PhD Student

Last application date
Dec 05, 2021 00:00
WE14 - Department of Biomedical Molecular Biology
Limited duration
Master of Science in Bioscience Engineering, Bioinformatics, Systems Biology, Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Biomedical Sciences or other Master of Science with relevant expertise in bioinformatics/computational biology
Occupancy rate
Vacancy type
Research staff

Job description

Neuroblastoma is a pediatric tumor originating from the sympathetic nervous system and responsible for 10-15% of all childhood cancer deaths. Tumour heterogeneity is a key determining factor in treatment failure, which is represented at the single cell level by different transcriptional and epigenomic cell states. In order to develop more effective therapies, we need a thorough understanding of the regulatory heterogeneity of this pediatric cancer i.e. the transcriptional programs and their key regulatory factors that give rise to the different cell states.
The lab for Computational Biology, Integromics and Gene Regulation - CBIGR focuses on acquiring a functional understanding of gene regulation and signalling in health and disease through multi-omics data integration and regulatory network inference. Our final goal is to use this knowledge in the development of novel preventive or therapeutic strategies for successful personal healthcare.
We are looking for a talented and highly motivated PhD candidate to join our enthusiastic and young team on single cell neuroblastoma research. Specifically, you will implement and optimize computational approaches to unravel the regulatory heterogeneity in neuroblastoma and identify key regulatory factors and biological pathways at play in the disease pathobiology at the patient, disease stage and cell state level. Gene regulatory networks will be used as a framework and will be inferred based on single cell transcriptome and epigenome data of primary and metastasis tumor tissue at diagnosis and relapse.
We provide an open and stimulating multidisciplinary working environment in computational biology and biomedical sciences. We are part of and work together with other neuroblastoma researchers at the Department of Biomedical Molecular Biology and the Department of Biomolecular Medicine, with recognised expertise in molecular biology, omics technologies, bioinformatics and cancer at Ghent University. We are also partner of the Cancer Research Institute Ghent (CRIG). For more information see and

Job profile

  • You obtained a Master of Science degree in Bioscience Engineering, Bioinformatics, Systems Biology, Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Biomedical Sciences or another Master of Science with relevant expertise in bioinformatics/computational biology.
  • You have a good track record (study results and/or publications).
  • You have solid experience in programming (including bash, Python, R scripting, high-performance computing, databases and visualization tools).
  • You have a strong interest and expertise in bioinformatics and biostatistics.
  • You have a strong interest in the analysis of single cell data and cancer research.
  • You are acquainted with molecular biology and omics technologies.
  • You have excellent written and oral communication skills in English.
  • You possess strong analytical problem-solving skills (creative, critical, thinking out-of-the-box).
  • You are able to work independently and take initiative, yet you are also a team player.
  • You are accurate and have a strong feeling of responsibility.
  • You are perseverant and have a strong ambition to learn.

We offer a position for 1 year, which will normally be extended to 4 years in case of a positive evaluation. Note that the latter may require application for a FWO/BOF doctoral fellowship.

How to apply

Submit the following documents by email to

  • Motivation letter
  • CV
  • ames and contacts from at least 2 references
  • Copy of diploma’s

All required documents need to be submitted, merged in 1 single pdf-file.
Deadline for application is December 5th, 2021. Applicants are encouraged to apply immediately, as upon selecting the right candidate, the vacancy can be closed earlier. Top-ranked candidates will be invited for an interview (either on-site or via Skype).
For inquiries concerning the position contact Prof. Dr. ir. Vanessa Vermeirssen (