Postdoctoral Research Scientist – Neuroimmune Organoids in Neurodegeneration

Antwerp VIB-UAntwerp Center for Molecular Neurology

24 May 2023


VIB-UAntwerp Center for Molecular Neurology



25 May 2023

Project description

The VIB-UAntwerp Center of Molecular Neurology is recruiting a postdoctoral research scientist (full-time, 100%) in the frame of the PostDoc Challenge program of the University of Antwerp. The envisaged project presents a methodological challenge to establish neuroimmune organoid models for application in the context of various neurodegenerative diseases.

Over the last decade, organoids emerged as an attractive middle ground between 2D cell cultures, which do not fully recapitulate the 3D environment, and animal models, which pose technical and ethical limits. In particular, cerebral organoids are emerging as the next step in patient-derived in vitro models for both neurodevelopmental as well as neurodegenerative diseases. However, cerebral organoids have mostly been based on neuronal cells alone, while evidence increases that the role of non-neuronal types (microglia, astrocytes, endothelial cells) is critical in these conditions. Integration of these cell types will more closely mimic the in vivo cellular environment in health and disease and constitutes the major challenge of this project. The established neuroimmune organoid technology will find a wide range of applications as models for studying fundamental mechanisms underlying cellular biology and genetic pathophysiology as well as for efficient drug screening. The recruited postdoc would lead this challenge and would be offered an opportunity to shape the application scope of the developed technology to advance the science of all research groups at the Center.

The VIB-UAntwerp Center is part of VIB, a Life Sciences institute, and the University of Antwerp with colleague-researchers in cancer, biotechnology, structural biology, and immunology amongst others, and an extensive set of core facilities and opportunities for technology transfer. The VIB-UAntwerp Center for Molecular Neurology has 6 PIs and hosts internationally recognized leaders in the field of Neurogenetics and Neuroinflammation. Current research groups address a broad set of questions related to neurodegenerative diseases of the central and peripheral nervous system, with an emphasis on understanding the genetic aetiology and developing diagnostics and treatment methods for these diseases. Approaches range from human genetics and genomics to computational and systems biology, while models include yeast, fly, mouse, and pluripotent human cell systems. Research groups have access to state-of-the-art research and top-notch support core facilities and attract talented international scientists from across the world.


  • We are looking for a talented and highly motivated junior or senior postdoctoral researcher with a strong interest in technology development and neurodegenerative diseases.
  • You hold a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences, genetics, immunology, or related disciplines (or you will have obtained it by the time you start work).
  • demonstrable experience in working with organoid cultures
  • single-cell data analysis skills are a plus
  • scientific integrity and excellence, illustrated by a strong publication track record
  • excellent communication and writing skills in English

We offer

  • We offer a full-time contract as a postdoctoral researcher or as a postdoctoral scholarship holder for a period of at least one year.  The successful candidate is encouraged and guided in obtaining a personal fellowship (Marie-Curie, HFSP, EMBO, or national funding organizations)
  • A versatile and challenging job in a vibrant, world-class research environment operating at an international level
  • Access to state-of-the-art infrastructure and core computing and experimental facilities
  • Dedicated training programs available through VIB and UAntwerp to broaden your expertise and enhance your skill set
  • A strong and dynamic network of international collaborators
  • A compensation package based on expertise and experience expanded with a wide range of fringe benefits (eco vouchers, commuting allowance when using public transport, bike allowance)
  • The planned start date is June 1st, 2023, or as soon as possible after that date.
  • You will do most of your work at Campus Drie Eiken in a dynamic and stimulating working environment.

How to apply?

  • You can apply for this vacancy through the online job application platform.
    Click on 'apply', complete the online application form, and don’t forget to include the following document(s):
    • a motivation letter
    • your academic CV
    • contact details of two referees
  • The selection committee will review all of the applications as soon as possible after the application deadline. As soon as a decision has been made, we will inform you about the next steps in the selection procedure.
  • If you have any questions about the job itself, please contact

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.