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Transcriptional control of vertebrate neurogenesis

Posted by , on 27 December 2019

Closing Date: 15 March 2021

A 2 year post-doctoral position is available starting early 2020 to study transcriptional control of neurogenesis in Xenopus and mouse. The research will be conducted in the laboratory of Developmental Genetics ( of the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) Neuroscience Institute (UNI) ( in Gosselies (30 km south of Brussels).

Balancing neural progenitor cell (NPC) self-renewal and neuronal differentiation is essential for generating cells in correct numbers and diverse types during neural development. As such, neurogenesis is tightly regulated by a complex array of transcription factors that work in concert to coordinate NPC maintenance, proliferation and differentiation. Our focus is on the Dmrt3 and Dmrt5 transcription factors that we have identified as critical regulators of cortex development and on Prdm12 that we found to be required for the development of pain-sensing neurons.

Our aim is to better understand how these transcriptional regulators function in vivo by identifying genome wide their direct targets and interacting partners. As most remains to be discovered about the mechanism of action of these transcription regulators, results of this project should uncover novel essential aspects of corticogenesis and nociceptor development and functioning.

We are looking for highly motivated candidates with an experience in mouse genetics, cell and molecular biology techniques (ChIP-seq, RNA-seq, AP-MS,…) and preferentially a background in neuroscience. Interested candidates should send a letter of motivation (before end of February) describing past research experiences and full CV to:
Eric Bellefroid (, together with the name and e-mail address of 2 references.

Selected recent related publications:
Desmaris et al. (2018). Dmrt5, Dmrt3 and Emx2 cooperatively block Gsx2 at the pallium-subpallium boundary to maintain cortical identity in dorsal telencephalic progenitors. J. of Neurosci. 38, 9105-9121.
Desiderio et al. (2019). Prdm12 directs nociceptive sensory neuron development by regulating the expression of the NGF receptor TrkA. Cell Reports 26, 3522-3536.

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