Post Doc - Selective Vulnerability in Alzheimer's Disease

Leuven VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research

16 Jan 2023


VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research

Frederic Rousseau and Joost Schymkowitz Lab



About the lab

The SWITCH Laboratory is one of the leading laboratories in human disease-related protein aggregation. It is an interdisciplinary workplace, bringing together about 25 researchers from different backgrounds, such as bioinformatics, biophysics, and cell biology. SWITCH has a unique platform of technologies for studying protein aggregation, including biophysical, ultrastructural, and cell biological instrumentations.

Your job

Do you want to help find out what is really going on in Alzheimer's disease? Why does the disease sweep through the brain in such a determined manner? Why do amyloid aggregates form in certain brain regions and not others? Why are some brain regions devastated and others spared?

In our previous work, we have identified a new mode of amyloid interactions based on local sequence similarity to aggregation-prone regions and the National Institute on Aging has just granted us a 5-year project to investigate the interaction of amyloid-beta and tau with other brain region-specific proteins.

The project entails:

  • a genome-wide computational screen for specific (heterotypic) interactions between the aggregation-prone regions of amyloid-forming proteins and the background proteome
  • testing the candidate proteins in cellular models and then in mice
  • biophysical analyses to discern the exact mechanism by which heterotypic interactions change amyloid formation.

We’re looking for a postdoc to join a growing team to take this project to fruition.

Your profile

  • A Ph.D. in a topic related to protein aggregation /protein biophysics
  • A keen interest in protein aggregation and its role in disease
  • Expertise in biophysical or biochemical methods to study protein aggregation
  • A high affinity for bioinformatics
  • A solid publication record
  • Highly motivated, enthusiastic, critical, and creative
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Can supervise doctoral/master's students
  • Can work in a multidisciplinary and multicultural team
  • Experience with mammalian cell culture or high-content screening is a plus

What we offer

  • A 4-year+ timeline at a world-renowned institution
  • State-of-the-art research facilities
  • Administrative support (orders, reporting, ethical approvals, etc.) so that you can focus on the project
  • Access to the resources of two host institutions:
    • VIB, an excellence-based research institute
    • KU Leuven, one of Europe’s leading research universities
  • A vibrant, world-class research environment operating at an international level
  • A dedicated training program to broaden your expertise and enhance your skill set.
  • At SWITCH, we pay particular attention to our people's career development goals and actively support our lab members' ambitions in the lab and beyond. You can see here where our alumni are now.
  • A competitive compensation package based on expertise and experience

Starting Date: as soon as possible

How to apply?

Please complete the online application procedure and include a detailed CV, including a list of publications, a motivation letter, and the contact information of three referees.

Contact if you need more information.

Check out our recent publications on the topic:

Interested in a virtual visit? Visit us at

VIB values diversity - in backgrounds and in experiences. The institute needs people from all backgrounds and ways of life to help build a thriving scientific environment. VIB is therefore looking for candidates who are not only strong in their own aptitudes but care deeply about supporting each other's growth. VIB's collaborators are people with different strengths, experiences and backgrounds, who share a passion for science that generates impact in science and in society. Diversity not only includes race and gender identity, but also nationality, age, disability status, sexual orientation, religion and many other parts of one’s identity. All of VIB’s employees’ points of view are key to its success, and inclusion is everyone's responsibility.