The Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Immunology (CMIM)/Myeloid Cell Immunology (MCI), headed by Prof. Jo Van Ginderachter, offers a dynamic work environment within a stimulating scientific surrounding. You will be part of an international, young, enthusiastic, motivated team (with English as main language). The laboratory is aiming to work on high-impact projects and research that can be translated into clinical practice.
MCI, housed at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel Campus (VUB), Brussels, is part of the VIB-Inflammation Research Center (IRC), a multidisciplinary research center focusing on molecular mechanisms of inflammation in pathologies such as allergy, autoimmune diseases, cancer, infectious diseases and senescence (http://www.irc.ugent.be/index.php?id=aboutirc). The mission of the MCI laboratory is to use the heterogeneity of myeloid cells as an in vivo sensor to track inflammatory responses and as a target for therapeutic intervention. Based on markers that allow discrimination between selected myeloid cell subpopulations, we have developed innovative tools to visualize and modulate the in vivo differentiation and function of selected myeloid cell populations in inflamed tissues. These include the identification of markers for different tumor-associated macrophage or dendritic cell populations, as well as Kupffer cell- and microglia-specific markers, to generate transgenic (knock-in) mice allowing the tracking and ablation of selected myeloid cell populations. We also fully exploit the strategic advantage of nanobodies, i.e. single-domain antibody fragments and their engineering platform as tools for in vivo myeloid cell-targeted delivery of imaging agents (radionuclides, gold- or magnetic nanoparticles) and drugs that can remediate the inflammatory disease outcome and be translated readily into the clinic.
- Candidates are sought to join a basic and translational research program focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms by which tumor-associated macrophages and dendritic cells contribute to tumor initiation or spreading and influence the modes of resistance to cancer immunotherapy
- Research focus: the research led by the candidate will focus on the particular contribution of Kuppfer cells, the liver resident macrophages originating from embryonic precursors, in the initiation and establishment of liver metastases. In vivo therapeutic targeting with available Kupffer cell-specific nanobodies coupled to toxins or immunomodulators will be envisaged. The ultimate goal is to identify molecules/pathway in Kupffer cells that are amenable to therapeutic intervention to diminish liver metastasis
- The candidates must hold a PhD in (Tumor) Immunology or Cancer Biology, preferably with a solid knowledge of myeloid cell (macrophage, dendritic cell) immunobiology and/or cancer cell metastasis.
- The required skills include: working with mouse models, cell culture, flow cytometry, molecular and cell biological techniques in vitro and in vivo. Experience in antibody engineering and bioinformatics would be a plus.
- Candidates must be proficient in oral and written English, have excellent communication and multi-tasking skills, be team-oriented, proactive and results-driven. Candidates are encouraged to apply for competitive fellowships during their stay in the lab.
- A 3 year period postdoctoral position with a competitive salary
- The candidate will have access to state-of-the-art tools and facilities, a rich training environment and the possibility to collaborate with other groups within an excellence-based research institute (http://www.vib.be/en/research/Pages/default.aspx)
- The candidate will be embedded in a highly competitive international research group of about 25 highly motivated (and very nice) people, encompassing 10 different nationalities, who work together as a team.
- The lab is situated in the cosmopolitan city of Brussels, at the heart of Europe
- Starting date: as soon as possible
How to apply?
Please upload your CV, containing a list of publications, a summary of past research, contact information of 2 or 3 referees, and a motivation letter.