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The role of the actin cytoskeleton in peripheral nerve degeneration

Posted by , on 4 May 2021

Job type: Postdoc

Location: VIB and University of Antwerp, Antwerpen, Belgium

Closing Date: 4 July 2021

The Jordanova team at the VIB-UAntwerp Center for Molecular Neurology, Belgium, is looking for an enthusiastic postdoctoral researcher to work on a project exploring the involvement of the actin cytoskeleton in the onset and progression of Charcot-Marie-Tooth neuropathy (CMT).

CMT is the most common inherited neurodegenerative disorder of the peripheral nervous system that is currently incurable. The disease is both clinically and genetically very heterogeneous, with more than 100 genes implicated in its etiology. Jordanova lab had contributed to the identification of several CMT genes and is currently pursuing molecular characterization of their associated pathomechanisms. To this end, we apply multiple omics approaches in mammalian cells, yeast and Drosophila disease models, and make use of unique patient-derived biomaterials. One common theme stemming from our recent research is that the actin cytoskeleton plays a prominent role in the CMT-related neurodegeneration. This finding is novel for the CMT field at large and will be the focus of the advertised postdoctoral project.

Job description

This project will take advantage of exciting preliminary data that needs to be validated and further investigated in available cellular CMT models, including pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) derived from CMT patients and isogenic controls. The project will entail differentiation of iPSC into motor neurons and their general and actin-tailored characterization. Furthermore, specific pathomechanistic hypotheses will be explored, suggested by our preliminary studies. Next to the iPSC technology, this project will make use of biochemistry, cell and molecular biology, Multi-Electrode Array (MEA) electrophysiology, interactomics, and advanced microscopy techniques. You will be embedded in a team of scientists working on complementary topics and model systems, allowing for helpful discussions and fruitful collaborations. At the same time, you will be expected to work independently and drive your own research project. You will be given the opportunity to supervise and be a (co-)promotor of Master’s students and potentially also Ph.D. students.



  • Ph.D. degree in biochemistry, cellular-, molecular-, neuro-biology, or related disciplines.
  • Experience with molecular and cell biology, biochemistry, microscopy and mammalian cell culture.
  • Advanced knowledge and experience in (actin) cytoskeleton biology.
  • At least one accepted first-author publication in an international peer-reviewed journal.
  • Capability to independently plan, execute and troubleshoot your daily work, and propose relevant research directions.
  • Motivation, flexibility and team spirit.
  • Excellent verbal and written English communication skills.

Desirable but not required

  • Prior experience with iPSC technology.
  • Prior experience with cellular electrophysiology.



  • Head-start knowledge, strong preliminary data and unique experimental tools ensuring highly original research with the potential of generating impactful publications.
  • Financial support for 3 years with possibilities for extension. The applicant will be assisted in the application for personal fellowships during this time (Marie Sklodowska-Curie Program, HFSP, EMBO, National funding organizations, …).
  • Access to centralized facilities with expertise in functional genomics, cell biology, proteomics, microscopy, structural biology, technology development, and bioinformatics.
  • Dedicated training programs available through VIB and UAntwerp to broaden your expertise and enhance your skillset. Possibility to learn working with small model organisms in the context of you project.
  • A stimulating and international research environment.
  • An established network of international collaborators.


STARTING DATE: as soon as possible

How to apply:

Interested candidates are asked to apply via the online tool ( or by sending an e-mail to

Applications must include:

  • Detailed CV containing list of publications
  • One-page description on previous research experience, skills and research interests
  • Names and contact details of three references.

For more information please contact




Salary: depending on experience, in accordance with the regulations at VIB, Belgium

Closing Date: 4 July 2021

Scientific fields: Signalling, Stem cells, Regeneration, Development and disease

Model systems: Cell culture

Duration: Fixed term

Minimum qualifications: Ph.D. degree in biochemistry, cellular-, molecular-, neurobiology, or related disciplines. • Experience with molecular and cell biology, biochemistry, microscopy, and mammalian cell culture. Advanced knowledge and experience in (actin) cytoskeleton biology.

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