PhD position in Cerebrovascular Diseases and Cognitive Function

Sébastien FoulquierBySébastien Foulquier

PhD position in Cerebrovascular Diseases and Cognitive Function

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Website JonesLab_KUL Maastricht University and KU Leuven

Cerebral small vessel disease (cSVD) is a disorder of the cerebral microvasculature causing ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes and vascular dementia. Chronic hypertension and type II diabetes lead to remodelling and thickening of arterioles resulting in hypoperfusion of the capillary networks. Hypoperfusion, impaired neurovascular coupling and increased blood brain barrier (BBB) permeability lead to brain tissue damage and reduced cognitive function.

The current position concerns a project to look at the role of mechanotransduction by the endothelium in the development of cSVD. Funding for the position is awarded based on the candidate pursuing a double PhD between the Cardiovascular Research Institute CARIM at Maastricht University (NL) and the department of Cardiovascular Sciences at KU Leuven (BE). The doctoral work will mainly occur in Maastricht, however the candidate is expected to travel periodically to Leuven. This trans-disciplinary project will be co-supervised by Dr. Staals, a clinical neurologist at U Maastricht, Dr. Foulquier, a neuroscientist at U Maastricht, and Dr. Jones, an expert in mechanotransduction.

The project will involve significant histology and molecular biology techniques, as well as animal cognitive testing. The experimental protocols will be both in vitro and in vivo.

Tasks and responsibilities

– Design and rigorous execution of experimental work, data analysis and dissemination of results;
– Co-supervise research interns;
– Contribute to teaching activities carried by the research group;
– Creative and independent thinker who can deepen a research question;
– Excellent communicator (oral and written) and team worker.

-a MSc degree in a biomedical related field;
– animal certification (Dutch art 9 or FELASA C) or willingness to obtain such a certificate;
– excellent written and oral communication skills in English;
– knowledge and experience with cell culture and common laboratory assays (especially gene expression analysis);
– knowledge and experience with animal behavior and/or confocal/multiphoton imaging will be a major advantage.

We encourage you to apply when you feel prepared to take on challenging aims. This project is highly collaborative within an interdisciplinary team and will suit an ambitious candidate who thrives in a fast-paced environment.

The candidate is expected to collaborate with other PhD-students and postdoctoral fellows in the participating research groups.

What do we offer?

– An international PhD training program taught in English;
– Friendly and multi-disciplinary environment;
– State-of-the-art facilities and cutting-edge research project;
– Fixed-term contract of 1 + 3 years (evaluation after first year), full-time position. The salary will be set according to PhD salary scale of the Collective Labor Agreement of the Dutch Universities (CAO- NU).


Deadline for submitting your application is March 1 2023. Start date is negotiable. Please send your CV with names of two referees and a cover letter to:
liz.jones@kuleuven and

To apply for this job email your details to

About the author

Sébastien Foulquier

Sébastien Foulquier subscriber

My research group investigates key cellular and molecular events that contribute to the dysfunction of the neuro-glio-vascular unit in cerebral small vessel disease.