Postdoctoral position in neurobiology

Updated: about 2 months ago
Deadline: 30 Sep 2021

(ref. BAP-2021-684)

Laatst aangepast : 2/09/2021

The octopus is a mollusk with a complex nervous system containing half a billion neurons (similar to a small primate), millisecond camouflage and sophisticated behavior suggesting complex cognition. Yet at the basic molecular and neurochemical levels the octopus brain remains enigmatic, and shows fundamental differences from the better-studied brains of vertebrates. For example, whereas vertebrate brains use three excitatory transmitters (glutamate, ACh and serotonin) for fast neurotransmission, we have recently discovered dopamine-gated cation channels that are expressed in the optic lobe of the octopus brain. Understanding the roles of these channels in visual processing will help reveal how complex intelligence can arise from molecular and cellular building blocks very different from our own. Within the framework of this project, we seek to hire a postdoctoral researcher that can develop in vitro and in vivo models of developing neural tissue as well as methodologies for genetic manipulation and neural activity measurements in octopus brain organoids. The project is a joint project between the teams of Eve Seuntjens (KU Leuven) and Bill Schafer (LMB Cambridge/KU Leuven), and involves close collaboration with the teams of Adrian Ranga (KU Leuven), Stein Aerts (VIB/KU Leuven) and Dries Braeken (IMEC). This multidisciplinary project thus provides an opportunity to apply and learn from a wide range of approaches, including cellular and developmental neuroscience, electrophysiology, molecular genetics and organoid culture.

  • You will develop novel methodologies for in vitro culture, genome editing and neural activity measurements using various techniques in vitro and in vivo 
  • You are responsible for the execution and administration of your project, including ethical documentation, project reporting, publication and data presentation in conferences
  • You will travel regularly to Tenerife to collect live specimen
  • You will supervise bachelor and master students
  • You will collaborate closely with colleagues in the different projects
  • You will contribute to outreach activities and teaching
  • You will apply for personal postdoctoral fellowship funding

  • PhD in biology-related topic
  • Expertise in electrophysiology and neural activity measurements
  • Proficient in various cell and tissue culture methods
  • Expertise in molecular biology methods
  • International mobility is a plus
  • Competitive CV for application of fellowships such as EMBO, Marie Curie, FWO
  • Strong profile in or ambition to develop outreach activities and teaching
  • Expertise in non-model species biology is a plus


One year contract, renewable to 3 years pending satisfactory progress, or successful fellowship application.


For more information please contact Prof. dr. Eve Seuntjens, tel.: +32 16 37 31 35, mail: or Prof. dr. William Schafer, tel.: +32 16 19 38 43, mail:

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