PhD student/Postdoctoral position on molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying neurorepair in...

Updated: about 1 month ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 20 Jun 2022

There is an unmet need for successful neurorepair in aged patients and therefore, for innovations in therapies. We use the African turquoise killifish (Nothobranchius furzeri), the shortest-living vertebrate laboratory species that displays all cellular and molecular aging hallmarks characteristic to humans, as a model for in-depth investigations into brain aging. Recently, we have discovered that although young killifish are capable of full-blown neurorecovery upon injury, aged killifish lose these abilities. Aged killifish rather mimic the restricted repair capacities of (aged) mammalian brains, including chronic inflammation and glial scarring. In addition, we show a change in the number, morphology and the gene expression of progenitor cells (PCs) in the telencephalon due to aging, indicating a change in the cellular composition of the telencephalon, possibly linked to changes in cell state concerning the potency/failure for full-blown neuro-regeneration upon age. Our research group aims to extract new rejuvenation strategies from the killifish by reversing this aging-induced low repair capacity and to reinstate the high neuroregenerative abilities seen in young adult killifish. In this project, we aim to primarily focus on characterizing the progenitors and the true astroglia in the killifish.


Van Houcke J, Mariën V, Zandecki C, ..., Ayana R, ... & Arckens, L. (2021). Aging impairs the essential contributions of non‐glial progenitors to neurorepair in the dorsal telencephalon of the Killifish Nothobranchius furzeri. Aging cell (2021), 20(9), e13464.

Ayana, R, Zandecki, C., Mariën, V., Seuntjens, E., & Arckens, L. Single-cell sequencing of the adult killifish (N.furzeri) brain identifies an atypical progenitor, glial and neuronal heterogeneity. bioRxiv (2021)

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