PhD position in Single particle cryo-EM of membrane proteins @ VIB-Structural Biology Brussels

Brussels VIB-VUB Center for Structural Biology

28 May 2023


VIB-VUB Center for Structural Biology

Janine Brunner Lab



A Ph.D. position is available in the laboratory “Structure and Function of Membrane Proteins” at the VIB-VUB Center for Structural Biology, Brussels, Belgium. For our growing team, we are offering a Ph.D. position to solve membrane protein structures through cryo-EM. The lab offers several projects on disease-relevant ion channels, lipid scramblases, and transporters which will be negotiated with the candidate. Our projects are connected to central cell biological and neurobiological questions but offer also aspects of translational research.

The position involves state-of-the-art protein production for delicate human membrane proteins, biophysical characterization (stability, ligand binding, HPLC, and SEC-MALS), functional analysis in
liposomes, and the analysis by confocal microscopy in live cells (in the department). Purified proteins will be subjected to structure determination by single-particle cryo-electron microscopy at Belgium’s prime location, the Biological Electron Cryogenic Microscopy Center of Flanders (BECM) directly on the VUB campus.


Candidates must hold a Master’s in biochemistry, biophysics, or related fields. A keen interest in eukaryotic cell biology, membrane proteins, and structural biology is essential. The ability to work organized and independently with excellent communication skills is mandatory as well as proficiency in written and spoken English. Previous experience in structural biology (cryo-EM), membrane protein purification, or cell culture is very advantageous. Candidates should demonstrate a strong motivation and commitment to solving scientific problems and a curiosity-driven approach in their work.

We offer

  • Excellent opportunity for a challenging membrane protein structure project with translational aspects embedded in the core expertise of the team
  • Extensive and excellent training for cryo-EM (sample preparation, data collection, and processing)
  • Dedicated new cell culture lab for adherent or suspension culture of mammalian cells
  • State-of-the-art systems for purification and analysis in vitro and in living cells
  • The applicant will benefit from access to centralized facilities (in particular Nanobody technology, proteomics, cutting-edge microscopy, and structural biology).
  • A lively and green campus in the heart of Brussels with ample opportunities for scientific interaction with all members of the international team of Structural Biology Brussels.

How to apply?

Please apply online with a cover letter detailing your background and interest in this position and your
full CV including the contact information of two referees (with email, address, and phone number). 

For further information visit https://brunnerlab.sites.vib.b... and contact Prof. Janine Brunner
([email protected]).

VIB values diversity - in backgrounds and in experiences. The institute needs people from all backgrounds and ways of life to help build a thriving scientific environment. VIB is therefore looking for candidates who are not only strong in their own aptitudes but care deeply about supporting each other's growth. VIB's collaborators are people with different strengths, experiences and backgrounds, who share a passion for science that generates impact in science and in society. Diversity not only includes race and gender identity, but also nationality, age, disability status, sexual orientation, religion and many other parts of one’s identity. All of VIB’s employees’ points of view are key to its success, and inclusion is everyone's responsibility.