PhD Fellowship in Brain Sciences
University of Antwerp

Department: Department of Veterinary Sciences
Regime Full-time

Let’s shape the future - University of Antwerp

The University of Antwerp is a dynamic, forward-thinking university. We offer an innovative academic education to more than 20000 students, conduct pioneering scientific research and play an important service-providing role in society. We are one of the largest, most international and most innovative employers in the region. With more than 6000 employees from 100 different countries, we are helping to build tomorrow's world every day. Through top scientific research, we push back boundaries and set a course for the future – a future that you can help to shape. 

The Laboratory of cell Biology and Histology at the University of Antwerp and UCB Pharma are seeking to fill the following full-time (100%) vacancy: Doctoral fellowship on the subject: translational mouse models for human brain disease.


  • You prepare a doctoral thesis at the crossroads of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences on the research topic described below.
  • You perform scientific research and report on your results by actively participating in scientific conferences and by writing high-quality, peer-reviewed articles.
  • You contribute to a limited extent to educational and scientific outreach activities.

Research Topic

Transgenic mouse models have been invaluable pharmacodynamic tools in preclinical research, however they display only specific features of human disease and often fall short in replicating the full spectrum of human disease pathobiology. Distinct species-specific functional and genetic differences limit opportunities for validation of molecular targets in the mouse. To overcome both translational and species-specific limitations of transgenic models we propose to generate humanized chimera mouse models combining patient iPSC-derived cells and transgenic mice overexpressing human growth factors permissive of human cell colonization of peripheral and CNS compartments. These humanized mouse models would have the unique advantage of fully integrated organ systems (brain-immune axis) with appropriate proximal and distal tissue damage, allowing a more faithful modeling of brain disease and evaluation of therapeutic entry points.


  • You hold a master degree in (Bio-)medical Sciences, Pharmacy, Biochemistry, (Bio-) Physics, Bioscience Engineering, Veterinary Sciences, Medicine or equivalent;
  • You have a passion for experimental research with strong interest in science at the interface of various disciplines (nanotechnology, biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical sciences).
  • You are quality-oriented, conscientious, creative and cooperative.
  • Experience with techniques such as cell culture, genome engineering, fluorescence microscopy and/or bio-informatics is an asset.
  • You are motivated to work in a dynamic and multidisciplinary team with flexibility to perform experimental research at both collaborating research groups (PhD project between the University of Antwerp ad UCB Pharma). While most of the experimental work is expected to be performed at UCB (Braine L’Alleud site), analyses will be regularly performed at the University of Antwerp as well.
  • Students in the final year of their degree as well as foreign candidates are welcome to apply as well;

What we offer

  • A doctoral scholarship for a period of one year, which can be prolonged to a total of 4 years after a positive evaluation;
  • A cutting-edge research project in a dynamic and stimulating work environment where the candidate will be exposed to various state-of-the art technologies.

Want to apply?

  • Applications can be submitted until December 3rd, 2023 through the University of Antwerp’s online job application platform. Click on the ‘Apply’ button and complete the online application form. Be sure to include a copy of your CV and a cover letter.
  • For questions about the profile, research topic and the description of duties, please contact prof. Winnok De Vos (; Tel: 0032.

The University of Antwerp received the European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research Award for its HR policy. We are a sustainable, family-friendly organisation which invests in its employees’ growth. We encourage diversity and attach great importance to an inclusive working environment and equal opportunities, regardless of gender identity, disability, race, ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation or age. We encourage people from diverse backgrounds and with diverse characteristics to apply.

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