10 November 2021

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For more information please contact Prof. dr. Chris Ulens, tel.: +32 16 33 06 89, mail: can apply for this job no later than January 12, 2022 via the online application tool

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(ref. BAP-2021-404)

Apply before 12 January 2022

One post-doctoral position and one PhD position are available in the Laboratory of Prof. Chris Ulens, KU Leuven, Belgium ( The research in the Laboratory of Structural Neurobiology is aimed at understanding the molecular mechanism of ligand-gated ion channels. Our methods rely on X-ray crystallography and cryo-EM in combination with electrophysiological recordings and fluorescence-based techniques. Our laboratory hosts an integrated macromolecular crystallization facility with a Mosquito crystallization robot and two RockImagers. We have access to a 200 kV Glacios microscope on campus as well as 300 kV JEOL CryoARM300 at the nearby EM facility in Brussels. Current projects are situated at the crossroads of structural elucidation and drug discovery of different pentameric ligand-gated ion channels.

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We would like to recruit a post-doc and PhD student with prior experience in purification, cryo-EM or X-ray crystallography of membrane proteins. The position is open immediately and applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Applicants are requested to submit a CV with publication list and two references. E-mail to

Selection of recent publications:

A lipid site shapes the agonist response of a pentameric ligand-gated ionchannel. Hénault CM, Govaerts C, Spurny R, Brams M, Estrada-Mondragon A, LynchJ, Bertrand D, Pardon E, Evans GL, Woods K, Elberson BW, Cuello LG, BranniganG, Nury H, Steyaert J, Baenziger JE, Ulens C. Nat Chem Biol.2019;15(12):1156-1164. doi: 10.1038/s41589-019-0369-4.

Modulation of the Erwinia ligand-gated ion channel (ELIC) and the 5-HT3 receptor via a common vestibule site. Brams M, Govaerts C, Kambara K, Price KL, Spurny R,Gharpure A, Pardon E, Evans GL, Bertrand D, Lummis SC, Hibbs RE, Steyaert J,Ulens C. Elife. 2020;9:e51511. doi: 10.7554/eLife.51511.

The structural basis for an on-off switch controlling Gβγ-mediated inhibition of TRPM3 channels. Behrendt M, Gruss F, Enzeroth R, Dembla S, Zhao S, Crassous PA,Mohr F, Nys M, Louros N, Gallardo R, Zorzini V, Wagner D, Economou A, RousseauF, Schymkowitz J, Philipp SE, Rohacs T, Ulens C, Oberwinkler J. Proc Natl AcadSci U S A. 2020;117(46):29090-29100. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2001177117.


The successful candidate:

- easily communicates in an open verbal manner and has a team player spirit

- has an ambitious work ethic

- critically contributes to writing of manuscripts and grant proposals

- makes efforts to obtain independent funding- meets intermediate deadlines and brings projects to a successful end

- fuels internal discussions of recent publications in the field

- sets an example to younger PhD students in the lab

- identifies directions for future scientific research


We offer a postdoctoral research position within one of the top innovating universities in Europe. The contract is initially for 1 year, but renewable for up to 3-4 years depending on a positive yearly evaluation.