Doctoral Grant by the University Research Fund (BOF) in the area of "3D culture of pluripotent st...

University of Antwerp
October 03 2017
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

The Laboratory of Experimental Hematology from the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences is seeking a candidate for a full-time (100%) position as PhD-student.

Doctoral Grant by the University Research Fund (BOF) in the area of “3D culture of pluripotent stem cell-derived brain organoids”

Project description

Developing novel neuroprotective and/or immune-modulating therapeutic strategies for almost every neurological disease or trauma requires the existence of robust in vitro cell culture models to mimic disease-associated pathological events. One highly promising novel approach to improve the predictive power of in vitro human neuro-immune research consists in developing modular 3D brain organoids that resemble brain tissue at the structural, cellular and functional level. Within this project we aim to develop and optimize a new method for generating isogenic 3D brain organoids, comprising human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC)-derived neurons, astrocytes and microglia. Furthermore, hPSC-derived astrocytes and endothelial cells will be used to create a blood-brain-barrier model for physical separation of hPSC-derived macrophages from the generated human 3D brain organoids. Together, this integrated cell system will represent a powerful new 3D human neuro-immune cell culture paradigm.

Job description

You publish scientific articles related to the research project of the assignment and you prepare a doctoral thesis.


  • You hold a master degree in Biology, Biochemistry, Biomedical Sciences, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Bio-Engineering, Veterinary Sciences or Medicine.

  • You can submit outstanding academic study results (min. 16/20 or equivalent).

  • Foreign candidates are encouraged to apply.

  • You are quality-oriented, conscientious, creative and cooperative.

  • Experience with culture and differentiation of human embryonic stem cells and/or induced pluripotent stem cells is recommended, but not explicitly required.

We offer

  • a doctoral scholarship for a period of two years, with the possibility of renewal for a further two-year period after positive evaluation;

  • the start date of scholarship will be 1 January 2018;

  • a gross monthly grant ranging from € 2.324,20 - € 2.469,08;

  • a dynamic and stimulating work environment.

How to apply?

  • Applications may only be submitted online until the closing date 5 November 2017 and should include a copy of your CV and a motivation letter, as well as the name and contact details of two references.

  • A pre-selection will be made amongst the submitted applications, after which interviews of the candidates, preselected by a selection panel, will take place from 13 November until 24 November 2017.

  • More information about the application form can be obtained from

  • For questions about the profile and the description of duties, please contact prof. Peter Ponsaerts ( and dr. Debbie Le Blon (

The University of Antwerp is a family friendly organization, with a focus on equal opportunities and diversity. Our HR-policy for researchers was awarded by the European Commission with the quality label HR Excellence in research.

We support the Science4Refugees initiative and encourage asylum-seeking, refugee scientists and researchers to apply for a job at the University of Antwerp.

This job comes from a partnership with Science Magazine and Euraxess

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