Postdoc Scientist neuroimmune organoid platform for fundamental and translational dementia research

Antwerp VIB-UAntwerp Center for Molecular Neurology

03 May 2024

Antwerp

VIB-UAntwerp Center for Molecular Neurology

Post-doctoral

1

Project description

The VIB-UAntwerp Center of Molecular Neurology is recruiting a postdoctoral research scientist (full-time, 100%) in the frame of the PostDoc Challenge program of the University of Antwerp. The envisaged project presents a methodological challenge to establish neuroimmune organoid models for application in the context of various neurodegenerative diseases.

Over the last decade, organoids emerged as an attractive middle ground between 2D cell cultures, which do not fully recapitulate the 3D environment and animal models, which pose technical and ethical limits. In particular, cerebral organoids are emerging as the next step in patient-derived in vitro models for both neurodevelopmental as well as neurodegenerative diseases. However, cerebral organoids have mostly been based on neuronal cells alone, while evidence increases that the role of non-neuronal types (microglia, astrocytes, endothelial cells) is critical in these conditions. Integration of these cell types will more closely mimic the in vivo cellular environment in health and disease and constitutes the major challenge of this project. The established neuroimmune organoid technology will find a wide range of applications as models for studying fundamental mechanisms underlying cellular biology and genetic pathophysiology as well as for efficient drug screening. The recruited postdoc would lead on this challenge and would be offered an opportunity to shape the application scope of the developed technology to advance the science of all research groups at the Center.

The VIB-UAntwerp Center is part of VIB, a Life Sciences institute and the University of Antwerp with colleague-researchers in cancer, biotechnology, structural biology, immunology amongst others and an extensive set of core facilities and opportunities for technology transfer. The VIB-UAntwerp Center for Molecular Neurology has 6 PIs and hosts internationally recognized leaders in the field of Neurogenetics and Neuroinflammation. Current research groups address a broad set of questions related to neurodegenerative diseases of the central and peripheral nervous system, with an emphasis on understanding genetic aetiology and developing diagnostics and treatment methods for these diseases. Approaches range from human genetics and genomics to computational and systems biology, while models include yeast, fly, mouse, and pluripotent human cell systems. Research groups have access to state-of-the-art research and top-notch support core facilities and attract talented international scientists from across the world.

The University of Antwerp is a dynamic, forward-thinking, European university. We offer an innovative academic education to more than 20000 students, conduct pioneering scientific research and play an important service-providing role in society. We are one of the largest, most international and most innovative employers in the region. With more than 6000 employees from 100 different countries, we are helping to build tomorrow's world every day. Through top scientific research, we push back boundaries and set a course for the future – a future that you can help to shape. 

Profile

  • We are looking for a talented and highly motivated junior or senior postdoctoral researcher with a strong interest in high-impact technology development and application in fundamental and translational research in neurodegenerative disease field.
  • You hold a PhD in genetics, immunology, neuroscience or related disciplines (or you will have obtained it by the time you start work).
  • Extensive expertise in working with (multicellular) organoid cultures
  • Experience with single-cell data analysis is a plus
  • Scientific integrity and excellence, illustrated by a strong publication track record
  • Excellent communication and writing skills in English

We offer

  • We offer a full-time contract as a postdoctoral researcher or as a postdoctoral scholarship holder for at least one year.  The successful candidate is encouraged and guided in obtaining a personal fellowship (Marie-Curie, HFSP, EMBO, or national funding organizations)
  • A versatile and challenging job in a vibrant, world-class research environment operating at an international level
  • Access to state-of-the-art infrastructure and core computing and experimental facilities
  • Dedicated training programs available through VIB and UAntwerp to broaden your expertise and enhance your skill set
  • A strong and dynamic network of international collaborators
  • Competitive salary and benefits. You will receive ecocheques, an Internet-connectivity allowance, a bicycle allowance, or a full reimbursement of public transport costs for commuting.
  • The planned start date is October 1st, 2024 or as soon as possible.
  • You will do most of your work at Campus Drie Eiken in a dynamic and stimulating working environment.

How to apply?

  • You can apply for this vacancy through the online job application platform. Deadline to apply is June 30th at midnight (Brussels time). Click on 'apply', complete the online application form and don’t forget to include the following document(s):
    • a motivation letter
    • your academic CV
    • contact details of two referees
  • The selection committee will review all of the applications as soon as possible after the application deadline. As soon as a decision has been made, we will inform you about the next steps in the selection procedure.
  • If you have any questions about the job itself, please contact [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.