Discovery of mechanisms underlying altered cell function and cell-cell communication contributing to cardiac remodelling during disease and ageing by single cell omics.

Updated: about 2 months ago
Deadline: 09 Jan 2023

(ref. BAP-2022-873)

Laatst aangepast : 4/12/2022

The Laboratory of Experimental Cardiology: The Laboratory of Experimental Cardiology sits alongside clinical and basic research groups within the Department of Cardiovascular Sciences involved in translational research investigating cardiac structural, contractile and electrical remodeling processes during cardiovascular disease. Our research involves investigations from the cellular to the organ level, molecular mechanisms, left and right ventricular mechanics and impact of different interventions and anaesthetics. The laboratory is highly international consisting of post-doctoral scientists, PhD students and technicians. We also collaborate widely with external partners to advance our research and provide opportunities for training. The laboratory is equipped with the wide range of expertise and skills required to manipulate and probe the transcriptome/epigenome (and the mechanisms governing functions and phenotype of the heart and cardiac myocyte fate choices). These resources span across large preclinical and small animal models of cardiovascular disease, iPS cells, 10x sequencing RNA-Seq, ChiP-Seq, DNA (hydroxy)methylation analysis and analysis of excitation contraction coupling. You will receive extensive training and support in these areas. Through our excellent local and international collaborators and core facilities, you will have access to additional expertise and tools. The Department of Cardiovascular Sciences: The Department is situated on the Biomedical Campus of KU Leuven. It has the entire range of competences from basic science, over pre-clinical modeling to applied clinical and epidemiological research, taking a systems approach to the complexity of cardiovascular disorders. The University: KU Leuven offers a stimulating environment for international students and support for junior scientists to achieve their ambitions and in career development. The Project: "Discovery of mechanisms underlying altered cell function and cell-cell communication contributing to cardiac remodelling during disease and ageing by single cell omics." Single cell analysis for discovery of mechanisms underlying cardiac remodelling during disease and ageing: We have an open wet/dry (bioinformatician) lab postdoctoral position in our lab to develop a project on understanding the changes in cell phenotypes during heart failure and ageing and its potential for reverse remodelling after unloading. During the progression to heart failure, substantial changes in cell phenotypes, composition and interactions are described that contribute to pathology. How these overlap with remodelling during healthy ageing and whether there is capacity for reversal is not resolved. Further, how the ageing epigenome contributes to the altered gene expression underlying the phenotypic remodelling and whether it can be modified for cardiac benefit is not established. Building on recent developments in our lab and emerging datasets from elsewhere, we aim to investigate at the single cell level the remodelling during disease and ageing as well as following removal of the trigger for remodelling – for example after unloading. To these ends, we will use animal models and human tissue, which we will subsequently analyse by single cell RNA-sequencing and epigenetic analysis and by multidimensional functional and histological imaging. Mechanistic studies in cell and animal models are used to test hypothesis. This project sits alongside others in the laboratory aimed to understand cardiac remodelling during disease and ageing as well as how regenerative programmes can be re-engaged in the heart.


Responsibilities

You will develop your own project in the area of cardiovascular remodelling with a particular aim to identify new regulatory nodes in the control of the phenotypic switches and interactions between the different cell types of the heart.
You will collaborate with other members of the laboratory.
You will be expected to develop expertise in areas necessary for successful progress of your project. 
You will be expected to perform experiments ranging from cell biological to in vivo analysis.
You will be expected to present your work at conferences, lab meeting, and departmental meetings.


Profile

You are motivated, have an enquiring mind and are excited by science.
You are ideally experienced in NGS approaches, including RNA-Seq. Experience in single cell methods is also an advantage.
Experience with NGS data processing and working knowledge of R and bioconductor packages would be an advantage. 
You have experience in cell biology and mouse models/experiments and are driven to establish mechanisms controlling cell function.
Experience in cardiovascular research including animal models is desirable.
You have a demonstrated ability to perform high-level biomedical research.
You enjoy collaborating with your colleagues and externally to scientific advance.
You hold a PhD degree in Biomedical Sciences, Bioinformatics, Cell Biology, Biochemistry or other similar domain of life sciences with working knowledge in relevant areas.
You are a team player with excellent written and oral communication skills in English
You are an independent thinker who can drive a project forward.
You enjoy presenting your data to collaborators and to the community at scientific meetings.
You perform your research to the highest standards and integrity.


Offer

A position for 2 years with possibility for extension.
A stimulating and supportive environment in which you acquire expertise as a multidisciplinary researcher.
Opportunity to develop yourself as an independent researcher. 
Support to apply for independent funding from the national and international funding agencies including the Flemish Research Council (FWO) and the EU.


Interested?

Please send your CV, motivation letter and 2 recommendation letters to Prof. Dr. H. Llewelyn Roderick, Email: (Llewelyn.roderick@kuleuven.be). Please also apply via the online portal of KU Leuven.


KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at diversiteit.HR@kuleuven.be.


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