Protein structural dynamics and folding using single molecule FRET

26 February 2020

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For more information please contact Prof. dr. Tassos Economou, tel.: +32 16 37 92 73, mail: or Mrs. Lily Karamanou, tel.: +32 16 37 92 08, mail:

You can apply for this job no later than May 31, 2020 via the online application tool

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Apply before 31 May 2020

The Laboratory of Molecular Bacteriology, Rega Institute, KU Leuven ( wishes to recruit two postdoctoral fellows.

The available projects focus on:

a. Structural dynamics basis and regulation of delayed secretory protein folding and its comparison to cytoplasmic protein folding and interaction with chaperones.

b. Structural dynamics of membrane associated/embedded channels and motors

We study protein trafficking through the Sec and the Type III secretion systems (Vandenberk 2018 Structure; Chatzi 2017 JCellBio; Portaliou 2018 EMBO J; Saio
2014 Science 344, 6184; Gouridis 2013 Molecular Cell 52, 655; Chen 2011 Molecular Cell 44, 734; Gouridis 2009 Nature 462, 363; Gelis 2007
Cell 131, 756) and disordered/flexible human proteins involved in disease and chaperoning (e.g. Bcl-2, prolyl oligopeptidase, -secretase; Monaco 2017 FEBS; Tsirigotaki 2017 SciReports). We have a very international lab environment and use multi-disciplinary approaches that combine molecular microbiology and genetics, recombinant DNA technologies, enzymology, protein chemistry, protein biophysics (including Hydrogen Deuterium Exchange/Native/nanoLC mass spectrometries, Isothermal Titration Calorimetry, Circular Dichroism, ensemble fluorescence, size exclusion chromatography coupled online to static and dynamic laser light scattering detection) structural biology, single molecule FRET. All methods are applicable on lab equipment.

Our lab's smFRET equipment consists of a Microtime200 (Picoquant) confocal microscope equipped with piezo scanners (xy and z) and dual channel detection, operating in a dedicated temperature controlled room. We currently have a fully set-up pipeline for smFRET measurements from protein modification, expression, purification, labeling, surface immobilization, microscopy measurements to data analysis using both literature methods as well as in-house developed software. We also have direct access to light-sheet microscopes (SPIM, SIM), as well as super-resolution microscopes (PALM/STORM, Abberior STED) through KU Leuven core facilities.

Website unit


Planning and execution of experimentsWriting of papersPresentation at meetings


Successful candidates should:

· hold a PhD in Physics/Chemistry/Biochemistry or related degree with experience in using confocal (FRET) or TIRF microscopies to analyze protein structural dynamics, interactions or folding particularly at single molecule level using solution or surface-immobilization.

· experience in the preparation/handling of proteins and biochemical assays

· additional experience in biophysical methods, data analysis or programming is welcome.

· have a genuine interest in research and scientific discovery and a good command of English


Full-time postdoctoral position