PhD position in biophysical protein evolution

 CDD · Thèse  · 12 mois (renouvelable)    Bac+5 / Master   ULB-VUB Interuniversity Institute of Bioinformatics in Brussels - (IB)² · Bruxelles (Belgique)

 Date de prise de poste : 1 octobre 2021


structural bioinformatics evolution protein function



We offer a unique opportunity to explore the biophysical properties of proteins using an evolutionary perspective at the (IB)² Interuniversity Institute of Bioinformatics in Brussels (

Whereas the prediction of how a protein folds has recently been essentially solved, the study of protein dynamics and of the ambiguous behavior of proteins that switch between different shape is becoming increasingly important, as such features of proteins play key roles in crucial cellular functions.

In this fundamental research project, with many potential industrial applications, the selected applicant will investigate the relationship between the sequence, structure and biophysical conservation of proteins for a range of (mostly micro)organisms that inhabit drastically different environments, using state-of-the-art statistical approaches to disentangle the footprint of common ancestry from the influence of the environment.

The PhD candidate will be based in Brussels at the Bio2Byte group of the VUB (, with expertise in the prediction of protein properties from their sequence, and at the EEG (Ecological & Evolutionary Genomics) group of ULB (, with expertise in genome assembly, comparative genomics and molecular systematics.

The project will be conducted in collaboration with Dr. Danny Ionescu, a specialist in microbial ecological genomics at the IGB (Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries) in Berlin.

Requirements: We are looking for a candidate with a Master’s Degree (MSc) in Sciences, with a strong background in biology and statistics and excellent computational skills, preferably in (structural) bioinformatics.

Prior experience working with protein sequences on evolutionary issues will be an asset for the position. Candidates must have an excellent track record (e.g. publications or conference presentations) and be fluent in English.

Practical information:

The position is initially for one year, starting on 1st October or as soon as possible thereafter, with possibility to extend for three more years to complete a full PhD.

The main work location will be the (IB)² Interuniversity Institute of Bioinformatics in Brussels (; VUB Etterbeek).

Applications and further information:

For applying, please fill in the form at

Each submitted application will be reviewed until a suitable candidate is found.

Your application should include 1) a CV (including contact information for at least 2 reference persons familiar with your previous achievements), 2) the complete transcripts of records from your BSc and MSc, and 3) a detailed motivation letter.

For questions regarding the position, please contact and/or


Procédure :

Date limite : 1 novembre 2021

Offre publiée le 21 septembre 2021, affichage jusqu'au 1 novembre 2021