PhD student in Unfolded Protein Response in gut homeostasis

Ghent VIB-UGent Center for Inflammation Research

03 Jul 2022

Ghent

VIB-UGent Center for Inflammation Research

Sophie Janssens Lab

PhD

1

The VIB Center for Inflammation Research is part of the VIB Life Sciences institute and is connected to Ghent University. Our center focuses on the mechanisms driving infection and inflammation.

The Sophie Janssens lab is looking for a motivated Ph.D. student to join the “Unfolded Protein Response (UPR) in gut homeostasis” team. We are specifically interested in the role of IRE1b, a goblet-specific sensor of the UPR, in the maintenance of the protective intestinal mucin barrier. In contrast to its well-known closely related paralogue IRE1α, the function of IRE1β is poorly understood. We recently identified a specific interactor for IRE1b in goblet cells that tunes its function towards a regulatory function in mucus homeostasis. To understand the importance of their interaction to coordinate mucus homeostasis, we generated a unique set of genetic mouse models to study the in vivo processes regulating gut barrier homeostasis. We will apply a wide range of technologies, amongst others cell signaling studies, RNA sequencing, flow cytometry, and high content microscopy. The candidate will mainly apply these technologies to in vivo model systems, including models of gastrointestinal infection, and set up organoid systems to study how mucin-specific UPR signaling proteins regulate the correct maturation of mucins. You will join a team of one postdoctoral researcher and one technician with whom you will work in close collaboration.

Selected publications:

  • Cloots E, Simpson MS, De Nolf C, Lencer WI, Janssens S, & Grey MJ. Evolution and function of the epithelial cell-specific ER stress sensor IRE1β.  MUCOSAL IMMUNOLOGY. 2021;14.
  • Grey MJ, Cloots E, Simpson MS, LeDuc N, Serebrenik YV, et al. IRE1β negatively regulates IRE1α signaling in response to endoplasmic reticulum stress. JOURNAL OF CELL BIOLOGY. 2020;219(2).
  • Master in biology, biomedical sciences, medical sciences, biochemistry/biotechnology or related disciplines
  • A strong desire to complete a Ph.D. and to learn new technologies
  • Keen interest in gastrointestinal homeostasis and molecular mechanisms regulating these processes
  • Experience in working with mouse models (FELASA C required)
  • English verbal and written communication skills required

Profile

  • Master in biology, biomedical sciences, medical sciences, biochemistry/biotechnology, or related disciplines
  • A strong desire to complete a Ph.D. and to learn new technologies
  • Keen interest in gastrointestinal homeostasis and molecular mechanisms regulating these processes
  • Experience in working with mouse models (FELASA C required)
  • English verbal and written communication skills required

We offer

  • A one-year contract (that can be extended when needed) during which you are expected to apply for a personal fellowship
  • An enjoyable working environment in a team of highly motivated Ph.D. students, technicians, and postdoctoral researchers
  • Extensive training opportunities 

How to apply?

Motivated candidates are asked to apply online.