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ERC-funded PhD Student in Dendritic Cells and Tolerance

Closing date
15 Mar 2024

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Life Science
Job Type
PhD Position
Employment - Hours
Full time
Professional certification

Job Details

Job description The VIB Center for Inflammation Research is part of the VIB Life Sciences Institute and is connected to Ghent University. Our center focuses on the mechanisms driving infection and inflammation.

The Sophie Janssens lab is looking for a motivated PhD student to join our dendritic cell maturation team. Our lab is highly interested in dissecting pathways that drive homeostatic versus immunogenic dendritic cell maturation and identified lipid nanoparticle (LNP)-based approaches that can direct DC maturation in vivo in either direction (Bosteels et al., Sci Imm, 2023). This is important as it might steer our immune system in the direction of immunity or tolerance against LNP-encoded cargo. In the frame of a recently approved ERC-Proof of Concept grant, we are looking for a highly motivated PhD student who wants to explore these findings further and explore whether LNP-based vaccination strategies could be extended to induce tolerance against allergens or autoimmune antigens. You will be supported by a team of postdoctoral researchers, PhD students and technicians in the Sophie Janssens Team with whom you will work in close collaboration. The project will be performed near labs at the Faculty of Pharmacy who will help design and formulate the LNP-based vaccines.

  • Master in biology, biomedical sciences, medical sciences, biochemistry/biotechnology or related disciplines
  • A strong desire to complete a PhD and translate basic science toward potential medical applications
  • Keen interest in dendritic cell biology and immunology
  • Experience in working with mouse models (FELASA C required)
  • English verbal and written communication skills required
We offer
  • A one-year contract during which you are expected to apply for a personal fellowship
  • An enjoyable working environment in a team of highly motivated PhD students, technicians and postdoctoral researchers
  • Extensive training opportunities
  • A stimulating and supportive international research environment
How to apply?

Submit your application which includes a CV, motivation letter describing your research interests and career goals, digital copies of university transcripts (Bachelor’s and Master’s) and contact information of one to three references.



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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