PhD Position – Unraveling the molecular mechanisms underlying Charcot-Marie-Tooth neuropathies

Updated: 4 months ago

PhD Position – Unraveling the molecular mechanisms underlying Charcot-Marie-Tooth neuropathies


We are a highly  motivated, international team of researchers belonging to the Molecular Neurogenomics Group at the VIB-UAntwerp Center for Molecular Neurology (, looking for an enthusiastic colleague who wants to perform his/her PhD study on unraveling the molecular mechanisms underlying the most common genetic disorder of the peripheral nervous system, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease.

The main topic of our lab is the identification and characterization of genes and pathways implicated in the molecular etiology of Charcot-Marie-Tooth neuropathies. This is our way to understand the pathomechanisms and design strategies for prevention and treatment of these devastating diseases. Our research strategy is not limited to one experimental approach, but starts with mutation identification in patients and extends to studying the molecular mechanisms triggered by these mutations in model systems, like Drosophila, yeast or human cells.

Our lab was first to discover that mutations in the HINT1 gene cause a specific form of Charcot- Marie-Tooth neuropathy (Zimon et al., Nature Genetics 2012). While we established that the degeneration of the peripheral nerves is due to a loss of functional HINT1 protein, the molecular and cellular aspects of the disease pathology are not known yet. In the advertised research project, the PhD student will use functional genomics, transcriptomics and cell biological approaches in both cellular (iPSC-derived patient’s motoneurons and CRISPR/Cas9- knockout cells) and small organism (Drosophila and yeast) models, to gain insights into the molecular etiology of HINT1-neuropathies. The successful candidate will join an ongoing project and will be embedded in a multi-disciplinary team of wet lab scientists and clinical experts.

As part of the VIB-UAntwerp Center for Molecular Neurology ( and VIB (, the PhD student will benefit from established collaborations and access to centralized facilities with expertise in genomics, functional genomics and cell biology, proteomics, cutting-edge microscopy, structural biology, technology development, and bioinformatics. VIB provides a highly interactive environment and ample training opportunities for its researchers. In addition, the VIB-UAntwerp Center for Molecular Neurology is located in the city of Antwerp, the capital of Flanders, offering a culturally and historically rich, and ethnically diverse environment.


Predoctoral candidates are expected to have:

  • Master degree in molecular biology, cell biology, biochemistry or biomedicine;
  • Knowledge in bioinformatics or experience with iPSC cultures would be an advantage;
  • Ability  to  summarize  data  extracted  from  the  literature  and  to  define  research objectives,
  • Self-motivation, flexibility, mobility and team spirit;
  • Excellent verbal and written English communication skills

How to apply?

Please e-mail your:

  • Detailed CV containing list of publications (if any)
  • One-page  motivation  letter  including  description  of  previous  research  experience  and research interests
  • Names and addresses of 2 referees


Contact:  More  details  on  the  project  can  be  obtained  from  Prof. Albena  Jordanova,  PhD (

VIB-UAntwerp Center for Molecular Neurology, University of Antwerp-CDE

Universiteitsplein 1 2610 ANTWERPEN Tel: +32-3- 265.10.25

The University of Antwerp is a family friendly organization, with a focus on equal opportunities and diversity. Our HR-policy for researchers was awarded by the European Commission with the quality label HR Excellence in research .

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