April 2024

Three PhD positions for a collaborative project in human somatosensory neuroscience

Project title

Integration of somatosensory submodalities for grip and touch

Project description

This multidisciplinary human neuroscience project will explore how tactile mechanosensory, thermosensory and proprioceptive inputs integrate during tactile exploration and haptic manipulation. Specific aims will be (1) to characterize and model the biomechanical and thermal interactions between manipulated objects and the skin, (2) to evaluate the sensory encoding properties of tactile mechanoreceptors, thermoreceptors and proprioceptors and (3) to probe the cortical processes involved in thermosensory, mechanosensory and proprioceptive integration using a combination of psychophysical experiments, microneurography studies and electroencephalography (EEG) experiments in healthy human volunteers. The project will have implications for the design of haptic interfaces, virtual reality setups and hand prostheses integrating haptic feedback.

Host institution

This collaborative project will be hosted at the UCLouvain Institute of Neuroscience (Brussels, Belgium; It will be coordinated by three principal investigators.

André Mouraux ( is a neurologist and neuroscientist with expertise in thermonociception and EEG. Philippe Lefèvre ( and Benoît Delhaye ( are engineers and neuroscientists working in the field of motor control and sensorimotor coordination.

Open positions

Three PhD positions (3x48 months) are available to perform this research project. Starting date is flexible, from October 2024.


  • Master’s degree in medicine, neuroscience, engineering, biomedical sciences, psychology or equivalent.
  • Ability to work in a laboratory environment, interest in human neuroscience research, passion for experimental research.
  • Analysis skills and an analytical mind-set
  • Oral and written communication skills.
  • Proficient in both spoken and written English.
  • Ability to work independently and as a member of a research team.
  • Ability to engage in interdisciplinary research and technological areas.
  • Computer programming and or statistical skills are an asset.


Applications should be sent by email to as a single PDF document including: (1) a motivation letter, (2) a CV detailing their academic and professional background and their research experiences, and (3) at least one letter of recommendation from the master thesis promoter, internship supervisor or other.

Please contact for additional information.


December 2023

PhD position in Cell physiology / Neuroscience
University of Louvain - Brussels - Belgium

Project Title
Modulation of mechanosensitive ion channels by lipidic environment. Role in cancer biology.

Cellular mechanosensitivity plays a key role in the life of the cell, regulating its migration, its proliferation and its death during physiological phenomena such as development. Alteration of cellular mechanosensitivity is implicated in the development of a number of pathologies, including cancer, notably in glioblastoma on which this project is focused. The general goal of this proposal is to better understand how lipid environment of cell membranes affect mechanosensitive ion channels. To achieve this goal, we will combine expertises in cell morphology and mechanics, lipid membrane biophysics and ion channels activity measurements to understand how the composition of the lipid bilayer, its asymmetry and its lateral domains affect mechanosensitive channel gating and clustering.

Principal investigator and host laboratory:
Philippe Gailly, Laboratory of cell physiology - Institute of Neuroscience (IoNS), University of Louvain (Brussels campus), Belgium.

The candidate should hold a master's degree in Physiology, Biology, Biophysics, Medicine, Chemistry, Biomedical and Health Sciences or related fields. In addition, the candidate should have a keen interest in ion channel biophysics.
The candidate should be fluent in English and/or French.

The application should include a complete CV, a motivation letter explaining why the applicant is best suited for this project, and 2 letters of recommendation.

The project will start in mid-2024 and run for 4 years. The successful candidate will receive funding for 2 years (renewable) and will apply to competitive PhD fellowships (FRS-FNRS, FRIA).

For more details about the position, please contact Philippe Gailly: