Postdoctoral Position in Neurobiology
University of Antwerp
Belgium

Postdoctoral Position in Neurobiology

The University of Antwerp is a dynamic, forward-thinking, European 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 Computational Neurobiology Lab at the VIB Center for Molecular Neurology of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences is looking for a full-time (100%) doctoral scholarship holder in the field of computational neurobiology.

Position

  • You will join our young vibrant team to work on a challenging and exciting project at the intersection of Computational Biology, AI, Biomedical science. Despite extensive research efforts, the quest for early diagnostic approaches and efficient treatments for Alzheimer's disease and related dementias remain elusive. The fundamental issue lies in the limited understanding of the patient-specific triggering factors and their interaction with confounding factors. We hypothesise that patient-specific triggers of disease development can be identified through artificial “reversal” of patients’ genetic and structural profile and reconstruction of pre-AD counterfactually augmented trajectories. Leveraging deep learning, generative models and cross-modal autoencoders and working with both structured and unstructured data, the goal of this project is to develop a statistical framework and a computational tool for the reconstruction of past causal longitudinal trajectories. Such trajectories will then be used for patient-specific treatment design and biomarker discovery.
  • You will write several scientific articles on this research project and present your work at the national and international conferences.
  • You will contribute to other research directions in the lab.
  • You will carry out a number of teaching and research support tasks at the University of Antwerp.

Profile

  • You hold (or will have obtained by the start date) a master’s degree in applied mathematics, computer science, statistics, machine learning or related areas.
  • You are highly enthusiastic and motivated to develop statistical and computational frameworks and apply them in the field of neurodegenerative diseases.
  • You can demonstrate excellent academic performance, especially in the relevant subjects, such as mathematics, statistics, machine learning and bioinformatics.
  • You have strong programming skills in Python (R is a plus)
  • You have experience in developing and/or extensive troubleshooting of statistical frameworks and computational models.
  • You have excellent proficiency in both written and spoken English.
  • You are able to efficiently explain your research to computational and experimental biologists.
  • While not strictly required, ideally you can demonstrate experience in:
    • developing and/or applying generative AI models
    • package development
    • automatic data collection from public databases
    • structural brain image and/or genetic/epigenetic data analysis.

What we offer

  • A doctoral scholarship for a period of 2 years (2024-2026). Following a positive evaluation, the scholarship can be renewed for another 2 years (2026-2028).
  • The planned start date 1st of September 2024 or as soon as possible after that date.
  • Your monthly scholarship amount is calculated according to the scholarship amounts for doctoral scholarship holders on the pay scales for Contract Research Staff (Dutch: Bijzonder Academisch Personeel, BAP).
  • You will become part of our vibrant enthusiastic international lab and supportive community at the VIB CMNUniversity of Antwerp, as well as VIB Center for AI and Computational Biology, with which our lab is affiliated.
  • You will get access to numerous training courses at the VIB and will have an opportunity to organise and participate in computational events, including bioinformatics seminars and international hackathons.
  • You will receive eco-cheques, Internet-connectivity allowance, and a bicycle allowance or a full reimbursement of public transport costs for commuting.
  • You will do most of your work at the Campus Drie Eiken in a dynamic and stimulating working environment.
  • Find out more about working at the University of Antwerp here.

Want to apply?

  • You can apply for this vacancy through the University of Antwerp’s online job application platform up to and including June 17th 2024 (by midnight Brussels time, i.e. 10pm GMT). Click on the 'Apply' button, complete the online application form and be sure to include the following attachments:The selection committee reviews all applications as soon as possible after the application deadline. We aim to notify the shortlisted candidates by the end of June.
    • a motivation letter (1 page maximum), specifying exactly how your education and experience make you the best candidate for this position.
    • your academic CV (2 pages maximum), clearly specifying:
      • mastered computational skills
      • publications (if any)
      • the grades for the most relevant subjects during your Master’s
      • academic performance during your Undergraduate.
    • contact information of two referees.
  • If you have any questions about the online application form, please check the frequently asked questions or send an email to jobs@uantwerpen.be. If you have any questions about the position itself, please contact Prof. Valeriya Malysheva: valeriya.malysheva@uantwerpen.vib.be

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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