Post Doc in Molecular Biology / Biochemistry
Catholic University of Leuven

The laboratory of Cellular Transport Systems, headed by Prof. Peter Vangheluwe, recently published ground-breaking insights in the underlying molecular and cellular defects in Parkinson’s disease (Van Veen and Martin et al, Nature, 2020; Martin and Smolders et al, Acta Neuropathologica, 2020). Research of his team focuses on the P-type ATPases ATP13A2 (PARK9) and ATP10B, two transporters that are genetically implicated in Parkinson’s disease. ATP13A2 removes polyamines out of the lysosome, whereas ATP10B exports the sphingolipid glucosylceramide; both functions exert potent neuroprotective effects. Within the framework of a highly prestigious and international collaborative research program ASAP (Aligning Science Across Parkinson’s), the team will now explore how ATP13A2 and ATP10B are regulated at the molecular level and how this controls the intracellular distribution of polyamines and glucosylceramide in normal cells and models of Parkinson’s disease. These molecular insights may pave the way for a drug discovery strategy for Parkinson’s disease. Within the ASAP project IMPACT-PD, we are recruiting a highly skilled and motivated junior postdoc to strengthen the multidisciplinary team of academic partners. In particular we look for a Molecular Biologist/Biochemist to conduct a structure-function analysis of the transporters ATP13A2 and ATP10B to identify the molecular mechanisms of transport activation and inhibition.


Via an extensive structure-function analysis you will identify the molecular mechanisms of transport activation and inhibition of ATP13A2 and ATP10B, and study the functional consequences of disease mutations. The project involves protein purification, biochemical analysis, site directed mutagenesis and analysis of post-translational modifications, using multi-omics, genetics and structural information as a guide.


  • Experience in biochemical techniques, membrane proteins, complementary eukaryotic expression hosts and protein purification is a strong asset.
  • Recent PhD degree (max 4 years) in Biochemistry, Bio-engineering, Biotechnology, or similar
  • A curious and creative mind set, eager to learn
  • Perseverant with good problem-solving skills
  • Ambitious, ability to take ownership of the project
  • Good time and project management skills to adhere to strict project deadlines and milestones.
  • Proven proficiency in English, both written and orally
  • Experienced in project management
  • Effective communicator, reporting results in the team and in consortium meetings
  • Leadership skills, able to inspire and motivate people
  • Excellent team player, working in an international and multidisciplinary team to reach common goals


  • A full-time appointment (100%) as a junior post doc for a period of 3 years with the possibility of an extension. The successful candidate is encouraged to initiate and participate in grant proposals to expand the research line and ensure continuation after the project end.
  • Affiliation to a world-renowned laboratory in transport biology with an extensive international and collaborative network.
  • Participation in a prestigious international research network ASAP with focus on collaboration and open science, offering excellent networking opportunities.
  • The possibility to participate and present your research at national and international conferences.


For more information regarding our work, please check out:

Lab website:

ASAP project and team info:

For more information please contact Prof. Dr. Peter Vangheluwe, tel.:+32 16 33 07 20, mail: or Mrs.Veronique Daniëls, tel.: +32 16 32 63 65, mail:

You can apply for this job no later than November 09, 2020 via the
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
  • Employment percentage: Voltijds
  • Location: Leuven
  • Apply before: November 9, 2020
  • Tags: Cellulaire en Moleculaire Geneeskunde

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