PhD Position at the University of Antwerp

Peripheral Neuropathy Research Group: We have a longstanding interest in understanding the consequences of gene mutations causing inherited peripheral 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. However, we also found mutations in genes with housekeeping functions that lead to peripheral nerve degeneration. We make use of molecular genetics and cell biology tools (neuron-like cell models, Crispr/Cas9 genome editing, iPS cells and transgenic models) to understand the pathomechanisms behind CMT neuropathies. 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 centralized facilities with expertise in e.g. omics technologies, microscopy and bio-informatics.  

Location: Antwerp, Belgium

Posted on: 10th May, 2017

Closing date: 15th June, 2017

Job description

  • A challenging PhD project based on our recently developed mouse model for a specific CMT neuropathy to investigate the underlying disease mechanism at the molecular, cellular and organismal level.
  • Animal studies will include behavioral, electrophysiological and preclinical studies.
  • 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 novel 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.
  • 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 2017. 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 before June 15th 2017. 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. We apply the same admission guidelines as of 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:    

Please mention that you found this job on the Scientifica website when applying.​

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