Scientist (f/m) / PhD position Neuro-vascular communication in the central nervous system
The central nervous system (CNS) (brain and spinal cord) is composed of different neural cell types organized in a very stereotyped pattern and localized in defined compartments. Apart of the neuronal cell types, the CNS is also composed of blood vessels, responsible for providing oxygen and nutrients to the neuronal tissue. Similar to neurons, during development, blood vessels also follow defined pathways to enter and invade the CNS in order to assure proper oxygen and nutrient delivery to all parts of the tissue.

We recently found that the typical angiogenic factor Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) is important for vessel growth into the developing central nervous system. However, neurons regulate VEGF availability by expression a VEGF trapping receptor and like that making sure that blood vessels follow a stereotypic patterning of vascularization.

Based on those results, in this project we will further understand how different neuronal populations control CNS vascularization and identify the molecular mechanisms of this regulation.


Himmels P, Paredes I, Adler H, Karakatsani A, Luck R, Marti HH, Ermakova O, Rempel E, Stoeckli ET & Ruiz de Almodovar C. Motor neurons control blood vessel patterning in the developing spinal cord. Nat Commun. 2017 Mar 6;8:14583.

Lange C, Storkebaum E, Ruiz de Almodovar C, Dewerchin M & Carmeliet P. Vascular endothelial growth factor: a neurovascular target in neurological diseases. Nat Rev Neurol. 2016 Jul 1. doi: 10.1038/nrneurol.2016.88

Ruiz de Almodovar, C*, Fabre, P*, Knevels, E, Coulon, C, Segura, I, Haddick, PCG, Aerts, L, Delattin, N, Strasser, G, Oh, WJ, Lange, C, Vinckier, S, Haigh, JJ, Fouquet, C, Henderson, C, Gu C, Alitalo K, Castellani V, Tessier-Lavigne M, Chedotal A, Charron F* and Carmeliet P*. (2011). VEGF mediates commissural axon chemoattraction through its receptor Flk1. Neuron, June 9 (70):966-78.

Ruiz de Almodovar, C, Lambrechts, D, Mazzone, M & Carmeliet, P. (2009). Role and theraputical potential of VEGF in the nervous system. Physiol Rev. Apr; 89(2): 607-48.

Segura, I, De Smet, F, Hohensinner, PJ, Ruiz de Almodovar, C. & Carmeliet, P. (2009). The neurovascular link in health and disease: an update. Trends Mol Med. Oct; 15(10):439-51.




Methods that will be used:

Mouse genetics

Chicken electroporation


Ex vivo 3D cell culture

In vitro cell culture

Cell Biology

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology techniques



Light and fluorescent microscopy

Confocal microscopy

Cooperation partners:

- Prof. Amparo Acker-Palmer (FMLS institute, Frankfurt, Germany)

- Prof. Augustin (DKFZ, Heidelberg, Germany)

Personal qualifications:

The candidate should be an enthusiastic and motivated student willing to join a young international research group in a highly dynamic working environment (with English as main language). The ideal candidate should have a biomedicine or a biochemical and molecular biology background.


Deadline: 31. May 2017


Contact details: Ruiz de Almodóvar, Carmen