KU Leuven


KU Leuven

Leuven, United Kingdom


(ref. BAP-2022-161)

Last modification : Monday, May 2, 2022

Come join our team to pursue research towards a PhD in cardiac calcium signalling and cell remodelling. This project is funded by the KU Leuven-Melbourne Global PhD programme and provides an unique opportunity to perform multi-disciplinary research at two world leading universities. Our lab focusses on identifying mechanisms underlying cardiac structural, contractile and electrical remodeling processes and how these contribute to cardiovascular disease. Our approach is multiscale, spanning from the cellular to the organ level, molecular mechanisms, left and right ventricular mechanics and impact of different interventions. We combine, transcriptomics, epigenomics and single cell biology, advanced imaging, including super resolution imaging, electrophysiology and in vivo imaging to uncover multi-scale control of heart structure and function. We employ cell models including induced pluripotent cells, rodent models of disease, pre-clinical porcine models and human tissues to discover new mechanisms for heart disease treatment. Our laboratory is highly international consisting of post-doctoral scientists, PhD students and technicians. The lab will support you in gaining expertise in necessary areas and through our excellent local and international collaborators and core facilities, you will have access to additional expertise and tools. Our lab is embedded in the Department of Cardiovascular Sciences situated in the Biomedical Campus of KU Leuven, Belgium. It has the entire range of competences from basic science, over pre-clinical modeling to applied clinical and epidemiological research, taking a systems approach to the complexity of cardiovascular disorders. The University: KU Leuven offers a stimulating environment for international students and support for junior scientists to achieve their ambitions and in career development. University of Melbourne: The Melbourne based component of the project will be undertaken in Dr. Vijay Rajagopal’s Bioengineering Laboratory at the Dept of Biomedical Engineering. Dr. Rajagopal and the Department of Biomedical Engineering is situated in the world renowned Parkville biomedical precinct – a nexus of patient care, cutting edge research and training. The successful candidate will spend a part of this joint PhD at Melbourne applying advanced computational techniques from Dr. Rajagopal’s lab to uncover the biophysical principles of multi-scale calcium regulation of cardiac structure and function.

The aim of this project is to identify mechanisms that enables Ca2+ to act with specificity to simultaneously regulate discrete functions such as growth, differentiation and contraction in in cardiac myocytes. We are taking a multidisciplinary approach to address this aim, involving cell biology, biochemistry, and super-resolution imaging combined with advanced multi-scale computational modelling and AI. We will investigate how Ca2+ signals in different cellular sub-compartments are regulated and decoded to elicit effects on discrete cardiomyocyte functions. Analysis will be carried out in primary cardiomyocytes, iPS cell derived cardiomyocytes and in animal models.

  • A masters in lifesciences/physiology with an interest in quantitative methods or a masters in engineering/mathematics with an interest in cell biology.
  • You are motivated, have an enquiring mind and are excited by science.
  • You enjoy collaborating with your colleagues and externally to scientific advance.
  • You are a team player with excellent written and oral communication skills in English
  • You enjoy presenting your data to collaborators and to the community at scientific meetings.
  • You perform your research to the highest standards and integrity. 
  • A fully funded Joint PhDstudentship.
  • A stimulating and supportive environment in which you acquire expertise as a multidisciplinary researcher.
  • Opportunity to spend 1-1.5y of your PhD in a lab in Melbourne (KUL student).


Please send your CV,motivation letter and 2 recommendation letters to:

Prof. Dr. H. LlewelynRoderick, Email: (Llewelyn.roderick@kuleuven.be). Please also apply via the online portal of KULeuven.

Prof Vijay Rajagopal. E-mail: vijay.rajagopal@unimelb.edu.au


You can apply for this job no later than May 29, 2022 via the online application tool
KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at diversiteit.HR@kuleuven.be.

Please apply via recruiter’s website.