PhD-student in cellular neuroscience (cell biology, life cell imaging)

PhD-student in cellular neuroscience (cell biology, life cell imaging)

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10 Dec yesterday Amsterdam

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The department of Functional Genomics, part of the Center for Neurogenomics and Cognitive Research in Amsterdam (see ), and Human Gentics at the Amsterdamumc, is seeking applications for a PhD-student in in cellular neu...

Job description

You will be working as a PhD student on the following project:

Mechanisms of neuromodulator trafficking and secretion in human and mouse neurons
Communication between neurons in the brain depends on the secretion of chemical signals from secretory vesicles. Most genes known to be involved in secretion are now firmly implicated in brain disorders like autism, epilepsy and mental retardation. Many of the modulatory signals that change our brain state (arousal, sleep, euphoria) are secreted from dense cored vesicles (DCVs) in neurons. The aim of this project is to unravel the mechanisms of DCV trafficking and secretion in neurons from their biogenesis in the soma of the cell to the final fusion at synapses. This project uses life cell imaging (2-photon imaging and confocal microscopy) in human iPSC-derived neurons and intact rodent tissue (brain slices, in vivo), and genetically encoded reporters to detect DCV trafficking and fusion. We have previously established detection of DCV secretion in living neurons with single vesicle resolution and characterized several molecular factors that regulate secretion. In this project we will exploit these tools/methods to characterize the secretory pathway and dysregulation in disease.

You will be part of international research networks and exploit a variety of other analysis tools available at the Centre for Neurogenomics and Cognitive Research. You will be appointed in Amsterdam and work primarily in Amsterdam with regular visits to the other labs. The PhD-student will be trained on site. All the methodology, equipment, analysis software, viral vectors and mutant mice are available from the start of the project.

Your duties
As a PhD student your main tasks and responsibilities are:
  • Unravelling the mechanisms of DCV trafficking and secretion in neurons, using life cell imaging
  • Performing bioinformatic analyses
  • Publishing analyses in the best peer-reviewed journals and provide progress reports to funding sources
  • Contributing to teaching activities, including supervision of BSc and /or MSc students during internships
  • Presenting your work to the research community


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)


We are looking for a student with the following qualifications:
  • a master degree in biomedical sciences or biophysics with neuroscience specialization, or similar degree
  • hands-on experience with molecular and cellular neuroscience, especially the methods listed above
  • hands-on experience with bioinformatics is an advantage
  • a strong motivation to pursue a career in science.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 1 year.

A challenging position in a socially involved organization. The salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel and amounts €2,434 (PhD) per month during the first year and increases to €3,111 (PhD) per month during the fourth year, based on a full-time employment. The job profile is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 1 FTE.

The appointment will initially be for 1 year. After a satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, the contract will be extended for a duration of 4 years.
Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:
  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • contribution to commuting expenses


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. We strive to be a university where personal development and commitment to society play a leading role. A university where people from different disciplines and backgrounds collaborate to achieve innovations and to generate new knowledge. Our teaching and research encompass the entire spectrum of academic endeavor - from the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 26,000 students. We employ over 4,600 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible and located in the heart of Amsterdam's Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

We are an inclusive university community. Diversity is one of our most important values. We believe that engaging in international activities and welcoming students and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds enhances the quality of our education and research. We are always looking for people who can enrich our world with their own unique perspectives and experiences.

The Faculty of Science
The Faculty of Science inspires researchers and students to find sustainable solutions for complex societal issues. From forest fires to big data, from obesity to medicines and from molecules to the moon: our teaching and research programmes cover the full spectrum of the natural sciences. We share knowledge and experience with leading research institutes and industries, both here in the Netherlands and abroad.

Working at the Faculty of Science means working with students, PhD candidates and researchers, all with a clear focus on their field and a broad view of the world. We employ more than 1,250 staff members, and we are home to around 6,000 students.

About the department
The department of Functional Genomics is part of the Center for Neurogenomics and Cognitive Research in Amsterdam (see, and the department of Human Genetics at the Amsterdamumc location VUmc. Our PhD candidates participate in the Neuroscience Graduate School Amsterdam-Rotterdam (see


  • PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • max. 40 hours per week
  • €2434—€3111 per month
  • Doctorate
  • 8779


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)

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