Research fellow in Pluripotent stem cells self-renewal program and cell cycle

KU Leuven
September 22 2016
Position Type
Full Time
The Stem Cell Institute, Leuven, was founded in 2006 with the specific aim to understand fundamental mechanisms underlying stem cell proliferation, differentiation and reprogramming, and to translate basic insights to clinical applications. The institute is part of a broad network of research groups at KU Leuven, with excellent expertise in cell biology, genetics, transcriptomics, metabolomics in mammalian cells and in different organisms.

Pluripotent stem cells, isolated directly from the embryos (Embryonic Stem Cells) or obtained as reprogrammed cell from adult tissues (Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells) can potentially be used in cell-replacement therapy to regenerate different types of tissue in a wide range of diseases. Despite the high potential of pluripotent cells, their use in clinic is still limited due to their uncontrolled proliferation in vitro and tumorigenic behavior in vivo. Regulation of the proliferation rate and cell cycle in pluripotent cells might represent a strategy to limit the undesired tumorigenic potential of these cells in vivo for their clinical application.

The main interest of the project will be to define pathways and mechanisms that regulate cell cycle, potency and differentiation in pluripotent cells, with a focus on the role of Wnt pathway and its downstream transcription factors.

The final goal is to identify new target molecules and provide novel strategies for a safer use of pluripotent cells in clinics for their applications in regenerative medicine.

Evidence suggest that the progression into the cell cycle in pluripotent stem cells might be different from somatic cells. The candidate will evaluate the specific characteristic of cell cycle regulation in ESCs and iPSCs and how Wnt activation affects the cell cycle progression in these cells. Furthermore, the candidate will evaluate the effects of cell cycle modification on stem cells potency in the process of tissue regeneration.


The candidate will have access to different facilities and will apply several new techniques including: culture and derivation of pluripotent stem cell, CRISPR/Cas9 technology, viral transductions, cell cycle analysis, RNAseq analysis among others. The candidate will join a very enthousiastic, committed and dedicated team in an exciting and challenging phase of the research with the possibility to contribute rapidly to the production of new data.

This job comes from a partnership with Science Magazine and Euraxess