Positions available

Positions are available for PhD students and postdocs interested in cytoskeletal dynamics, intracellular transport, cellular biophysics, neurobiology, antibody technologies and their therapeutic applications.

PhD position on Neuronal Organelle Dynamics in the Farías group available on the project “Endoplasmic reticulum on neuronal organelle dynamics

PhD position is available in the Kapitein group on Clearance of neurotoxic aggregates by autophagy (ZonMW TOP-program)

A Tenure Track Assistant Professor position is available at the Division of Molecular and Cellular Biophysics that is currently being formed.

Postdoctoral position in the Akhmanova group is available on the analysis of complex cytoskeletal networks.

PhD position on Cell Biology in the Akhmanova group on the project “Microtubule organisation and membrane trafficking in metastatic cancer”

PhD position on Molecular Neurobiology in the MacGillavry group available on the project “Receptor trafficking at neuronal synapses”.

PhD position in Biology, Virology and Pharmacy available in the Oliveira group.

PhD and postdoctoral positions on Molecular Neurobiology available in the Hoogenraad group.



Farías group

Within the framework of the NWO-Vidi-funded project “Mechanisms of organelle positioning in neuronal function”, the group of Dr. Ginny Farías is offering a position for a Ph.D. student (4 years) for the project “Endoplasmic reticulum on neuronal organelle dynamics”
We are looking for an enthusiastic and motivated student to unravel the mechanisms by which organelles are organized in highly polarized cells. Recently, in our Division of Cell Biology, we have found an interplay between the ER and microtubules, which is required for neuronal polarity (Farías et al., 2019, manuscript accepted in Neuron). Other works have also shown the interaction of the ER with several other organelles. However, how these ER – organelle interactions are regulated and contribute to organelle organization and function, as well as the relevance for neuronal function are still unclear. The aim of this project is to address these questions by applying image analysis, as well as developing novel molecular biology tools to study organelle organization in neurons.
Applicant should hold a Master’s degree in Biology, Biochemistry, Biomedical Sciences, Biophysics, Neuroscience or a related field in Life Sciences. Knowledge and experience with bioimaging, confocal and super-resolution microscopy, live cell imaging, and/or molecular biology is an advantage but can also be acquired during the employment. The candidate should be fluent in English and have good communication skills. To apply, please send your CV and a motivation letter to Dr. Ginny Farías (g.c.fariasgaldames@uu.nl).


A PhD position is available in the ZonMW TOP-program on Clearance of neurotoxic aggregates by autophagy. This is a collaboration between the lab of Lukas Kapitein in Utrecht and the labs of Fulvio Reggiori and Harrie Kampinga in Groningen, which aims to explore autophagy as a potential therapy for neurodegenerative disorders characterized by cytoplasmic aggregates in neurons. The PhD candidate will be based in the Kapitein lab in Utrecht and investigate the mechanism of aggregate formation and turnover by autophagy in non-neuronal and neuronal cells using a novel experimental approach to trigger and control aggregate formation. She/he will also explore the effects of the size and type of neurotoxic aggregates on autophagy induction and progression, and whether aggregate clearance by autophagy is more effective when chaperones are enhanced. The project will involve protein engineering, genetic engineering, high-resolution live-cell imaging and superresolution microscopy.

Requirements: You have a Master in Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Life Sciences, Biophysics or something equivalent. You have a keen interest in developing and applying approaches that will lead to mechanistic insights in fundamental cellular processes. Experience with molecular biology, protein purification, advanced microscopy and/or programming is recommended.

To apply, please send your CV and a motivation letter to dr. Lukas Kapitein (l.kapitein@uu.nl).


A five year Tenure Track Assistant Professor is available at the Division of Molecular and Cellular Biophysics that is currently being formed. We are looking for candidates trained as a physicist/biochemist and specialized in biophysics, who are interested in starting an independent research group. We are particularly interested in candidates with experience in mathematical and physical modeling, such as reaction-diffusion systems, pattern formation and self-organisation, polymer and membrane mechanics or chemical kinetics.

At the beginning of the Track the candidate will make a career development plan that outline the goals of the track, both for research, teaching and personal development. When evaluated positively, this will result in a permanent position.

For more details, see link: https://www.academictransfer.com/employer/UU/vacancy/41820/lang/nl/

Additional information about the vacancy can be obtained from: Lukas Kapitein +31 30 253 24 58 or email: L.Kapitein@uu.nl.



In the lab of Anna Akhmanova, 1 postdoc position (3 years) is available.
To apply, please send an email to A.Akhmanova@uu.nl

Multifactorial control of microtubule dynamics in vitro and in cells

Microtubule dynamics are regulated by a plethora of factors, the individual activities of which are known. However, it is still poorly understood how these factors work together and how their collective activity is modulated by physical barriers and interactions with other cytoskeletal structures such as actin. The aim of this project is to address these questions by combining cell biological experiments, multicomponent in vitro reconstitution assays and the use of microfabricated devices. This project is in collaboration with the groups of Marileen Dogterom at TU Delft, Gijsje Koenderink at AMOLF and Lukas Kapitein at Utrecht University.

