PhD Position in Parkinson’s Disease Animal Model Development and Validation for Drug Discovery Applications
Catholic University of Leuven

The laboratory for Neurobiology and gene therapy, headed by Prof. Baekelandt focuses on preclinical Parkinson’s Disease research and has played a pioneering role in recent ground-breaking research, demonstrating a prion-like behaviour of the α-synuclein protein. The group makes use of viral vector technology and molecular imaging as core technologies and is considered a world expert for the application of viral vectors in rodent brain to model and study Parkinson’s disease.


The Baekelandt lab together with reMYND (, will submit a Baekeland PhD project (Vlaio) based on the development and validation of Parkinson’s disease models for drug discovery, both in vitro and in vivo. We are currently looking for a motivated PhD student to embark on a 4-year PhD project. The candidate will be involved in the project writing process and is expected to defend the project for the Vlaio review board. The successful candidate will execute and coordinate in vivo experiments in rodents and studies in primary neurons and other cell cultures.


  • Master degree in Medicine, Biomedical Sciences, Bio-engineering, Biology or similar 
  • Enthusiastic to work with laboratory animals (rats and mice). Possible techniques include: stereotactic surgery,behavioral analysis, histological and biochemical analyses, primary neuron cultures
  • A curious and creative mind set,eager to learn
  • Proactive and hands-on mindset
  • Perseverant with good problem-solvingskills
  • Ambitious, ability to take ownership of the project and bring the project to a successful end and PhD defense at KU Leuven.
  • Proven proficiency in English,both written and orally
  • Strong writing and analytical skills
  • Good communication and organization skills
  • Ability to meet deadlines 
  • Appetite for innovation and transforming research results into industrial applications
  • Capacity to work both as an independent researcher and as part of a team


  • A full-time appointment (100%) as a PhD student for a period of 4 years. You will have to apply for a Baekeland mandate (including evaluation stage) which will be supported by both the laboratory of neurobiology and gene therapy and reMYND.  
  • Affiliation to a world-renowned laboratory in Parkinson’s disease and to  reMYND (a Leuven-based biotech company focused on development of therapeutics for protein misfolding diseases a world-wide leader of preclinical Alzheimer’s disease CRO), , as part of a motivated interdisciplinary team, with an extensive international network. 
  • The possibility to participate and present your research at national and international conferences
  • Training in industrial drugdiscovery through a close collaboration with reMYND


For more information please contact Prof. dr. Veerle Baekelandt, tel.: +32 16 37 40 57, mail: or Mrs. Veronique Daniëls, tel.: +32 16 32 63 65, mail:

You can apply for this job no later than July 25, 2020 via the
KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at
  • Employment percentage: Voltijds
  • Location: Leuven
  • Apply before: July 25, 2020
  • Tags: Neurowetenschappen

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