PhD Student

Last application date
Jun 15, 2020 00:00
GE31 - Department of Biomolecular Medicine
Employment category
Doctoral fellow
Limited duration
Master bio-engineering, Master biochemistry and biotechnology, Master biomedical sciences or similar
Occupancy rate
Vacancy Type
Research staff

Job description

The Connective Tissue Lab of the Center for Medical Genetics Ghent is looking for a PhD candidate for the following study: Study of the pathogenetic mechanisms involved in Osteogenesis Imperfecta and Osteoporosis using zebrafish as a model organism: Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) is an inherited connective tissue disorder mainly characterized by reduced bone mass, bone fragility and an increased risk of fracture. To further unravel the pathogenesis of this condition and to develop appropriate therapies, model organisms are increasingly used. The last 20 years, zebrafish (Danio rerio) has become an excellent vertebrate model organism for the study of the pathogenesis of hereditary bone diseases in humans. In this project mutant zebrafish lines for OI will be created through targeted mutagenesis (CRISPR/Cas), after which these lines will be extensively phenotyped using µCT scanning and histological staining of bone tissue. Further molecular analysis of the disease process will be done by including RNA expression analysis (including in situ hybridization, RNA-seq, qPCR), protein analysis (including immunohistochemistry, western blotting, proteomics, mass spectrometry), confocal imaging of transgenic zebrafish lines and electron microscopy. Finally, drug screenings will be conducted on these OI zebrafish models to look for potential therapeutics. Knowledge gained from these OI models will also be useful to help understand the genetic causes and pathogenesis of the common disorder osteoporosis.

Profile of the candidate

Strong interest in research and highly motivated to complete a PhD. Commitment and perseverance are necessary. Some experience in working with laboratory animals and familiarity with the described molecular techniques is an advantage. Candidates must be in possession of a certificate “working with laboratory animals” (FELASA) or be prepared to obtain this certificate as soon as possible. Applicants must be willing to apply for a personal FWO PhD fellowship

How to apply

Interested candidates should send their application (including a full CV, motivation letter and potential referees) to Prof. Paul Coucke, Corneel Heymanslaan 10, 9000 Gent (: tel: 09 332 3634) and Andy Willaert, Corneel Heymanslaan 10, 9000 Gent (, tel: 09 332 4396) before 15/06/20. The employment contract will start at the latest on 1st September 2020.