In the lab of Anna Akhmanova, a PhD position (4 years) is available.
To apply, please send an email to A.Akhmanova@uu.nl

Microtubule organisation and membrane trafficking in metastatic cancer

Metastasis is the major cause of cancer-related mortality. It depends on the ability of cancer cells to migrate away from the primary tumour and invade distant organs. Cancer cell motility has been extensively investigated in conventional two-dimensional cell culture systems. However, recent studies firmly established that cancer cell behaviour and architecture is best studied in three-dimensional (3D) matrices, which more closely mimic the 3D physiological tumour microenvironment. In this project, we propose to investigate how microtubule dynamics and microtubule-based membrane trafficking contribute to cancer cell motility in 3D and to metastasis in mice. The project is a collaboration with the laboratories of Judith Klumperman and Patrick Derksen at UMC Utrecht.



MacGillavry group

PhD student Molecular Neurobiology: “receptor trafficking at neuronal synapses” (1.0 FTE), for details click here.
Also: http://www.academictransfer.com/38173
To apply: https://www.academictransfer.com/employer/UU/vacancy/38173/apply/



Oliveira group

PhD position in Biology, Virology and Pharmacy (1.0 FTE)

We are looking for a highly motivated PhD candidate who will develop nanobodies binding to conserved epitopes on viral proteins from corona and influenza viruses. After thorough characterization of their binding properties, these nanobodies will subsequently be explored for application in diagnosis, protection, and treatment of viral infection.

This project is a collaboration between Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Biophysics (Department of Biology, Faculty of Science), Pharmaceutics (Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Faculty of Science), and Virology (Faculty of Veterinary Medicine).




Hoogenraad group

PhD student or Postdoctoral researcher Molecular Neurobiology
The project forms part of a ZonMW financed TOP grant, with the aim to examine the mechanism by which early life stress lastingly changes signal transfer in the brain. The focus of the project is on glutamatergic transmission in the hippocampus. The PhD student / Postdoc researcher will primarily use live cell imaging technology to visualize receptor dynamics in hippocampal cultures and slices. The project is complementary to a second part of the grant that will primarily apply patch clamp electrophysiological techniques to investigate how shortly after early life stress glutamatergic transmission is altered. The position is full-time and will mostly concern doing research.

In addition, the student will enroll in the PhD program of Brain Center Rudolf Magnus, which offers an extensive variety of courses; see for more information: http://www.rudolfmagnus.nl/ training and career/ PhD program. The PhD student / Postdoc researcher will also be asked to assist (to a limited extent) in the education of Bachelor and Master students. The experimental work shall take place at the Division Cell Biology, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science at Utrecht University. This project will be performed in close collaboration with SILS-CNS at University of Amsterdam and the Brain Center Rudolf Magnus / Dept. Translational Neuroscience at UMC Utrecht.

We are looking for an enthusiastic and motivated life scientist with experience in molecular biology and neurobiology. Preferably the candidate should have earlier experience with live cell imaging. The candidate should start September 1, 2014, by the latest.

For further information about this position can be obtained from: Prof. dr. Casper Hoogenraad (email: c.hoogenraad@uu.nl or telephone: +31 30 253 4585).

PHD POSITIONS: One position is still available in the FOM program “Barriers in the Brain: the molecular physics of learning and memory”, which aims to unravel the functional connection between the dendritic spine morphology and synapse functioning using a large variety of experimental techniques, such as super-resolution live-cell microscopy, molecular engineering, mathematical modelling and in vitro and ex vivo cell culturing of neurons.

The available subprojects are highly interdisciplinary and range from proteomics approaches to dendritic spine morphogenesis to the study of spine and transport vesicle morphodynamics using superresolution microscopy. Candidates with a strong background in either cell biology, (bio)chemistry or physics who are interested in crossing disciplinary borders are encouraged to apply.

These projects will be performed in collaboration with the groups of Casper Hoogenraad and Lukas Kapitein. Send your application to Prof. dr. Casper Hoogenraad (c.hoogenraad@uu.nl) or dr. Lukas Kapitein (l.kapitein@uu.nl).

We are looking for talented and motivated postdoctoral candidates who are interested in studying ‘Cell Biology of Neurons’. The positions are available in a NWO-ALW VICI grant on ‘Molecular mechanisms of dendritic spine plasticity’. Applicants for this position should have expertise in live-cell fluorescent imaging with an interest in cellular mechanisms of protein trafficking, organelle transport, microtubule dynamics and neuronal morphogenesis. Good writing skills, publications in high impact journals and a track record of successful grant/fellowship writing are expected. Send your application to Prof. dr. Casper Hoogenraad (c.hoogenraad@uu.nl).