Potdoc - Basic mechanisms of pain in polycystic kidney disease

Updated: 2 months ago
Deadline: 06 Mar 2023

(ref. BAP-2023-29)

Laatst aangepast : 23/01/2023

The PKD research and the Laboratory of Ion Channel Research are a team of preclinical and clinical researchers with extensive and complementary expertise in ion channel biology and human diseases. Our translational research focuses on understanding autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) and the discovery of new therapeutic pathways. ADPKD is the most common inherited kidney disorder, and is characterized by the progressive development of renal cysts leading to kidney failure and the need for dialysis and transplantation. Currently there is no cure for ADPKD, and many aspects of the disease are difficult to treat because of a lack of understanding of underlying mechanisms. For a primer on who we are, what we do and our latest publications, see https://gbiomed.kuleuven.be/pkdresearchgroup https://gbiomed.kuleuven.be/LICR


Using a highly translational approach, encompassing cellular and molecular studies, preclinical animal models and clinical trials (in healthy subjects and patients), you will search to understand the fundamental processes that contribute to pain associated with polycystic kidney disease. Our goal is to exploit these insights for the development of novel therapies to prevent, diagnose or alleviate chronic pain in these populations. The project is embedded in a strong collaborative network with international partners at the University of Yale (USA), Mayo Clinic (USA) and the PKD Foundation (https://pkdcure.org/funded-research/). 

  • PhD in a topic related to ADPKD, neuroscience and/or cell physiology.
  • Strong interest in studying fundamental mechanisms of disease.
  • A solid publication record with first-author research publication(s) in peer-reviewed international journals.
  • Expertise in isolation and functional analysis of primary sensory neurons.
  • Expertise in methods to study neuronal cell signaling and function. 
  • Previous experience with behavioral analysis of laboratory animals is a plus.
  • Previous experience with -omics approaches is a plus.
  • Highly motivated, enthusiastic, critical and creative.
  • The ability to work in a multidisciplinary team is a must.
  • A passion to tackle scientific challenges is mandatory.

  • A versatile and challenging job
  • A vibrant, world-class research environment operating at an international level
  • Access to the resources of two host institutions:
              VIB (http://www.vib.be/en/about-vib/organization/Pages/default.aspx), an excellence-based research institute
              KU Leuven, one of Europe’s leading research universities (https://www.kuleuven.be/english/why-choose-kuleuven.html)
  • State of the art research facilities
  • A dedicated training program to broaden your expertise and enhance your skillset
  • A competitive compensation package based on expertise and experience
  • Financial support for at least 1 year. The successful candidate is encouraged to obtain a personal fellowship (Marie-Curie, HFSP, EMBO, or national funding organizations)


For more information please contact Prof. dr. Rudi Vennekens, tel.: +32 16 33 02 18, mail: rudi.vennekens@kuleuven.be. Please complete the online application procedure and include a detailed CV including list of publications, a motivation letter, and the contact information of three referees.

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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