For more information please contact Prof. dr. Lieve Moons, tel.: +32 16 32 39 91, mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or dr. Lies De Groef, tel.: +32 16 37 37 64, mail: email@example.com.
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You can apply for this job no later than May 10, 2021 via the online application tool
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The quest for neuroprotective and/or regenerative therapies to tackle these degenerative disorders and central nervous system (CNS) trauma is a central theme in our research.
The NCDR has a strong interest in defining cellular/molecular mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration, neuroinflammation and regeneration in the eye/visual system of teleost fish and rodents (for more info see: https://bio.kuleuven.be/df/lm). We position the eye ‘as a window to the brain’, allowing preclinical research into pathological processes contributing to human neurodegenerative diseases.
As the CNS of adult mammals has a limited regenerative capacity, identifying cellular and molecular mechanisms that enable neuronal circuit regeneration and functional recovery indeed forms a critical step towards designing future pro-regenerative therapies. Besides a special interest in defining the role of neuroinflammatory processes in de- and regeneration, we study an essential component of the neuronal circuitry that has been overlooked for decades: the dendrites. Based on recent intriguing findings, we hypothesize an antagonistic interplay between dendritic remodeling and axon outgrowth in the damaged CNS and are investigating intracellular energy channeling as an underlying mechanism.
To tackle our research questions, we use mouse, zebrafish and killifish models and pursue a multidisciplinary approach in which advanced in vivo ocular imaging technologies and visual function tests are being combined with detailed morphological phenotyping, using confocal/multiphoton/light-sheet microscopy, optical clearing and time-lapse imaging, and longitudinal and post-mortem morphometrical analyses to follow inflammatory and de/regenerative processes. Besides, ex vivo/in vitro retinal tissue/cell cultures, state-of-the-art opto- & chemogenetic, cell sorting and (single-cell) omics approaches are available to further study the cellular and molecular pathways underlying neuroprotection/regeneration. All research runs within the ‘Vision Core Leuven’, a preclinical animal platform which brings together cutting-edge technologies within the field of ocular imaging, electrophysiology and visual function testing in laboratory animals (see: https://www.visioncore.be/).
With the aforementioned research approaches we are generating big and complex data, including large omics datasets and spatiotemporal imaging data. To create and apply computational methods for the integrative analysis of complex biological processes in high-dimensional and multi-modal data sets and mine the data to the maximum, we are looking for a bioinformatics expert, willing the work at KU Leuven, one of Europe’s most innovative universities located in a vibrant and young student town in Belgium.
As an ideal applicant for this position,
Financing is available, but a later application for a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Individual Fellowship, Belgian FWO post-doctoral fellowship or equivalent, is preferred.