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Funded PhD position in The Relation Between Energy And Redox Metabolism And Regulated Necrosis During EMT at Department of Biomedical Molecular Biology, Ghent University in Belgium

Degree Master degree in biomedical sciences, biotechnology, medicine or equivalent

Occupancy rate 100%

Vacancy Type Research staff

Job description

About the lab: The Molecular Signalling and Cell Death Unit (MSCDU) of Prof. Peter Vandenabeele performs innovative research in molecular signalling of different cell death modalities and inflammation at three major levels: molecules, cells, and organisms. Several research projects translate fundamental knowledge into potential clinical applications, while other research projects are more explorative starting from simple biological questions. This project will be performed in collaboration with the unit of Prof. Kodi Ravichandran (metabolism) and of Prof. Geert Berx (EMT). The direct guiding person remains to be determined. Your job: The Vandenabeele Lab consists of around 35 people that perform research in the field of cell death and inflammation. The Ravichandran Lab is focused on phagocytosis of dead cells and how metabolism affects this process while the Berx Lab is focused on the Epithelial Mesenchymal Transition. We are looking for an enthusiastic scientist/student to start a PhD in our team. Tumor metastasis underlies 90% of cancer deaths. In order to evade the primary tumor and invade other tissues, the cell undergoes dedifferentiation from epithelial to mesenchymal-like phenotype (EMT). Tumorigenesis and EMT are associated with changes in energy requirements and with strategies to evade normal cell death programs. There are multiple ways a cell can die. Two major forms of cell death are apoptosis and necrosis.

Historically, apoptosis was regarded as a regulated process, while necrosis was considered accidently and uncontrollable. This view was challenged by the discovery of several forms of regulated necrosis, such as necroptosis and ferroptosis. Necroptosis is regulated by a kinase-signaling cascade with crucial roles for RIP kinases, ferroptosis is an iron- and oxygen radical-dependent process and both have been reported in association with changes in energy and redox metabolism. We hypothesize that modulations in the energy and redox metabolism represent a potential target to specifically sensitize regulated necrosis in cancer cells and consequently bypass apoptotic cell death resistance mechanisms these cells acquired. We want to identify new druggable targets at the cross road of cell death, bioenergetics, redox metabolism and EMT during cancer. Our research will lead to a better understanding of the importance of the energy and redox metabolism for cancer development, metastasis and cell death.

Profile of the candidate

-The candidate should be able to work independently and at the same time be a team-player
-The candidate should have excellent communication skills and a strong passion for scientific research in general
-The candidate is expected to have strong hands-on experience in molecular and cell biology techniques (the project involves mainly in vitro work).

Candidates must apply for a FWO-SB fellowship. Please verify the eligibility criteria and the application process on:

How to apply

Application online via

For more information, please contact Prof. Peter Vandenabeele (

Deadline: August 15, 2017

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