PhD position in Neuroimmunology and brain macrophages

Brussels VIB Center for Inflammation Research

24 Apr 2021


VIB Center for Inflammation Research

Jo Van Ginderachter Lab




The Movahedi lab and Van Ginderachter lab are looking for an enthusiastic colleague to commence a Ph.D. in neuroimmunology and macrophage biology. The project is part of a high profile research consortium (MacNicheMemo), that was granted for 4 years, and will be performed in collaboration with partners from Ghent University and KU Leuven. Hence, you will be part of a larger and interuniversity team, that will regularly convene to brainstorm and discuss progress in this exciting field.

Your goal will be to investigate how a prior inflammation alters brain macrophages/microglia and their niche cells. We wish to understand how macrophage/niche (epigenetic) memory affects the homeostatic functions of brain macrophages and their response to subsequent insults. The project heavily relies on cutting-edge technologies such as single-cell RNA sequencing, CITE-Seq, epigenetic profiling and spatial transcriptomics.

Both labs are located at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, in the heart of Europe, and together form the Myeloid Cell Immunology laboratory that is part of the excellence-based VIB Center for Inflammation Research. The Movahedi lab is located at the university medical campus, the Van Ginderachter lab at the science campus, and you will work at both locations.

Selected references:

Pombo Antunes AR, Scheyltjens I, ... Ginderachter JA*, Movahedi K*. Single-cell profiling of myeloid cells in glioblastoma across species and disease stage reveals macrophage competition and specialization. Nature Neuroscience 2021 In press

Shemer A., Scheyltjens I., ... , Movahedi K., Jung, S. Interleukin-10 Prevents Pathological Microglia Hyperactivation following Peripheral Endotoxin Challenge. Immunity 2020. doi:10.1016/j.immuni.2020.09.018

Van Hove H, Martens L, ... , Van Ginderachter JA, Saeys Y, Movahedi K. A single-cell atlas of mouse brain macrophages reveals unique transcriptional identities shaped by ontogeny and tissue environment. Nature Neuroscience 2019.


  • Master's degree in biology, bio-engineering sciences, medical sciences, biomedical sciences, biochemistry, neuroscience or related disciplines.
  • Excellent study results
  • Excellent spoken and written English skills
  • Experience in immunology or neuroscience is beneficial.
  • FELASA B or C degree is highly beneficial.
  • creative, highly motivated, team player

We offer

  • Excellent training conditions, with the possibility to work on an exciting project and learn a wide set of cutting-edge technologies.
  • A friendly, dynamic and scientifically stimulating working environment, with a team of highly motivated scientists.
  • Guidance and mentoring, but with room for independence.
  • Funding for 4 years.

Starting date: as soon as possible.

How to apply?

Motivated candidates are asked to apply online.

  • Detailed CV containing a list of publications
  • Motivation letter
  • Summary of past research
  • Names and contact information of 2-3 referees

For more information, please contact Prof. Dr. Kiavash Movahedi ( and/or Prof. Dr. Jo van Ginderachter (