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Postdoc Structural Biology of Parkinson's Disease

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

Delft, Netherlands
Posted on Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Challenge: What are the underlying molecular mechanisms of Parkinson's?

Change: Solving protein structures for new insights at the nanoscale.

Impact: Understanding Parkinson's Disease.

Job description

A 3-year position is available for a postdoctoral candidate in the Molecular Neurobiology research group of Dimphna Meijer, Department of Bionanoscience, Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands.

The long-term goal of our research is to understand how neurons form networks in health and disease. We address questions such as: What is the underlying structural basis of synapse formation? We have recently determined cryo-EM structures of synaptic cell adhesion molecules that reveal part of the molecular recognition code underlying synapse formation. We are now also aiming to understand what happens at the nanoscale levels in diseased brain.

Neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson disease severely affect the lives of patients and their loved ones. To develop future treatments, integrating fundamental research with biomedical and clinical studies is crucial. As a postdoc you will take the lead in the development of a new research line to study the molecular mechanisms of Parkinson’s Disease. Would you like to conduct fundamental research at the interface between nanobiology, biophysics and medicine?

To study Parkinson’s Disease at the nanoscale, you will express and purify Parkinson’s associated risk factors and mutated proteins and determine their structures using integrative structural biology techniques, including single particle cryo-EM and X-ray crystallography. You will reconstruct macro-molecular protein complexes in situ, study them with our state-of-the-art light and cryo-electron microscopes, and reveal novel structure-function relationships. In this project you will work closely with neurologists of Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam, who will provide us with clinical data supporting the importance of the risk factors that you will be working on. Within the scope of our field, you will be encouraged to develop your own vision to set up your independent line of research for your future career step.

You will be joining the Molecular Neuroscience lab, an international team of multidisciplinary scientists. We aim for a high impact, supportive environment, and share a common goal to advance the field of neuroscience by overcoming technical and scientific challenges. See for more information on our group:


  • You are a highly motivated and goal-oriented researcher with a PhD degree in biochemistry, biophysics, structural biology or related field.
  • You are keen on studying disease mechanisms at the nanoscale and excited about the potential of cryo-electron microscopy and cryo-electron tomography.
  • Cryo-EM/Cryo-ET experience is a plus but not required.
  • You should be fluent in English and motivated to work in an ambitious and collaborative research team

Conditions of employment

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged.

For international applicants, TU Delft has the Coming to Delft Service. This service provides information for new international employees to help you prepare the relocation and to settle in the Netherlands. The Coming to Delft Service offers a Dual Career Programme for partners and they organize events to expand your (social) network.

TU Delft (Delft University of Technology)

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context.

At TU Delft we embrace diversity as one of our core values and we actively engage to be a university where you feel at home and can flourish. We value different perspectives and qualities. We believe this makes our work more innovative, the TU Delft community more vibrant and the world more just. Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale. That is why we invite you to apply. Your application will receive fair consideration.

Challenge. Change. Impact!

Faculty Applied Sciences

With more than 1,100 employees, including 150 pioneering principal investigators, as well as a population of about 3,600 passionate students, the Faculty of Applied Sciences is an inspiring scientific ecosystem. Focusing on key enabling technologies, such as quantum- and nanotechnology, photonics, biotechnology, synthetic biology and materials for energy storage and conversion, our faculty aims to provide solutions to important problems of the 21st century. To that end, we educate innovative students in broad Bachelor's and specialist Master's programmes with a strong research component. Our scientists conduct ground-breaking fundamental and applied research in the fields of Life and Health Science & Technology, Nanoscience, Chemical Engineering, Radiation Science & Technology, and Engineering Physics. We are also training the next generation of high school teachers.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Applied Sciences.

Additional information

For more information about this vacancy, please contact Dr. Dimphna Meijer, Principal Investigator, e-mail:   

Application procedure

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply before 1st of December 2023 via the application button and upload the following information in English (pdf format only):

  1. Letter of motivation (generic letters will be disregarded),
  2. Detailed CV with publication list
  3. Three names of potential references (we won't contact references without your consent)
  • A pre-employment screening can be part of the selection procedure.
  • Applying for an exemption for specific research and educational areas is an obligatory part of the selection procedure for this vacancy. This exemption must be obtained from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) before an employment contract is agreed upon. Click here for more information.
  • Please do not contact us for unsolicited services.