Neuro-Electronics Research Flanders

Holt / Bonin Labs - Junior Researcher

  • Date of Posting: 24.03.2016
  • Location: Leuven, Belgium
  • Employer: Holt / Bonin Labs
  • Job Time: full-time
  • Position: Research Position
  • Application start: 01.04.2016

The labs of Matthew Holt and Vincent Bonin are looking to recruit a joint research fellow (PhD student or Post-Doc) to start a project in late 2016 or early 2017.

To date, the majority of CNS studies have focused on understanding the function of neurons – which are traditionally viewed as the computational units of the brain. However, the vast majority of cells in the mammalian CNS are actually astrocytes. It is now becoming increasingly obvious that astrocytes are involved in all aspects of CNS function, including the active modulation of information transfer at synapses.

The project:
Calcium is known to be an important second messenger in many cellular processes. This is also the case in astrocytes, which respond to neurotransmitter release from neurons with an increase in their levels of intracellular calcium. To date, however, the majority of experiments addressing this phenomenon have been made ex vivo in slice preparations (due to technical limitations). In this project, we seek to apply the latest molecular tools and imaging techniques to understand the molecular pathways by which astrocytes mediate CNS function in vivo.

Master’s or Ph.D. degree in the biological, physical or computational sciences and keen interest in neuroscience and strong quantitative abilities. Preference will be given to candidates with experience in systems neuroscience, in vivo physiology, and/or in vivo cellular imaging. Fluency in at least one programming language (e.g. MATLAB or Python) is required. Experience with modern molecular biology techniques is an advantage but not necessary, as all relevant training will be provided.

What we offer:
This project is a collaboration between the groups of Matthew Holt (molecular tools) and Vincent Bonin (in vivo imaging). Working time will be split between the VIB Center for the Biology of Disease (Holt) and the neighboring NERF institute (Bonin). Both institutes have strong neuroscience programs and offer state-of- the-art facilities.

We offer the successful candidate a renewable contract, a competitive salary and benefits (although candidates will also be expected to apply for their own external funding).

A good knowledge of English is sufficient for all communications, both within and outside the partner institutes.

Situated in the university town of Leuven (close to Brussels and with excellent transport links), the position is ideally suited to international candidates.

How to apply?
If you are a motivated and interactive individual, with a strong interest in combining the latest molecular and physiological tools to answer neuroscience questions, please send your CV, a short letter of motivation and the names of three referees to Matthew Holt AND Vincent Bonin.

Prof. Matthew Holt -  Prof. Vincent Bonin