PhD Student

Last application date
Dec 15, 2019 10:02
WE14 - Department of Biomedical molecular biology
Employment category
Doctoral fellow
Limited duration
Master of Science in Bioscience Engineering, Bioinformatics, Engineering, Computer Science, Mathematics, Statistics or other Master of Science with relevant expertise in bioinformatics/computational biology
Occupancy rate
Vacancy Type
Research staff

Job description

Technological advancements in high-throughput molecular analysis have led to a wealth of omics data: genome, epigenome, transcriptome, proteome, metabolome, ... The capacity to integrate multi-omics data, to something more than the sum of the existing data, is key to elucidating the causes of complex diseases such as neuro-inflammatory diseases and cancer. The research team of Vanessa Vermeirssen 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. Specifically, you will develop and compare state of the art computational approaches involving statistics, bioinformatics, data-mining and machine learning for multi-omics data integration. In addition, you will apply these methodologies to gain novel systems-biological insights in neuro-inflammatory diseases and cancer.

We provide an open and stimulating multidisciplinary working environment in computational biology and biomedical sciences. We are part of the Department of Biomedical Molecular Biology, with a strong expertise in deciphering molecular mechanisms of cell death, inflammation, immunity and cancer, and the Department of Biomolecular Medicine, with recognised expertise in medical genetics and omics technologies applied to rare diseases and cancer at Ghent University. We are embedded in the recently established multidisciplinary consortium of the inflammatory gut-brain axis, which aims to unravel the disturbance of the communication between the gastrointestinal tract and the brain in gut inflammation associated neurological disorders. We are also partner of the Cancer Research Institute Ghent (CRIG).

Profile of the candidate

• You obtained a Master of Science degree in Bioscience Engineering, Bioinformatics, Engineering, Computer Science, Mathematics, Statistics or other 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, biostatistics and the analysis of high-dimensional data.

• You are sufficiently 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


-Names and contacts from at least 2 references

-Copy of diploma’s

All required documents need to be submitted, merged in 1 single pdf-file.

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 ()