POSTDOCTORAL POSITION IN HIGH-THROUGHPUT FUNCTIONAL SCREENING OF IPSC-DERIVED MODELS
A postdoctoral research position is available immediately in the laboratory of Dr. Catherine Verfaillie, Stem Cell Institute, KU Leuven (https://www.kuleuven.be/scil/aboutusN/catherineverfaillie) . The aim is to develop high-throughput functional screens of iPSC derived models. The Verfaillie lab created homogeneous populations of highly functional hepatocytes (that are gluconeogenic, with hepatocyte-like mitochondrial function, and CYP450 metabolisation, all similar to primary hepatocytes) as well as different neural progeny (cortical, motor, dopaminergic and sensory neurons; oligodendrocytes, astrocytes, microglia) from normal as well as patient derived and isogenic iPSCs, cultures which were down-scaled to 384 well format plates. In addition, using CRISPR/Cas technology, models that allow lineage tracing and toxicity/phenotypic readouts have been (can be created). Finally, complex 2D and 3D organoid culture models have (are) been developed to better model liver disease and / or neurodegeneration. The Verfaillie lab (https://www.kuleuven.be/scil/aboutusN/catherineverfaillie), in collaboration with VIB Switch group recently obtained funding for a custom-build automated stem cell robotic and high-content imaging. This combined iPSC platform consists of advanced robotized cell culture system (SCARA Robot, Biomek NXp Multichannel Laboratory and Biomek NXp Span-8 Laboratory Automation Workstation built in a 250cm x 290cm Class 100 Enclosure) combined with an Opera-Phenix microscope and an independent liquid handling platform for short term drug/shRNA , … exposures. The KU Leuven Stem Cell Institute, of which Dr. Verfaillie is the head, was founded in 2006 with as goals to further basic research in pluripotent and multipotent stem cell with emphasis on, basic research in de-differentiation and early differentiation of pluripotent stem cells, as well as stem cell biology in the fields of hematopoiesis, musculoskeletal, neurodegenerative and liver disorders. More information related to the Stem Cell Institute Leuven (SCIL) can be found at (http://www.kuleuven.be/scil/)
The successful candidate will work in close collaboration with students/postdocs in the Verfaillie team highly experienced in creating differentiated progeny in the hepatocyte and neuroectodermal lineage from iPSC, and highly versed in CRISPR/Cas mediated genome editing.
In addition, the candidate will also work closely with investigators highly versed in high-content imaging.
The candidate will be responsible for translating iPSC-based assays to high throughput screen assays, such that well-validated and highly translatable assets can be moved towards industry and patients successfully.
The successful candidate should:
Hold a PhD in molecular or cellular biology, biochemistry or bioengineering
Have extensive expertise in iPSC differentiation applications
Have extensive expertise in development of functional screens, preferably in the field of neurodegeneration and/or hepatocyte toxicity
Have an understanding of genome editing by CRISPR/Cas technology
Have outstanding publications in high impact journals
Be structured and responsible
Contribute with enthusiasm to an ambitious and highly interdisciplinary team
Be fluent in written and spoken English.