Postdoc in The Membrane Connection of Coenzyme A (1.0 FTE)

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Postdoc in The Membrane Connection of Coenzyme A (1.0 FTE)

Job description

The maintenance of proper cellular levels of coenzyme A (CoA) through biosynthesis, uptake of precursors and degradation, is essential in all forms of life. Interference with CoA homeostasis leads to specific devastating CoA-linked diseases. Recent research in insect cell and yeast models has provided clues that CoA deficiency-induced changes in membrane lipid composition may facilitate uptake of CoA precursors ameliorating CoA deficiency.
In this position you will take on the exciting challenge of elucidating the mechanism of lipid composition-dependent membrane transport of CoA precursors. To do so, you will employ biochemical, molecular biological, and biophysical approaches and techniques. You will set up model systems in S. cerevisiae mimicking the affected human tissues. You will investigate the uptake of metabolic precursors of CoA in mammalian, insect and yeast (mutant) cells. By applying biophysical techniques you will examine the interaction of CoA precursors with membrane lipids, and measure membrane permeation of CoA precursors in protein-free model membrane systems. You will analyse how glycerolipid synthesis and cellular lipid composition are affected by CoA levels using state-of-the-art lipidomics approaches. You will genetically modify membrane lipid composition (e.g. Bao et al. EMBO J 2021) to test the effect on uptake of relevant CoA precursors. You will also have the opportunity to obtain teaching experience and improve your academic skills while supervising undergraduate students.
This 3.5 year fully funded project is part of a new collaboration between the Sibon (UMCG, Groningen) and De Kroon (UU) groups, funded by ZonMw and aimed at developing new treatments for CoA-linked diseases. Throughout the project you will closely collaborate with your counterpart at UMCG.


We are looking for an ambitious and creative molecular life scientist who is interested in working at the interface of biochemistry, biophysics and genetics. You enjoy being part of an interdisciplinary team of scientists, and meet multiple if not all of the following criteria:

  • a PhD in biochemistry, molecular biology, biotechnology or related discipline;
  • demonstrated extensive experience with (yeast) molecular biology and genetics;
  • experience with or a strong interest in (yeast) membrane and cell biology;
  • experience with biophysical approaches using model membranes is a plus;
  • strong motivation, flexibility, and the ability to run multiple projects simultaneously;
  • excellent communication skills in English, both oral and written.

  • A position for a period of 3.5 years. The initial appointment is for one year with the extension for the remaining period pending on evaluation;
  • a full-time gross salary ranging from €2,960 to €4,670 in scale 10;
  • 8% holiday bonus and 8.3% end-of-year bonus;
  • a pension scheme, partially paid parental leave, and flexible employment conditions based on the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities.

In addition to the employment conditions from the CAO for Dutch Universities, Utrecht University has a number of its own arrangements. These include agreements on professional development, leave arrangements and sports. We also give you the opportunity to expand your terms of employment through the Employment Conditions Selection Model. This is how we encourage you to grow. For more information, please visit working at Utrecht University .

About the organization

A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University , the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major strategic themes . Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Sustainability.
At the Faculty of Science , there are 6 departments to make a fundamental connection with: Biology, Chemistry, Information and Computing Sciences, Mathematics, Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Physics. Each of these is made up of distinct institutes that work together to focus on answering some of humanity’s most pressing problems. More fundamental still are the individual research groups – the building blocks of our ambitious scientific projects. For more information, please visit working at the Faculty of Science
Research in the Membrane Biochemistry and Biophysics group focusses on the molecular mechanisms of cellular processes that involve biological membranes. We aim to unravel mechanisms underlying membrane assembly, homeostasis and function, with special emphasis on the lipid-protein interactions involved. Our research will help improve fundamental understanding of membrane function and provide insights in membrane-related diseases (such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease). In flanking applied research we investigate the modes of action of e.g. membrane-active drugs. Within MBB the team of Toon de Kroon studies membrane lipid homeostasis in the reference eukaryote S. cerevisiae. MBB participates in the Bijvoet Centre for Biomolecular Research and in the Institute of Biomembranes .

Additional information

For more information about this vacancy, please contact Dr. Toon de Kroon via .
Do you have a question about the application procedure? Please send an email to .
Are you an international applicant? Our International Service Desk can answer your questions about living in the Netherlands as international staff .


Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives. 
If you are enthusiastic about this position, please send your application via the ‘apply’ button. Please enclose:

  • your letter of motivation;
  • your curriculum vitae;
  • the names, telephone numbers, and email addresses of at least two references.

If this specific opportunity isn’t for you, but you know someone else who may be interested, please forward this vacancy to them.
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