We are looking for a highly skilled and motivated PhD candidate in interdisciplinary biophysics to decipher protein self-assembly in neurodegenerative disease using quantitative label-free and super-resolution multimodal microscopy.
Many diseases are associated with the formation of aberrant protein aggregates, yet controlled oligomerization provides advantages for biological structure and function. Among them are neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s or Huntington’s that are to date incurable and pose one of the grand challenges for society. Despite tremendous progress it remains unclear what causes neuronal toxicity. Different types of assemblies (oligomers, fibrils, amyloid-like aggregates, …) have been identified, but the underlying molecular mechanisms of formation remain elusive. Phase transitions are suggested to play a key role in protein aggregation of intrinsically disordered proteins such as Huntingtin. Still, direct evidence of these transitions in patient brains is missing. What role, if any, does liquid-liquid phase separation play in neurodegeneration? What molecular and cellular determinants influence these transitions? To answer these questions, a better definition of the structural and functional features of protein assemblies is necessary, including their material properties. Exploring different Huntington’s model systems, from in vitro to neuronal cells will provide maximal insight. You will use our imaging toolbox and other nanotechnology available in the department to tackle this challenge. You will also apply machine learning and correlation analysis to fully exploit our recently developed 3D quantitative phase imaging for disease monitoring. As an integral part of our team, you will have the opportunity to e.g., design new optics or to establish new synthetic cell model systems for neurodegenerative disease. We welcome applications from people with diverse backgrounds. Depending on your scientific profile and interests, the specific focus of the project can be adjusted.
This project is in collaboration with Hilal Lashuel (EPFL) and Aleksandra Radenovic (EPFL).
For this interdisciplinary, and fully funded project (4 years), we are looking for an enthusiastic experimentalist trained in (bio-)physics, interdisciplinary nanoscience or similar areas with interest in neurobiology or a neurobiologist keen on advanced microscopy. Experience in neurobiology/neurodegenerative disease, quantitative microscopy and/or programming is a plus. The following skills will be necessary (and can be learned) during this project: protein biochemistry techniques, cell culture, advanced data analysis including machine learning, super-resolution and quantitative phase microscopy. We further expect the candidate to have a reliable and pro-active work style, to be communicative (in English) and interested in the broader field of Bionanoscience and thereby contributing to an open and interactive lab culture.
The qualified candidate will benefit from working in a growing multidisciplinary group (tudelft.nl/grussmayerlab) in a highly collaborative environment (https://www.tudelft.nl/en/faculty-of-applied-sciences/about-faculty/departments/bionanoscience).
Conditions of employment
TU Delft offers PhD-candidates a 4-year contract, with an official go/no go progress assessment after one year. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2395 per month in the first year to € 3061 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.
The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. For international applicants we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation.
TU Delft (Delft University of Technology)
Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context. At TU Delft we embrace diversity and aim to be as inclusive as possible (see our Code of Conduct). Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale.
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Faculty Applied Sciences
With more than 1,000 employees, including 135 pioneering principal investigators, as well as a population of about 3,400 passionate students, the Faculty of Applied Sciences is an inspiring scientific ecosystem. Focusing on key enabling technologies, such as quantum- and nanotechnology, photonics, biotechnology, synthetic biology and materials for energy storage and conversion, our faculty aims to provide solutions to important problems of the 21st century. To that end, we train students in broad Bachelor’s and specialist Master’s programmes with a strong research component. Our scientists conduct ground-breaking fundamental and applied research in the fields of Life and Health Science & Technology, Nanoscience, Chemical Engineering, Radiation Science & Technology, and Engineering Physics. We are also training the next generation of high school teachers and science communicators.
Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Applied Sciences.
For more information about this vacancy, please contact Kristin Grußmayer, assistant professor at the Department of Bionanoscience, email: K.S.Grussmayer@tudelft.nl
For information about the selection procedure, please contact Kristin Grußmayer, assistant professor at the Department of Bionanoscience, email: K.S.Grussmayer@tudelft.nl.
Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply via the application button and upload:
- Motivation letter
- Names and email addresses of two or three references
Pre-inquiries may help significantly to discuss the suitability of a candidature and project to this call. Those who are short-listed will be invited for an on-line interview.
- A pre-employment screening can be part of the selection procedure.
- Applying for an exemption for specific research and educational areas is an obligatory part of the selection procedure for this vacancy. This exemption must be obtained from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) before an employment contract is agreed upon. Click here for more information.
- You can apply online. We will not process applications sent by email and/or post.