents cell death. On the other hand, as a kinase, RIPK1 paradoxically promotes apoptosis and necroptosis following its enzymatic activation. The exact molecular mechanism how RIPK1 kinase activity induces cell death is currently not understood. Indeed, no RIPK1 substrates have been identified yet. 

The aim of this project is to identify novel RIPK1 substrates and interactors by the use of several state-of-the-art (phospho)proteomic approaches. The student will then characterize the identified substrate/interactor on a biochemical level to understand the consequence of its phosphorylation by RIPK1. RIPK1 kinase activity has been shown to be a potent driver of inflammation in vivo and identification of its substrates could open doors for new therapeutic strategies to prevent inflammatory pathologies.

This PhD project will be conducted in the “signal transduction in cell death and inflammation” lab in the VIB-UGent Center for Inflammation Research under the supervision of Yves Dondelinger and Prof. Mathieu Bertrand.


  • The candidate must have a relevant Master degree in the field of Biomedical sciences (e.g. Biotechnology, Biochemistry, Biomedical sciences, Medicine, Molecular Biology etc).
  • The candidate must have a master degree from a European University and meet all eligibility criteria to apply for a personal FWO PhD fellowship (fundamental research):
  • be highly motivated
  • show interest in studying cell signaling and be eager to learn.
  • be able to work independently and on a team.
  • have great communication skills and a good command of English

We offer

An excellent and international research environment with young and motivated scientists. Our lab has great expertise in the field of cell death and inflammation and in the training and guidance of new scientists. Our institute has access to several core facilities with high-end equipment (flow cytometry, microscopy, mass spectrometry, screening platforms, …) and has an excellent training program that allows the student to further develop both scientific and soft skills.

How to apply? 

Interested student are asked to apply online.