PhD position: Complex genetics of microglial genes in Alzheimer’s disease

Antwerp VIB-UAntwerp Center for Molecular Neurology

18 Sep 2021


VIB-UAntwerp Center for Molecular Neurology

Renzo Mancuso Lab, Kristel Sleegers Lab



07 Oct 2021

About the labs

The Sleegers lab (Complex Genetics of Alzheimer’s Disease) and the Mancuso lab (Microglia and Inflammation in Neurological Disorders, MIND) at the VIB-UAntwerp Center for Molecular Neurology, Belgium, are seeking a highly motivated PhD student to unravel the role of genetic variation in microglial genes in Alzheimer’s disease.

About the project

Genome-wide association studies on Alzheimer’s disease highlight an important role for microglial genes in disease risk. The genetic variation underlying these associations remains poorly characterized, however, while identification of these culprit genetic variants will be of paramount importance in investigation of the actual mechanisms by which these risk variants translate into aberrant microglia function. 

This project will focus on a deep investigation of the genomic and transcriptional landscape of Alzheimer risk loci to identify culprit variants affecting microglia function and contributing to the initiation and perpetuation of Alzheimer’s disease.

Your job

This is a project at the interface of two labs: the Sleegers lab working on complex Alzheimer’s disease genetics, and the Mancuso lab, working on human and mouse microglia biology in brain disorders. In this project, you will make use of innovative dry and wet lab genetic and transcriptomic approaches, such as long read sequencing, single cell sequencing and spatial transcriptomics to unravel the link between genetic risk and microglia function in Alzheimer’s disease. The successful applicant will work in both labs.

Selected references:

  • De Roeck et al. Acta Neuropathologica (2018). 135(6):827-837
  • Bellenguez et al. MedRxiv 2020.10.01.20200659
  • Mancuso et al. Nat Neurosci (2019). 22:2111-2116
  • Fattorelli, Martinez Muriana et al. Nat Protocols (2021). 16, 1013-1033


We are seeking a highly motivated, enthusiastic, critical and creative individual to join our teams. The candidate should have a strong interest in genomics and/or transcriptomics, and wet lab or dry lab experience in these fields would be an advantage.

The position is open for candidates that have:

  • Masters in Biotechnology, Biomedical Sciences, Bioinformatics, Molecular/Systems Neuroscience or related disciplines.
  • Proficient in verbal and written English.
  • Prior experience with bioinformatic analysis of -omics data
  • Ability to summarize data extracted from literature and to define research objectives.
  • Passion for science, self-motivation, flexibility and team spirit.

Desirable but not required

  • Prior experience with iPSC biology
  • Prior experience with microglia biology

We offer

  • A versatile and challenging job in a vibrant world-class research environment operating at an international level
  • State of the art research facilities
  • A dedicated training program to broaden your expertise and enhance your skill set
  • Financial support for at least 2 years. The successful candidate is encouraged to obtain a personal fellowship (e.g FWO)

Starting Date: as soon as possible

How to apply?

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