Postdoc position: Therapeutic targeting of pre-synaptic Tau

Leuven VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research

15 Feb 2021


VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research

Patrik Verstreken Lab



About the Lab

The Verstreken Lab at the VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research, Belgium, is seeking a highly motivated postdoctoral fellow to develop translational approaches that target Tau-induced defects at pre-synaptic terminals. 

About the project

The protein Tau is associated with more than 20 neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease and Tau pathology correlates very well with cognitive decline.  Under normal circumstances, Tau attaches to neuronal microtubules, but during pathology, the protein detaches and mis-localizes, causing havoc at synapses.  

Our lab showed that Tau acts via the synaptic vesicle-associated protein Synaptogyrin-3: removing this protein very significantly rescues Tau-induced synaptic degeneration but also cognitive decline in mouse models.  This proof-of-principle indicates that it is possible to target the presynaptic activity of Tau to alleviate the associated cognitive decline, a symptom also prevalent during the earliest stages of Alzheimer’s disease.  

Your job

Our laboratory unravels the mechanisms of neurodegenerative disease, including Parkinson’s disease and Tauopathies. The main goal of this project is to eliminate the actions of Tau at presynaptic terminals and to rescue cognitive decline, synapse loss and ultimately neurodegeneration.

You will engage in translational work to develop strategies that target Tau at synapses.  These include antisense oligonucleotides and other related strategies, and testing their effectiveness in mouse models, differentiated human iPS cells and human/mouse chimeric models of Alzheimer’s disease using behavioral and imaging analyses. 

You will also be exposed to the vibrant entrepreneurial environment at VIB and at KU Leuven, and work with professionals in the field of innovation and translation.

Selected references:

  • Zhou et al., 2017 Nat Comms
  • McInnes et al., 2018 Neuron
  • Davie et al., 2018 Cell
  • Lauwers et al., 2018 Mol Cell
  • Valadas et al., 2018 Neuron
  • Largo-Barrientos et al., 2021 Neuron


We are seeking a highly motivated, enthusiastic, critical and creative individual to join our team. The candidate should have a strong interest in synapse biology and neurodegenerative disease.


  • Ph.D. in neurobiology (molecular, cellular, translation, neuronal disease) or related disciplines
  • A solid publication record with first-author research publication(s) in peer-reviewed international journals
  • Prior experience with mouse neurobiology
  • Skilled in stereotactic and IV injections and mouse surgery
  • Team player

Useful but not required

  • Prior experience with iPSC and ASO technology
  • Prior experience with translation or entrepreneurship

We offer

Starting Date: as soon as possible

How to apply?

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