PhD Project: Novel Methods to Detect Neurodegeneration and Degenerative Processes

Leuven VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research

13 Nov 2018


VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research

Rose Goodchild Lab, Sha Liu Lab



About the lab

A PhD position to develop new tools to study neurological disease is available in the Goodchild and Liu labs in the VIB-KU Leuven

Neurodegenerative diseases are an enormous health burden. This includes diseases of aging like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, as well as pediatric-onset diseases of genetic origin. There is also emerging evidence that neurodegeneration of small numbers of neurons underlies neurological or psychiatric diseases not previously considered as degenerative. Nevertheless, it remains challenging to track neurodegeneration in vivo and current methods cannot detect small amounts of neurodegeneration.

Job description

We are looking for an ambitious PhD student to undertake a multi-disciplinary PhD project that develops new tools to track in vivo neurodegeneration. This project is jointly supervised by two research groups (Goodchild and Liu) with major expertise in cell biology, Drosophila and transgenic mouse generation and analysis. It is envisaged that the project will develop several genetic markers, and validate and deploy these in vitro and in vivo in fly and mouse. The establishment of these methods will represent a major new toolkit to sensitively map neurodegeneration in different experimental models of disease.

The PhD will be performed as a student in the VIB Life Sciences institute (with colleagues in cancer, biotechnology, immunology amongst others) and at the University of Leuven, the largest university in Belgium. Leuven itself is a university town located close to the international airport and international train connections. Leuven and the surrounding area of Northern Belgium (Flanders) represent one of the top research destinations in Europe.


  •  Applicants should hold a Master degree (or equivalent) in biology, health sciences or a related discipline.
  • Motivation to perform top molecular cell biology and in vivo research
  • Motivation to build a research career
  • Strong academic record (in the top 20% of your group)
  • Experience with Cell biology or neurodegeneration research is a plus.
  • Enjoy learning and working with different techniques and colleagues.

We offer

  • Access to world class equipment and technologies
  • A stimulating, diverse international research environment
  • Start date: in the course of 2019
  • Funding is available. However, students are expected to apply for fellowships.

How to apply?

Please use the VIB HR application tool.

Additional required information:

  • Please enclose a short personal statement that demonstrates your interest in this type of research.
  • Please mention the contact details of two references in the application form (including e-mail addresses and telephone numbers).

For more information: please contact Sha Liu or Rose Goodchild.

For extra information: