Postdoc position in Automated Optogenetic Control of Cellular Dynamics (1.0 FTE)

Updated: about 2 months ago
Deadline: 26 Oct 2022

Postdoc position in Automated Optogenetic Control of Cellular Dynamics (1.0 FTE)
Postdoc position in Automated Optogenetic Control of Cellular Dynamics (1.0 FTE)
Published Deadline Location
today 26 Oct Utrecht

Become part of a unique interdisciplinary programme and develop microscopy-guided automated real-time control of biological processes.
Job description

Become part of the new research consortium IMAGINE! (Innovative Microscopy And Guidance of cells In their Native Environment). Our programme aims to transform cell biology by developing and applying advanced microscopy and real-time molecular manipulation techniques to study cells in their natural complexity and diversity. The consortium will form a unique and highly interdisciplinary team that combines cell, organoid, and tissue biology, as well as chemical and optical cell manipulation to study cell behaviour in development, cancer, and targeted drug delivery.
You will be part of the research group of Lukas Kapitein at Utrecht University. In this Postdoc position you will develop event-driven imaging and high-precision control strategies to enable real-time manipulation of key aspects of cell and developmental biology (smart microscopy). Ultimately, the goal is to establish microscopy-guided automated real-time control of biological processes. This will enable automatic identification of certain cellular states or events (e.g. a cell in mitosis, a cell moving out of a niche) within a tissue followed by the automatic and iterative light-driven perturbations that can alter the cellular state or event (e.g. altering the orientation of the mitotic spindle, directing cells to specific locations). You will collaborate with different research groups within the IMAGINE! project. For the biological systems you will work closely with the Van de Heuvel , Akhmanova  and Rios groups. With the Smal and Smith groups you will collaborate to develop real-time analysis and control strategies.

  • 38—40 hours per week
  • €2960—€4670 per month
  • Utrecht View on Google Maps

Utrecht University


We are looking for a candidate who is interested to work in a highly collaborative and interdisciplinary environment and is eager to become part of this unique project. We would like you to bring:

  • a PhD degree (or equivalent) in (bio)physics, biochemistry or cell biology;
  • expertise in programming and instrumentation control;
  • experience with cell biology and basic molecular biology;
  • analytical and problem solving skills;
  • proficiency in written and spoken English.

If you feel that this role is the perfect match, but you do not yet meet all the qualifications, we also welcome you to apply.

Conditions of employment
We offer:
  • a position for a year, that can be prolonged after a positive evaluation;
  • the full-time gross salary, depending on previous qualifications and experience, ranges between €2,960 and €4,670 (scale 10 according to the Collective Labor Agreement Dutch Universities (CAO)) per month for full-time employment);
  • 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 laid down in the CAO for Dutch Universities, Utrecht University has a number of its own arrangements. For example, there are agreements on professional development, leave arrangements and sports. We also give you the opportunity to expand your terms of employment via the Employment Conditions Selection Model. This is how we like to encourage you to continue to grow.
For more information, please visit working at the Faculty of Science . 


Utrecht University is a friendly and ambitious university at the heart of an ancient city. We love to welcome new scientists to our city – a thriving cultural hub that is consistently rated as one of the world’s happiest cities. We are renowned for our innovative interdisciplinary research and our emphasis on inspirational research and excellent education. We are equally well-known for our informal atmosphere and the can-do mentality of our people. This lively and inspiring academic environment attracts professors, researchers and PhD candidates from all over the globe, making both the University and the Faculty of Science a vibrant international and wonderfully diverse community.
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. Find out more about the Faculty of Science .
You will be embedded in the Department of Biology of Utrecht University within the division of Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Biophysics . This division has the mission to acquire novel insights into the structure and function of cells and to decipher the cellular basis for human diseases such as cancer and neurological disorders. To achieve this goal, we combine the latest methods in molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics and microscopy. We are interested in the mechanisms underlying cytoskeletal dynamics, membrane transport and signalling pathways that underlie cell proliferation and differentiation, neuronal development and synaptic plasticity. We investigate cellular processes at a broad range of levels, from single molecules and protein networks to cells, tissues, and whole organisms. The main research topics within the division are cellular organization and dynamics, molecular neuroscience, biophysics, synaptic physiology, molecular oncology and molecular targeted therapies. The division also encompasses the Utrecht Nanobody Facility , the Cellular Engineering Facility   and the Biology Imaging Center (BIC) , an expert center for advanced light microscopy that houses a large number of advanced microscopy setups.
This position is one of many PhD and postdoc positions available as part of the gravitational programme IMAGINE! (Innovative Microscopy And Guidance of cells In their Native Environment). IMAGINE! is an interdisciplinary programme combining cell, organoid, and tissue biology, as well as chemical and optical cell manipulation and analysis to study cell behaviour in development and cancer, and targeted drug delivery. Participating institutes are based throughout the Netherlands in Utrecht, Amsterdam, Delft, Rotterdam, Nijmegen, and Eindhoven. For more information on the individual positions, please visit the IMAGINE! programme website .

Additional information

If you have any questions about this position, please contact Lukas Kapitein via .
Do you have a question about the application procedure? Please send an email to .

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Application procedure

Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives.
To apply, please send your curriculum vitae, including a letter of motivation via the 'apply' button. Reference letters are optional but appreciated. Data Privacy note: Applications will be shared between participating institutes of IMAGINE! for the purpose and the duration of the recruitment process.
If you are interested in several positions of IMAGINE! we encourage you to apply for multiple positions (please indicate this by including the job title(s) and associated institute(s) in your application letter).
We highly encourage candidates from diverse backgrounds and nationalities to apply. We strive to create an open, diverse, and inclusive work environment for everyone. People of any gender identity, ethnicity or sexual orientation are welcome.
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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