2 ERC-funded postdoctoral positions in Nucleic Acid Immunity

Ghent VIB-UGent Center for Inflammation Research

11 Feb 2024


VIB-UGent Center for Inflammation Research




Two postdoctoral positions are available in the Nucleic Acid Immunity lab of Jonathan Maelfait at the VIB-UGent Center for Inflammation Research (https://www.irc.ugent.be/index.php/groups/maelfait-team). The work is part of an ERC project aimed at understanding the molecular and structural principles behind activation of ZBP1, a nucleic acid sensor with relevance in antiviral defense and inflammatory pathologies.

We are looking for two postdocs with very good communications skills and an enthusiasm for fundamental science.

Profile 1 - Postdoc in structural biology

Recent PhD in structural biology and demonstrated experience with:

  • X-ray crystallography and/or Cryo-EM
  • Modelling of protein-nucleic acid interactions
  • Techniques in protein purification

This candidate will investigate the structural requirements that determine ZBP1 activation. This part of the project will be performed in collaboration with the unit of Structural Biology of Savvas Savvides. The candidate will be able to make use of state-of-the-art in house Cryo-EM/Cryo-ET facilities.

Profile 2 - Postdoc in protein-nucleic acid interactions

Recent PhD in molecular biology and demonstrated experience with:

  • Analysis of RNA/DNA sequencing data
  • Purification of protein complexes
  • Nucleic acid chemistry
  • Cell culture

This candidate will investigate the molecular requirements that determine ZBP1 agonism using RNA and DNA sequencing technologies.


Both positions require:

  • A thesis-based doctorate
  • Hands-on experience with techniques in molecular biology and biochemistry
  • Excellent English speaking and writing skills

Desirable but not required 

  • You have one or more first-author publication(s) in peer-reviewed scientific journals
  • You have knowledge in innate immunity

We offer

  • A state-of-the-art laboratory environment to perform structural and molecular biology
  • A highly stimulating and supporting international research environment.
  • Opportunities to train in nucleic acid immunity and structural biology
  • Training courses in academic, technical, and career skills
  • A competitive salary and a range of benefits including a bicycle allowance and eco vouchers
  • Funding for up to 4 years
  • Earliest start date: 1 March 2024

How to apply? 

Interested candidates can apply through the VIB online application tool. Please upload: your CV and your motivation letter containing contact information of 2 references.

The first review of applications will start immediately. A shortlist of applicants will be selected and invited for interviews. For further information and questions, please send an email to Jonathan Maelfait ([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.