PhD Student in the Department of Biomolecular Medicine

Ghent University



Job Description

Applications are invited for a 4-year, fully funded PhD fellowship, part of which will be conducted at the Center for Medical Genetics, Ghent University Hospital, Belgium, and part at the Laboratory for Translational Research in Osteoarthritis, Rush University, Chicago, USA. The topic of the research project is the study of molecular mechanisms underlying chronic pain in heritable connective tissue disorders. In this project genetics, transcriptomics, extracellular matrix biochemistry, measurement of pain-related outcomes in preclinical models for the heritable collagen disorder 'Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome', immunohistochemistry, cell culture, neuroanatomical techniques and in vivo neuronal (Ca)i imaging techniques will be used in order to investigate structural correlates to musculoskeletal pain and characterize sensory neurons that contribute to symptoms. Principal investigators on the project are at Ghent University: Fransiska Malfait (see, Delfien Syx (, at Rush University: Anne-Marie Malfait (

We are looking for an enthusiastic and collaborative candidate who is willing to spend part of his or her PhD training in Ghent, part in Chicago, and who is dedicated to take advantage of a wide range of available resources. We offer a 4-year fully funded PhD training in a stimulating scientific environment. You will be registered in specific program of the doctoral school and will be able to attend the associated courses. You will have access to state-of-the-art research facilities. You will be guided on a daily basis by well-trained professionals and get a thorough training in scientific thinking, practice, presentation and writing. The default start date is October 1, 2019, but there is some flexibility.

Profile of the Candidate

You have a good background in basic sciences. You are willing to learn and adopt a variety of techniques of genetics, biochemistry, molecular biology and cell biology. You have (or are willing to obtain) a Felasa C certificate to work with laboratory animals. You have excellent oral and written communication skills, and have a good knowledge of English. You aim for perfection and are practically skillful. You are ambitious, inventive and have a long-term vision. You are willing and capable to work as a team member. You are willing to spend part of your PhD training in Chicago, USA

How to Apply

Applications including a CV and cover letter should be sent electronically to prof. Fransiska Malfait ( Preselected candidates will be invited for a (Skype) interview. Starting date will be determined in agreement with the candidate.

In your application, please refer to