Postdoctoral Researcher (or PhD student) in Neuroimaging - Neurophotonics

Updated: 2 months ago
Deadline: 15 Sep 2022

(ref. BAP-2022-557)

Laatst aangepast : 1/08/2022

P. Vanden Berghe is responsible for the Lab. for Enteric NeuroScience (LENS) and the Cell & tissue Imaging Cluster (a KUL core facility). Apart from studying the enteric nervous system that is localized in the gut wall and controls the different functions of the gastrointestinal tract, LENS mainly utilizes advanced microscopy tools to investigate neuronal function, including synaptic communication and axonal transport phenomena. We have been implementing second and third harmonic imaging as label-free imaging techniques to assess neuronal function. The lab houses several advanced cell imaging systems (2-photon; single photon; spinning disk confocal microscopes, Ca imaging setups, superresolution Abberior STED), most of them designed for live cell and tissue imaging.


In this project, we will explore the full extent of second and third harmonic imaging along with 2P fluorescence imaging techniques to investigate microtubular structures in neurons, neuronal activity and neurodegeneration of peripheral nerves. Using non-linear optical approaches, structural information of specific biomolecules or the organization of nerves can be revealed in a label-free way. In combination with calcium imaging, electrical and optogenetic technology, we aim to investigate the relation between neuronal activity, axonal transport and microtubule structure both in the CNS, peripheral and the enteric nervous system (ENS).


Profile and requirements:

  • You received basic or advanced training in optics and have a keen interest in (neuro)biology or vice versa.
  • You are a strong team player and motivated to become part of a multidisciplinary research group.
  • You communicate well in English and have experience writing scientific papers in English
  • You are passionate about (optical) technology, as well as neurosciences.

Postdoctoral researcher: 

  • You obtained a doctoral degree (no longer than 3-5 years ago) in optics/physics/technology or in the domain of life sciences (biotechnology, biology, biochemistry; bio-engineering (bio)medical sciences) or equivalent.
  • Experience with or a keen interest in microscopic imaging or electrophysiology techniques (immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence, confocal microscopy, live cell imaging, patch-clamp) is required.
  • Experience with harmonic imaging (second & third) is an asset
  • Some experience with electrophysiological techniques and cell culture is an asset.
  • You have experience with supervising PhD and master’s students.
  • You have a clear interest in quantitative approaches and have experience with image analysis.
  • You are willing to apply for an FWO postdoctoral fellowship (check eligibility here)
  • Candidates who are eligible for Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowships (checkeligibility here) or Human Frontiers programs (check eligibility here) are encouraged to apply 

PhD student:

  • You hold a master’s degree in optics/physics/technology or in the domain of life sciences (biotechnology, biology, biochemistry; bio-engineering (bio)medical sciences).
  • You have a keen interest in (optical) microscopy and a good understanding of (neuro) biology (or vice versa)
  • You have a critical scientific and quantitative attitude.
  • Students who are eligible for a Chinese Student Council (CSC) fellowship or a fellowship from theTaiwanese government (infoare encouraged to apply.


We offer:

  • A position as a full-time (100%) postdoctoral fellow/researcher on an annual contract basis with the possibility of renewal within the budgetary limits of the project and depending on a positive evaluation.
  • A dynamic research environment with access to multiple advanced imaging systems set in a vast neuroscience community.
  • Salary scales are according to university regulations within the available budget of the research project and depending on the candidate's useful former professional experience.
  • Starting date: as soon as possible.

Living in Leuven:


For more information please contact Prof. dr. Pieter Vanden Berghe, tel.: +32 16 33 01 53, mail:

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