New PhD or Post-doctoral Position in Stem Cell and Development Epigenetics

KU Leuven
July 14 2017
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

Prof. Kian Koh at the Stem Cell Institute is looking for a candidate for Embryonic cells in the earliest stages of development can generate the entire fetal body, a feature commonly known as pluripotency. In mammals, this process involves dynamic changes in the way methyl groups are erased or added at specific positions in DNA. Changes in DNA methylation regulate gene expression and phenotype without altering the DNA sequence, constituting an important part of “epigenetics” research.

The TET DNA dioxygenases erase DNA methylation by reiterative oxidation of 5-methylcytosine via 5-hydroxymethylcytosine, a discovery in 2009 that has reshaped dogma in epigenetics. As co-discoverer of the TET family, Prof. Kian Koh at KU Leuven studies the regulation of TET in pluripotency and early embryonic differentiation. Recent work by the group has opened new lines of investigation of TET1's interesting roles in both embryonic and extra-embryonic lineages of the early post-implantation mouse embryo:

Using new transgenic mouse strains generated in the laboratory, PhD or postdoctoral projects are available to investigate how lineage-specific functions of TET1 contribute to proper embryonic development, in the context of congenital birth defects resulting from TET1 deficiency. Research work using mice will be complemented with in vitro studies using stem cell cultures, to understand how gene expression can be controlled by TET1 in possibly different ways in different cell lineages.Ultimately, the studies will provide important new information of how proper regulation of DNA methylation marks in early development can tip the balance between health and disease later in life.



* Khoueiry R, Sohni A,Thienpont B, Luo XL, Vande Velde J, Bartoccetti M, Boeck B, Zwijsen A, Rao A, Lambrechts D, Koh KP (2017). Lineage-specific functions of TET1 in the post-implantation mouse embryo. Nature Genetics. 49, 1061-1072.

* Koh KP, Yabuuchi A, Rao S, Huang Y, Cunniff K, Nardone J, Laiho A, TahilianiM, Sommer CA, Mostoslavsky G, Lahesmaa R, Orkin SH, Rodig SJ, Daley GQ, Rao A (2011). Tet1 and Tet2 regulate 5-hydroxymethylcytosine production and celllineage specification in mouse embryonic stem cells. Cell Stem Cell 8, 200-213.

* Tahiliani M, Koh KP, Shen Y, Pastor WA, Bandukwala H, Brudno Y, Agarwal S, Iyer LM, Liu DR, Aravind L, Rao A (2009). Conversion of5-methylcytosine to 5-hydroxymethylcytosine in mammalian DNA by MLL partnerTET1. Science 324, 930-935.

This job comes from a partnership with Science Magazine and Euraxess