Postdoctoral Researcher to perform structural analysis of Gamma secretase complexes

Leuven VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research

21 Sep 2021


VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research

Lucia Chavez Gutierrez Lab



Job description

A postdoctoral position is available in the laboratory of Prof Lucía Chávez-Gutiérrez (VIB-KU Leuven) to investigate the structural strategies and molecular mechanisms operating in the γ-secretases intramembrane proteases (GSECs) in normal and disease conditions.

GSECs are uniquely distinguished by a multimeric, non-covalent structure and a sequential proteolytic cleavage mechanism. GSECs are involved in a wide number of physiological processes and also intimately connected to disease. More than 200 missense mutations in these protease complexes are linked to early onset Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In addition, dysregulation of GSECs occurs in cancer.

GSEC are thus unique multifaceted proteolytic system, crossroads for numerous pathophysiological processes. Nevertheless, central questions related to GSEC proteolytic mechanisms remain unaddressed.

This project aims at generating relevant structural and functional insights into GSEC biology.

It involves protein expression of membrane and soluble proteins using diverse recombinant systems and methodologies, protein biochemistry and substantial cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM). The project will be developed in close collaboration with Prof. Rouslan Efremov (VIB-VUB).

The VIB offers a vibrant, international scientific environment with access to state-of-the- art facilities; highly relevant for this project is the cryoEM facility:



  • You will have, or shortly expect to receive, a PhD in structural biology or a related area
  • You have a good understanding of modern structural biology methods and experience in cryo-EM
  • You are fluent in English (verbally and in writing)
  • You like to be innovative
  • You are able to work independently and as part of a team

Desirable but not required

  • Experience in protein purification of membrane proteins and their reconstitution in native-like conditions
  • Experience in standard cell culture and molecular biology techniques (cloning, protein expression, western blotting, ELISA, …) 
  • Experience in protein engineering 

We offer

  • An stimulating, diverse and international research environment
  • Access to state-of-the-art infrastructure
  • A competitive compensation package based on expertise and experience
  • Financial support is available for at least 2 years. However, the successful candidate is encouraged to obtain a personal fellowship (Marie-Curie, HFSP, EMBO, or National funding organizations).

Starting Date: as soon as possible

How to apply?

Please complete the online application. Include a detailed CV, a shot motivation letter describing previous research experience and the names and contact information of 2 references.

Interested candidates are invited to apply as soon as possible.

For more information: please contact