PhD student: Inflammatory cell death mechanisms in cancer and autoinflammatory diseases



C. Heymanslaan 10, Ghent, Belgium



Ghent, Belgium



About the lab

The research team of Prof. Mo Lamkanfi, also called the Laboratory of Medical Immunology, has a longstanding interest in understanding inflammasome signalling and lytic cell death pathways that contribute majorly to chronic inflammatory diseases and play a crucial role in host defense against microbial pathogens. The Lamkanfi lab currently has a vacancy for a highly motivated PhD student to investigate novel regulatory pathways and the functional impact of pyroptosis and other lytic cell death mechanisms in inflammatory and neoplastic diseases. The research group has at its disposal state-of-the-art research facilities and is integrated in the Medical Research Building 2 facilities of the Ghent University Hospital Campus in Ghent, Belgium. Within close proximity of the academic hospital, the research group aims to translate the fundamental knowledge generated into the design of novel therapeutic and diagnostic tools (e.g. PMID: 32312770; PMID: 31525186).


Job description 

The current PhD position is available for a highly motivated candidate to work on a granted multi-disciplinary project within the research group of Prof. Mo Lamkanfi, and involving several other research groups at Ghent University. The main aims of the PhD project is to define molecular mechanisms regulating cell death induction by Gasdermin family members and to address their role in cancer and autoinflammatory diseases. In this regard, the PhD student will setup experiments using cutting-edge CRISPR-Cas9 genome-wide screening approaches, retroviral transduction and single cell RNA sequencing technologies to discover and functionally analyse potential genes that modulate lytic cell death activation in primary hematopoietic and epithelial cells of human and murine origin. In this project, we will also make use of advanced confocal microscopy, flow cytometry and mouse transgenesis to understand how lytic cell death contributes to inflammatory and neoplastic pathology. We offer Type of employment PhD candidate researcher: Full-time, fixed-term appointment for initially 1 year, yearly renewable after positive evaluation up to 4 years. Intended starting date: 1st of June 2023 (later start dates are also possible in mutual agreement).



  • You hold a MSc/Masters’ degree in molecular biology, bio-engineering, biotechnology, biochemistry, biosciences or equivalent related fields from a recognized university.

  • You have a keen interest in genetic engineering and molecular biology technologies, bio-informatics, and cell death and/or inflammation biology.

  • Prior experience in retroviral transduction, CRISPR/Cas based gene editing and/or molecular biology technologies is required.

  • Prior experience in RNA sequencing or other NGS workflows is an asset.

  • A FELASA B/C degree or equivalent degree accreditation for animal experimentation is an asset, but not required.

  • You have excellent English communication skills (both oral and written).

  • You are highly motivated and can plan and conduct research accurately.

  • You can function well independently as well as in a team as you will be integrated into the international collaborative research environment of the host laboratory.

  • You can take initiative and have a hands-on mentality, perseverance and critical mind-set.

We offer

  • A 4-year PhD position (1+3 years) to work on an exciting and innovative project, covering a fascinating combination of technologies and research interests. 

  • A multidisciplinary and highly stimulating and supporting international research environment

  • Access to state-of-the-art technologies and infrastructure

  • A multitude of training opportunities organized by the Ghent University Doctoral Schools to broaden your expertise and skill-set

  • All Ghent University staff members enjoy a number of benefits, such as a wide range of training and education opportunities, 35 days of holiday leave (on an annual basis for a full-time job) supplemented by annual fixed bridge days, bicycle allowance and eco vouchers. Click here for a complete overview of all the staff benefits (in Dutch).

How to apply?

The position is immediately available. Applications are welcome until the position is filled.

For more information please contact Prof. dr. Mo Lamkanfi (


Please include a single pdf in your application that combines the following elements:

  • 1-page motivation letter expressing your interest in and suitability for the project

  • Detailed CV and 1-page summary of past research activities

  • A transcript of your Masters’ and FELASA degrees

  • Contact information of 2-3 referees

The first review of applications will start immediately. A shortlist of applicants will be selected and invited for interviews on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

As Ghent University maintains an equal opportunities and diversity policy, everyone is encouraged to apply for this position.

Job application