Postdoctoral Researcher Brain-on-chip
What you will do
Neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s Disease cannot be studied in situ in a living patient, and the much-studied transgenic animal models have not demonstrated to deliver on their promise of bringing a cure. For many of these diseases, there is no or only symptomatic treatment available. Radically novel approaches are needed to shed new light on mechanisms and pathways behind these complex disorders.
We are building neural microcircuits on high-density CMOS microelectrode array chips that represent the affected brain circuit, by using the patient’s own cells. By single-cell electroporation using the chip’s electrodes, we introduce molecules to drive differentiation of stem or primary cells towards neuronal sub-types. The same electrodes are used to record electrophysiological (e-Phys) data from the neural circuit, thereby mapping novel phenotypes of disease. Additional assays are being developed with complementing cell types, such as astrocytes and microglia. The microcircuit model will be further developed and improved by moving from 2D to 3D cell assemblies. Finally, the e-Phys data will be complemented with transcriptome data and linked to the clinical background of the patient to improve the phenotype and stratify the patient population.
In this postdoc, your main activities will be:
- be actively involved in the creation and readout of the microcircuits
- handle stem cell cultures
- perform electroporation experiments, electrophysiology recording and data analysis
You will be working in a multidisciplinary and dynamic team. The project is part of Mission Lucidity2, a unique constellation of engineers, neuroscientists, and clinicians, with the aim to decode brain disease.
What we do for you
We offer you the opportunity to join one of the world’s premier research centers in nanotechnology at its headquarters in Leuven, Belgium. With your talent, passion and expertise, you’ll become part of a team that makes the impossible possible. Together, we shape the technology that will determine the society of tomorrow.
We are proud of our open, multicultural, and informal working environment with ample possibilities to take initiative and show responsibility. We commit to supporting and guiding you in this process; not only with words but also with tangible actions. Through imec.academy, 'our corporate university', we actively invest in your development to further your technical and personal growth.
We are aware that your valuable contribution makes imec a top player in its field. Your energy and commitment are therefore appreciated by means of a competitive scholarship.
Who you are
- You have a Ph.D in Science or Engineering that you have completed <5 years ago
- You are highly motivated and enthusiastic about the research topic
- Previous experience with microelectrode arrays or electrophysiology is strongly advised
This postdoctoral position is funded by imec through KU Leuven. Because of the specific financing statute which targets international mobility for postdocs, only candidates who did not stay or work/study in Belgium for more than 24 months in the past 3 years can be considered for the position (short stays such as holiday, participation in conferences, etc. are not taken into account).