Hasselt University

PhD student ‘Single-molecule light-sheet microscopy’

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The faculty of medicine and life sciences contributes to sustainable solutions for health-related issues as part of the civic Hasselt University. The faculty focusses on excellence in education and research and connects with society through a strong collaboration with our partners.
Starting from continuous attention for quality and innovation, the faculty is a breeding ground and magnet for talent with an open view on society, from the region to the world.

The Biomedical Research Institute (BIOMED) of Hasselt University conducts high level multidisciplinary research to advance progress in human life sciences. High-end technology is used to deliver novel insights in three main disease areas: (neuro)immunology, neuroscience and cardiovascular disease. BIOMED aims to translate new scientific discoveries into applications that contribute to a healthy society in line with the civic ambition of Hasselt University. 

At the Hendrix lab, novel and robust fluorescence microscopy methods are developed and applied in a variety of research projects across all domains of life (for the most recent publication list of the lab, see ORCID). The focus of our investigations are complex proteins and biological pathways, where we use our single-molecule sensitive fluorescence methods to provide novel insights in the molecular basis of protein functioning. The lab is situated in the Biomedical Research Institute, ranked top-500 in the Times Higher Education Ranking of best universities worldwide, specifically, in the Neuroscience department, where advanced light microscopy is applied to study different cell biological systems and diseases. The lab also manages UHasselt’s Advanced Optical Microscopy Centre (Advanced Optical Microscopy Centre- UHasselt), housing top-notch optical microscopy infrastructure.

Job content
You will develop novel protein structural biology methods based on single-molecule Förster resonance energy transfer and light-sheet fluorescence microscopy. This novel methodology will allow structural biology experiments to be performed in absence of crystallization, at ambient temperature and in solution in a much faster and better manner, compatible with pharmaceutical drug screening. You will validate your novel methods and apply them subsequently to studying structural dynamics of e.g. multidrug resistance transporters and other proteins, in vitro or inside cells/tissues.
We offer a full-time 4-year PhD position. You will be employed in a top-3% top-500 university (Times Higher Education Ranking of best universities worldwide). Your working place, the Biomedical Research Institute, is renowned for its societally-relevant research. You will work in an enthusiastic team of PhD researchers working on similar and complementary topics and methodologies. You will have access to UHasselt’s Advanced Optical Microscopy Centre (Advanced Optical Microscopy Centre- UHasselt), providing top-notch optical microscopy infrastructure. Hasselt University provides ample opportunity for interdisciplinary collaborations. Relevant for your research are the Physics Dept., the Material Sciences Institute and the Data Science Institute. Hasselt University is furthermore located within 100 km radius from other research institutions such as the VIB, VITO, KU Leuven, Antwerp University, Maastricht University, Liege University and Eindhoven University.
You will become a single-molecule fluorescence microscopy expert by:

  • building novel, or physically customizing the hardware of cutting-edge fluorescence microscopes
  • developing or adapting existing in-house developed analysis programs for analyzing microscopy data
  • biorthogonal fluorescent labeling, handling and measuring recombinant protein, and analyzing/interpreting the obtained data
Besides your project you will take part in teaching (practicals, exercises…, ≤ 30 hours per year) and organizing 1-2 workshops/symposia.
This PhD project is formally part of the Doctoral School of Medicine and Life Sciences at the UHasselt Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences.


  • Officially recognized Master’s degree in biochemistry, bio-engineering, informatics, physics, biophysics or equivalent at the start of the mandate.
    Final-year students are (likewise) encouraged to apply.
  • You are a team-player.
  • You are ambitious, stress-resistant.
  • You are fluent in English.
  • You are self-reliant and analytical.
  • You are eligible for applying for a personal PhD grant from the Research Foundation Flanders.
  • Although you will get the possibility to professionalize yourself in this (collaborations, courses, workshops), your candidacy is further strengthened if you are familiar with fluorescence microscopy, and/or familiar with programming in MATLAB or other environments.

You will be appointed and paid as PhD student.
We offer a full-time employment as a PhD researcher (2x2 years upon positive intermediate evaluation).

Selection procedure
You can only apply online up to and including 21 October 2022.
The selection procedure consists of a preselection based on application file and an interview.
Applications should include a cv and a convincing motivation letter, in which you explain why you want to do a PhD, why you are interested in the topic, and why you meet the profile criteria. Applicants agree to a possible Assessment that may include a task.

Further information
Prof. dr. Jelle HENDRIX, +32-11-269213, jelle.hendrix@uhasselt.be

More about working at Hasselt University? Check www.uhasselt.be/vacancies for our staff benefits.

Job details

PhD student ‘Single-molecule light-sheet microscopy’
Martelarenlaan 42 Hasselt, Belgium
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