Postdoc position: the identification of novel proteomics-based biomarkers for FTLD

Antwerp VIB-UAntwerp Center for Molecular Neurology

05 May 2021


VIB-UAntwerp Center for Molecular Neurology

Rosa Rademakers Lab





The identification of novel proteomics-based biomarkers for frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD)


The Rademakers team at the VIB-UAntwerp Center for Molecular Neurology in Belgium is seeking a highly motivated postdoctoral fellow to work on a project focused on the identification of novel proteomics-based biomarkers for frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD).  The Rademakers team is a leader in the genetic and molecular studies of FTLD with a rich network of collaborations in clinical and basic neuroscience and access to unique patient samples and data.

FTLD is young-onset dementia that is both clinically and pathologically heterogeneous. The Tau and TDP-43 proteins are the main pathological proteins deposited in FTLD brains; however, despite significant efforts, ante-mortem diagnosis of the specific type of FTLD pathology in a given patient is currently not feasible with the exception of a small set of patients with specific clinical syndromes or genetic mutations. This is a major diagnostic hurdle, especially when considering that pathology-specific therapies are actively being pursued. As part of this project we will apply a newly developed proteomics workflow to some of the largest and best characterized FTLD patient cohorts with the goal to identify and further study novel biomarkers that distinguish FTLD-Tau from FTLD-TDP in plasma and cerebrospinal fluid. The project will include in-depth bioinformatic analyses of existing brain-derived transcriptomic and proteomic datasets as well as newly generated biofluid proteomic profiles. In later phases, we will aim to develop novel diagnostic assays including ELISAs, Meso Scale Discovery (MSD) and Single Molecule Array (Simoa) assays. For this reason, wet-lab experience in addition to the bioinformatics expertise would be considered a significant plus, yet this is not required.

In this project, you will analyze existing transcriptomic and proteomic datasets to identify FTLD-Tau and FTLD-TDP signatures including specific FTLD proteoforms, that will later be used in biomarker discovery efforts as part of a novel proteomics-based approach. You will work in close collaboration with proteomics experts at the VIB-UGhent Medical Biotechnology Center, but you will be expected to work independently and drive your own research project.                                                                              


We seek a young, creative and ambitious individual with a strong interest in neuroscience and bioinformatics.


  • Ph.D. in bioinformatics or neuroscience or related disciplines
  • You have acquired relevant practical experience with transcriptomics, proteomics, or bioinformatic analyses in the context of the brain.
  • You are capable of independently planning, executing, and troubleshooting your daily work, and take an interest in driving your project, including identifying and proposing productive research directions.
  • A solid publication record with at least 2 first- (or last-) author research publication(s) in peer-reviewed and impactful international journals
  • Efficient communication and writing skills, and excellent mastery of the English language
  • Ability to work in a multidisciplinary and international research team

Desirable but not required

  • Prior experience with wet-lab neuroscience techniques
  • Prior experience with the development/optimization of biomarkers

We offer

  • Financial support for at least 2 years. The applicant will be assisted in the application for personal fellowships during this time (Marie-Curie, HFSP, EMBO, National funding organizations).
  • A motivated team where each scientist has a personal project
  • Access to state-of-the-art infrastructure and core facilities in a vibrant, world-class research environment operating at an international level
  • Dedicated training programs available through VIB and UAntwerp to broaden your expertise and enhance your skillset
  • A stimulating and international research environment
  • A strong and dynamic network of international collaborators

Starting date: as soon as possible                                                   

How to apply?

Motivated candidates are asked to apply via the online tool

Applications must include:

  • a detailed CV
  • a letter of motivation explaining why you are interested in our work and aspire a postdoc
  • the name and contact details of three references (including promotor of Ph.D. thesis)

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