University of Antwerp
PhD student, Peripheral Neuropathy
University of Antwerp
The University of Antwerp (Universiteit Antwerpen) is characterised by its high standards in education, internationally competitive research and entrepreneurial approach.
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Published: 23 days ago
Application deadline: Jun 01
Location: Antwerpen, Belgium
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PhD student, Peripheral Neuropathy

Job function: PhD student

Peripheral Neuropathy Research Group: We have a longstanding interest in understanding the consequences of gene mutations causing hereditary neuropathies. We discovered the first genetic cause for Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease and were subsequently involved in the identification of several CMT associated genes. Many of these genes code for proteins that are involved in myelination, axonal transport and maintenance of the peripheral nervous system. The current focus of our research is studying the consequences of mutations in small heat shock proteins associated with peripheral nerve degeneration and neuromuscular disease. We make use of diverse molecular and cell biology tools (neuron-like cell models, Crispr/Cas9 genome editing, iPS cells and transgenic models) to understand the consequences of mutations on cells and peripheral nerves. We are located at the University of Antwerp and are affiliated to the Department of Biomedical Sciences and the Institute Born-Bunge, a center of excellence in neurodegenerative and neuromuscular diseases. We have access to on-site facilities with expertise in e.g. omics technologies, microscopy and bio-informatics.

Job description:

  • A challenging PhD project based on the study of autophagy with the aim to target a common molecular player relevant in hereditary neuropathies.
  • The research will be performed at the molecular, cellular and organismal level.
  • The project will make use of several state of the art and rapidly advancing technologies in biochemistry, biotechnology, molecular biology, cell biology and neuroscience.
  • The goal is to identify therapeutic options through drug repurposing in the study model.
  • The project will also offer training, participation to congresses and international collaboration.

Profile and requirements:

  • Master in biochemistry, biology or bioengineering, biomedical, veterinary or pharmaceutical sciences with a strong focus on molecular, cell and gene technologies. Your master degree should have been obtained at a recognized academic institute within an EU member state.
  • Outstanding academic bachelor and master degree; according to ECST grading scale.
  • FELASA degree (or EU equivalent) for handling small model organisms is recommended.
  • Expertise or knowledge in molecular and cellular biology, statistics and bioinformatics will be a plus.
  • Strong motivation in basic research and molecular neuroscience.
  • Excellent verbal and written English communication skills.
  • Flexibility and team spirit in an international research environment.

Type of contract:

The applicant will be asked to submit and defend an innovative PhD project at the FWO-Flanders (Strategic Basic Research fellowship: requiring extensive preparation during the summer of 2018. If not granted, obtaining adequate ranking for this competitive doctoral scholarship will result in a contract for a period of at least one year with possibility for re-application the next year.

How to apply:

Applications should be submitted via email to vincent.timmerman@uantwerpen.bebefore June 1st 2018. A reselection will be made based on the submitted motivation letters and CVs. Selected candidates will be invited for interview and will be informed about the remainder of the selection procedure. Importantly, we apply the same admission guidelines as the FWO, Flanders, Belgium. More details on the specific PhD project can be obtained by contacting: Prof. Dr. Vincent Timmerman, PhD

Peripheral Neuropathy Research Group, University of Antwerp

Campus CDE, Universiteitsplein 1, 2610 Antwerpen, Belgium

Tel: +32-3-265.10.24, E-mail:

The University of Antwerp is a family friendly organization, with a focus on equal opportunities and diversity. Our HR-policy for researchers was awarded by the European Commission with the quality label HR Excellence in research.

We support the Science4Refugees initiative and encourage asylum-seeking, refugee scientists and researchers to apply for a job at the University of Antwerp.

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