PhD position in the field of rare amyloidosis diseases

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
September 22, 2023
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
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Working Time:Negotigation
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PhD position in the field of rare amyloidosis diseases

(ref. BAP-2023-581)

Last modification : Tuesday, August 22, 2023

The SWITCH Laboratory, part of the KU Leuven Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine and the VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research, is one of the leading laboratories in human disease-related protein aggregation. It is an interdisciplinary workplace, bringing together about twenty-eight researchers from different backgrounds, such as bioinformatics, biophysics and cell biology. SWITCH has a unique platform of technologies for studying protein aggregation, including biophysical, ultrastructural and cell biological instrumentations. For a primer on who we are, what we do and our latest publications, see https:// www.

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We're putting together a research team for an exciting new project! Funded by a VIB Grand Challenges grant and in collaboration with UGent, and clinicians at UZ Leuven and UZ Gent we will establish Belgium's first amyloidosis centre that aims to improve diagnostics, patient care and disease treatment.

Guarding structural integrity is crucial for optimal protein function and thus life as whole. It is therefore not surprising that several types of human diseases are associated with defects in obtaining or maintaining structure of a single or a group of proteins. One such group of diseases is called amyloidosis diseases. Amyloidosis groups several rare, serious conditions caused by a build-up of abnormally structured protein, collectively referred to as amyloid, in organs and tissues throughout the body, therefore making it difficult for the organs and tissues to work properly. As often the case for rare disease, research into disease mechanisms and treatment has been sparse resulting in suboptimal diagnostic and patient care capabilities in hospitals. We are going to change this, and you can be a part of it!

We are looking for an enthusiastic PhD student to join our amyloidosis research team in the Switch lab. The candidate will be part of a unique team of research scientists and clinicians that closely work together to have direct impact on amyloidosis patient care. The candidate will be directly supervised by an experienced amyloid scientist and will work towards developing novel approaches to detect, characterize and treat the occurrence of specific amyloids in patients. This journey brings together different fields of science as amyloids are defined by a specific protein structure (structural biology) that exerts specific cellular effects (cellular biology). The candidate will therefore be exposed to a wide variety of experimental techniques and insights, so having a keen interest in finding and mastering cutting edge technologies to keep defining and answering the next question is an absolute must. Curious to find out more? Read below how to apply now!

  • You hold a M.Sc. or M.D. degree, with minimally distinction grades or higher.
  • You meet the English language criteria of KU Leuven
  • You have a strong interest in (the physics of) protein structure and its relation to biology
  • Highly motivated, enthusiastic, critical and creative
  • The ability to work in, and communicate fluently with, a multidisciplinary team is a must
  • Prior experience with any of the core themes, i.e. protein biophysics or protein biochemistry, is considered a plus
  • You are willing to work with patient tissue and conduct animal experiments (Felasa B certificate is a plus)
  • Offer
  • A versatile and challenging job
  • A vibrant, world-class research environment operating at an international level
  • Access to the resources of two host institutions:
  • VIB an excellence-based research institute
  • KU Leuven, one of Europe's leading research universities
  • State of the art research facilities
  • A dedicated training program to broaden your expertise and enhance your skillset
  • Interested?

    For more information contact [email protected]. Please complete the online application procedure and include a detailed CV including list of publications, a motivation letter, and the contact information of three referees.

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    KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at [email protected].

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