PhD-student in cellular neuroscience (cell biology, super-resolution & live-cell imaging)


You will be working as a PhD candidate on “the axon initial segment: a checkpoint in neuronal communication”, at the department of Functional Genomics, at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU).

Communication in the brain relies on the ability of neurons to generate electrical signals. The generation of action potentials occurs at a specialized axonal compartment; the axon initial segment. The axon initial segment is a critical checkpoint in the information flow: after integration of somato-dendritic inputs, the axon initial segment determines the neuron’s output which will be further transmitted along the axon to the next neurons in the network. The molecular composition of the axon initial segment is crucial in defining the response generated by a neuron. Recent work has shown that the axon initial segment is highly adaptive and that this property is important for neurons to adjust their activity to their surrounding network. The aim of this project is to understand the molecular mechanisms controlling axon initial segment plasticity; how does this compartment reorganize in response to activity changes and how this is altered in some neurodevelopmental disorders?

n this project, you will use live-cell and super-resolution imaging to assess the dynamics of axon initial segment proteins at high spatio-temporal resolution. The work will be carried out in rodent neurons in culture and human iPSC-derived neurons.
You will be part of international research networks and exploit a variety of techniques and analysis tools available. All the methodology, cell models, equipment, analysis software and viral vectors are available from the start of the project. You will be trained on site and in specialized courses on campus.

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.


We are looking for a highly motivated candidate with the following qualifications;

  • a master degree in life sciences, biomedical sciences or biophysics with neuroscience specialization 
  • hands-on experience with molecular and cellular neuroscience, especially the methods and/or models listed above
  • hands-on experience with bioinformatics is an advantage
  • you are fluent in English (written and spoken) and have good communication skills

How to apply?

Are you interested in this position? Please apply until May 15, 2022

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