PhD Position: Structural Biology and Biophysics of the Regulation of a Persistence Operon

Brussels VIB-VUB Center for Structural Biology

02 Jun 2017


VIB-VUB Center for Structural Biology

Remy Loris Lab



About the lab

The Brussels based VIB-VUB Center for Structural Biology (CSB) is part of the VIB life sciences institute (VIB) and is embedded within the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). We study the structure and dynamics of macromolecular complexes in health and disease to explain their mode of action. We integrate our structural biology work with genetic and cellular studies, aiming to bridge molecular and cellular resolution. We excel in translating our discoveries into biotechnological and medical applications.

The Loris lab combines structural biology and molecular biophysics to study questions about protein function and regulation, including mechanisms that depend on intrinsic disorder and dynamics-mediated allostery. The lab focusses a.o. on bacterial persistence, and in particular the role of toxin-antitoxin modules therein.

Your Job

We are looking for a motivated Phd student with interests in structural biology and molecular biophysics. The selected candidate will study the proteins from the paaR2-paaA2-parE2 and cog4197-duf1019 operons van the pathogenic E. coli O157. During his/her PhD the candidate will work towards the crystal or NMR structures of protein-DNA complexes and complement this work with interaction studies (ITC, fluorimetry, CD spectroscopy) and bio-SAXS. The work will further involve classic techniques in protein chemistry, including expression and purification of protein and site-specific mutagenesis.

The ideal candidate will have a master degree in bio-engineering or (bio)physical chemistry, although masters in (molecular) biology, biotechnology and physics with a sufficiently broad background and interests can also be considered. The position is immediately available.



  • Master in bio-engineering science, (bio)chemistry, (molecular) biology, biotechnology or physics with the equivalent of at least distinction (15/20 on the Belgian scale)
  • During your bachelor or master, you encountered classes dealing with basic thermodynamics and spectroscopy. Your bachelor included at least one class on mathematics.
  • You can take initiative and you function well in a team
  • Proficient use of the English language for both oral and written communication

Desirable but not required:

  • A master thesis in either structural biology or molecular biophysics (applying ITC, spectroscopic techniques, ... to proteins) will provide you with an advantage
  • You are currently in the last year of your master studies or you have graduated in 2016

We offer

  • A four year PhD grant according to the Belgian system
  • A working climate where trust, (international) collaboration, and commitment are essential
  • Access to state-of-the art tools and infrastructure
  • A stimulating and supportive international research environment

How to apply?

Additional requirement: please upload transcripts of your bachelor and master studies (including all classes followed and the marks obtained) to your online application.