Electron Microscopy Expert

Leuven VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research

10 Jan 2022


VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research

Senior Scientific



The Electron Microscopy Platform (EMP) Bio-Imaging Core at the VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research is looking for a talented and driven electron microscopy expert to join the EMP.


The facility provides world-class imaging to the investigators at VIB and KU Leuven as well as external clients. Staff members in the EMP collaborate with investigators on a variety of research projects, from standard cell and tissue studies to three-dimensional imaging projects by electron tomography or volume EM, including Correlative Light and Electron Microscopic approaches, and have the opportunity to participate in the development of techniques and protocols to drive research forward.

The EMP harbors three TEMs: JEOL JEM-F200 with Gatan GIF Continuum K3 direct detector, JEOL JEM 2100-LaB6 with a goniometer for tomographic 3D reconstructions, and JEOL JEM 1400-LaB6. We have as well three SEMs: a JEOL JSM-7401F, JEOL JSM 7200F LV equipped with an inverted fluorescence microscope (SECOM), ZEISS Sigma variable pressure field emission with 3View technology from Gatan, and an integrated 3View ultramicrotome. The EMP houses a variety of equipment for sample preparation including two freeze-substitution apparatus, two high-pressure freezers, a plunge-freezer, a critical point dryer, a coating machine (all Leica), and ultramicrotomes for room and cryo temperature processing.

The electron microscopy expert’s role is to enable and develop all electron imaging and preparation activities that are ongoing at the EMP.

Interested in a virtual tour? You are welcome to visit us via https://360.cbd.vib.be/en/facilities/electron-microscopy

Your Tasks

The electron microscopy expert’s role will require advanced skills in sample preparation (including ultramicrotomy and cryo-methods) and operation of transmission and scanning electron microscopes (including volume EM and cryo-EM). She/he is expected to continue professional development in the field of bioimaging and instrument development.

  • Prepare and optimize EM samples
  • Acquire data, evaluate and assess data for in-house and external users carrying out biology projects, with the following possible focus areas: TEM, SEM, volume imaging, and/or electron tomography
  • Disseminate EM knowhow including dedicated training of users
  • Co-develop novel acquisition workflows and/or processing schemes tailored to advancing EM projects
  • Discuss scientific biomedical questions with researchers in order to arrive at a best ultrastructural solution
  • Participate in the development of procedures and in the publication of research results; may manage or be responsible for various laboratory operations

Your Profile


  • Ph.D. degree in life science area with a strong interest in physics and engineering and at least   4 years of relevant experience in EM operation as well as in education/training in electron microscopy.
  • Hands-on experience in sample preparation methods
  • Expert level with the operation of a TEM, SEM including advanced EM imaging (3D EM, CLEM)
  • Experience in ultramicrotomy
  • Strong communication skills and ability to work with colleagues and external visitors in an international and interdisciplinary team


  • Experience in cryo-EM and/or cryo-TEM in situ
  • Affinity with solving technical problems related to equipment and preparation
  • Experience in using a range of open source software for image analysis in electron microscopy
  • In-depth knowledge and experience supporting scientific projects requiring the application of multi-faceted scientific (microscopic) imaging methods, techniques and resources
  • Skills in organization and customer service to effectively manage multiple important priorities.

We offer

Opportunity to do cutting-edge science in a supportive and collaborative team. The candidate will join the vibrant community at VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research in a lab equipped with state-of-the-art tools. This is a fully-funded permanent position.

How to apply?

Interested applicants should submit an application through the VIB online application tool:

Please include a CV with a complete publication list, a cover letter describing your experience and motivation (~1 page), and contact information of three references.

The position is immediately available. Interested candidates are encouraged to apply before 31st January 2022. A first round of selections will start in February 2022. The vacancy will stay open until the position is filled.

For information and questions, contact, natalia.gunko@kuleuven.be

About the City of Leuven and Flanders

Leuven is an attractive European university city with a rich history and a lively atmosphere. The area has a strong biotechnology sector with spin-offs and start-ups. This, together with the presence of the University of Leuven and the University Hospital, make Leuven particularly internationally-oriented and tech-minded, and a natural home for researchers and their families. English is very widely spoken in the city and surrounding area.

More information