Job opportunities

Postdoctoral position: Mechanisms of meiotic recombination.

A postdoc position is available in the laboratory of Corentin Claeys Bouuaert (https://perso.uclouvain.be/corentin.claeys/) at the Louvain Institute of Biomolecular Science and Technology (LIBST-UCLouvain, Belgium) to investigate the molecular mechanisms of DNA double-strand break formation and repair during meiosis.

Scope: To generate reproductive cells, most eukaryotes induce a genome-wide mechanism of DNA recombination that allows them to identify, align, then segregate homologous pairs of chromosomes. This process starts with the programmed introduction of DNA double-strand breaks by the topoisomerase-related enzyme, Spo11. Meiotic recombination then leads to the formation of crossovers, the reciprocal exchanges of DNA fragments between parental chromosomes that promote genetic diversity. The laboratory is interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms whereby meiotic double-strand breaks are formed and subsequently repaired. Several projects are available that involve state-of-the-art biochemistry and molecular genetics, with options to apply methods based on atomic-force microscopy, fluorescence microscopy, and proteomics.

Your profile: We are seeking a highly motivated researcher with a strong interest in chromosome biology and the molecular mechanisms of nucleic-acids processing enzymes. Applicants must have or expect to shortly complete a PhD in a field related to biochemistry or molecular biology. Expertise in protein purifications, protein-DNA biochemistry or yeast molecular genetics would be valuable. Additional experience in proteomics, genomics and bioinformatics, structural biology, or biophysics (including AFM), would also be regarded as assets. Priority will be given to candidates with a proven track record (with one or more publication as a first author).

Environment: The laboratory is located on the campus of Louvain-La-Neuve, a human-size pedestrian city that hosts the largest French-speaking university of Belgium with over 30.000 students. The environment offers excellent quality of life, with many possibilities of socio-cultural and sport activities, and is well-connected to Brussels. The team of Dr. Claeys Bouuaert started in the summer of 2019 and currently consists of six PhD students, a postdoc, and a research technician. The team is largely international and the working language is English, hence proficiency in English is essential.

Position: The position is available until filled, but applications are unlikely to be considered after March 1st, 2022. The starting date is as soon as possible, ideally by September 2022. The position is funded for 3 years. The candidate will be encouraged to apply for individual fellowships during their stay. Net allowance is around 2600 euros per month.

Application: Interested applicants should send a letter with a brief description of their research interests, a curriculum vitae, and the contact information of three references to Corentin Claeys Bouuaert (corentin.claeys@uclouvain.be).

Relevant literature:

- Claeys Bouuaert et al., (2021) DNA-dependent macromolecular condensation drives self-assembly of the meiotic DNA break machinery. Nature. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33731927/

- Claeys Bouuaert et al., (2021) Structural and functional characterization of the Spo11 core complex. Nat Struct Mol Biol. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33398171/

- Vikash Kumar Yadav and Corentin Claeys Bouuaert. (2021) Mechanism and Control of Meiotic DNA Double-Strand Break Formation in S. cerevisiae. Front Cell Dev Biol. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33748134/