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postdoc and PhD position to investigate SCAMP- aquaporin interplay in Arabidopsis

Closing date
30 Aug 2024

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Life Science
Job Type
Employment - Hours
Full time
Professional certification

Job Details

Postdoctoral researcher and a PhD student to investigate the interplay between the Secretory Carrier Membrane Proteins and the plasma membrane aquaporins in Arabidopsis. The VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology (PSB) is a world-leading plant science institute located at the heart of a renowned Plant Biotech campus in Ghent, Belgium. Its mission is to unravel plant biological processes and translate this knowledge into value for society. Please visit us at for more information. 

Research at the Van Damme lab ( is centered around membrane trafficking in plants and we combine cell biological and biochemical/structural approaches to answer our research questions. We are highly passionate about the endocytic pathway that controls the plasma membrane proteome and we investigate its machinery, as well as its downstream cargo.

UCLouvain is the largest university in the French-speaking part of Belgium. It is located in Louvain-la-Neuve, 30 km south of Brussels. The Chaumont laboratory ( belongs to the Institute of Louvain Institute of Biomolecular Science and Technology (LIBST), which brings together more than 180 research staffs working in the field of biochemistry, molecular and cell biology. Chaumont’s team is fascinated by the molecular and cellular mechanisms regulating physiological processes and, especially, by the regulation and function of aquaporins, which are involved in numerous developmental and physiological processes related to water relations but also to the movement of other physiological and signalling molecules.

The Van Damme lab and the Chaumont lab have joined forces via an FWO-weave project. Within this project, there are two 4-year positions available. A postdoctoral researcher position in the Van Damme lab and a PhD position in the Chaumont lab. The PhD student and the postdoc will work in close collaboration on the interplay between the secretory carrier membrane proteins (SCAMPs), which are cargo of the endocytic TPLATE complex (Arora et al., Plant Cell 2020 and Yperman et al. Science Advances 2021), and the plasma membrane aquaporins (PIPs). We aim to identify how the SCAMP proteins are involved in the trafficking and/or activity of the PIPs. The research will involve interactomics, live cell imaging, mutant analysis, structural modelling (e.g. AF2) as well as physiological assays on water permeability in Arabidopsis protoplasts as well as in Xenopus oocytes. The PhD student will be based in UCLouvain and the postdoc will be based in Ghent. As this is a truly joint project, both the student and the postdoc will be able to benefit from the available expertise in both labs.


Profile 1. PhD student

  • Master's degree in biology/bio-engineering, or equivalent, with a strong interest in plant biology and some experience in plant molecular and cellular biology or physiology.

Profile 2. Postdoctoral researcher

  • Ph.D. degree in Biotechnology, Biochemistry, Biology, Bio-engineering, or equivalent.
  • Required proven expertise in: live cell imaging, cloning (e.g. Golden Gate, Gibson), protein biochemistry, guidance of master and/or PhD students.
  • Desired expertise in: interactomics, stomatal dynamics, Alphafold modelling. Experience in supervising Ph.D. students is also considered a plus.
We welcome applications from dynamic individuals with a strong drive for science and motivation. Ideal candidates take initiative, possess a strong sense of responsibility, have critical thinking abilities, have excellent oral and written English communication skills, and have a collaborative mindset. Additionally, they should demonstrate the capacity to independently plan and execute research with precision.

We welcome the willingness of candidates to apply for personal fellowships in order to achieve their own individual funding. For the PhD student, this will imply applying for a FNRS and/or FRIA fellowship. Eligibility for Marie Curie and/or EMBO postdoctoral fellowship applications will be to your benefit.

Join us to undertake a highly innovative project that combines cell biology and plant physiology and that has the potential to discover novel ways how drought tolerance of plants can be increased.

We offer
  • State-of-the-art laboratory environment.
  • An inclusive group atmosphere and a spot in a dynamic and diverse team of researchers.
  • A versatile and challenging academic environment with very diverse contacts.
  • Various opportunities to broaden your expertise and to train in many cutting-edge technologies.
  • Training courses in academic, technical, and career skills.
  • An initial 1-year contract, which can be extended up to 4 years.

Starting Date: as soon as possible.

How to apply?   Interested candidates can only apply through the VIB online application tool. Candidates should clearly specify whether they apply for the PhD or the postdoc position.

  • A complete application file (English, single pdf) should contain the following documents:
  • A 1-page summary of your research experiences and future goals
  • A one-page letter of intent describing your motivation for this position. The motivation for the position should be focused on the project (what would you like to do when you get it) and not on previous achievements.
  • a detailed CV including a publication list
  • contact information of 2-3 references
The first review of applications will start from the moment applicants apply. A shortlist of applicants will be selected and invited for interviews. The position remains open until a suitable candidate is found.

For further information and questions, please send an email to both Daniel Van Damme and to Francois Chaumont ( and



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. 

More info can be found on

Company info
Rijvisschestraat 120

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