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Postdoctoral researcher in computational design of protein nanopore for sensing applications

Closing date
25 Dec 2023

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Life Science
Job Type
Employment - Hours
Full time
Professional certification

Job Details

A fully funded 2-year postdoc position is available at the laboratory of protein design ( at the VIB-Vrije Universiteit Brussel Center of Structural Biology, Brussels, Belgium. The project is interdisciplinary (computational/wet lab work) and aims to design and test novel transmembrane beta-barrel pores for single-molecule sensing applications.

We recently developed new computational methods to design entirely from physical principles transmembrane beta-barrels (Vorobieva et al., Science 2021). The beta-barrels insert into lipid membranes and stably conduct ions. Here, we aim to design defined sensing functions into the synthetic nanopore proteins.

The tasks will include computational design, production and purification from E. coli inclusion bodies, biophysical characterization in detergent micelles, synthetic lipid membranes and single-channel recording. The structure of the most promising nanopores will be determined by Cryo-EM or crystallography.

Profile Candidates should hold a Ph.D. in Sciences (eg. Biochemistry, Biophysics) or Bio-engineering sciences and have a strong background in recombinant expression, purification and handling of membrane proteins in detergent micelles and synthetic lipid membranes. Experience in single-channel recording, python scripting and/or High Performance Computing is desired. The candidate should have a keen interest in protein design and an engineering-oriented mindset. Experience with research valorization and IP will be regarded as a plus.

How to apply?

Please apply online with a cover letter (in English) and your CV including and the contact information of 2 referees.

For further information please contact Dr. Anastassia Vorobieva (

Desired starting date:
1st of April 2024 or earlier


VIB’s core mission is to generate disruptive insights in the molecular underpinning of life and to translate these actively into impactful innovations for patients and society. VIB is an independent research institute where some 1,800 top scientists from Belgium and abroad conduct pioneering basic research. As such, they are pushing the boundaries of what we know about molecular mechanisms and how they rule living organisms such as human beings, animals, plants, and microorganisms. Based on a close partnership with five Flemish universities – Ghent University, KU Leuven, University of Antwerp, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, and Hasselt University – and supported by a solid funding program, VIB unites the expertise of all its collaborators and research groups in a single institute. VIB’s technology transfer activities translate research results into concrete benefits for society such as new diagnostics and therapies and agricultural innovations. These applications are often developed by young start-ups from VIB or through collaborations with other companies. This also leads to additional employment and bridges the gap between scientific research and entrepreneurship. VIB also engages actively in the public debate on biotechnology by developing and disseminating a wide range of science-based information. 

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Rijvisschestraat 120

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