The VIB Center for Brain and Disease Research (KU Leuven, Belgium), headed by Prof. Patrik Verstreken, is a vibrant and international research centre where key issues relevant for major human neurodegenerative diseases are tackled. The laboratory for Membrane Trafficking (Prof. Wim Annaert) studies the cellular biology of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and aims to understand how intracellular transport regulation contributes to intramembrane proteolysis of APP and the production of neurotoxic Aβ peptides.
Recent work from the lab (Sannerud et al., Cell, 2016) showed that PSEN2/γ-secretase generates the prominent pool of intracellular Aβ and familial AD-associated mutations strongly increase the accumulation of longer Aβ. Herein it was striking to find PSEN2 complexes organized in nanodomains on the limiting endosomal/lysosomal membrane.
This project will focus on exploring this nanodomain organization of PSEN/γ-secretase complexes in cell models including differentiating neurons using subdiffraction microscopy or nanoscopy. The laboratory has in-house PALM/STORM and SIM microscopy and closely collaborates with spectroscopists Prof. Johan Hofkens and Prof. Hideaki Mizuno in the Science and Technology group at KU Leuven to improve nanoscopy modalities and explore novel fluorescent probes. The project is focused on superresolution analysis but bridges with basic neuro- and lysosomal biology in the context of Alzheimer’s disease pathogenesis.
- We seek a young and ambitious postdoctoral fellow with a biophysical and/or cell biological background and proficient experience in superresolution imaging (PALM, STORM, SIM), single particle tracking and/or related analytical techniques.
- The ability to work in a multidisciplinary research team as well as effective communication and writing skills and a good mastery of the English language are essential for a successful selection.
Financial support is available for 3 years but the successful candidate is encouraged to obtain an independent fellowship (Marie-Curie, EMBO, or National funding organizations) during this time.
How to apply?
Additional required information:
- Please enclose a motivation letter to your application
- Please mention the contact details of two references (of which one of your PhD mentor) in the application form