→ Apply until 26/10/2021 (DD/MM/YYYY) 23:59 (Brussels time)
→ Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
→ Department GE31 - Department of Biomolecular Medicine
→ AAP temporary appointment - 100%
→ Number of openings: 1.00
→ Reference number: 202109/GE31/AS/037
ABOUT GHENT UNIVERSITY
Ghent University is a world of its own. Employing more than 8,000 people, it
is actively involved in education and research, management and administration,
and technical and social services on a daily basis. It is one of the largest,
most exciting employers in the area and offers great career opportunities.
With each of its 11 faculties and more than 100 departments offering state-of-
the-art study programmes that are grounded in research in a wide range of
academic fields, Ghent University is a logical choice for its employees as
well as its students.
At least 50% of your assignment will be spent on academic research in
preparation of a doctoral dissertation.
Subject of the dissertation: Prediction of surgical resectability after
FOLFIRINOX chemotherapy for borderline resectable and locally advanced
After neoadjuvant therapy, borderline resectable (BR) and locally advanced
pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (LAPDA) patients need to be evaluated by a
surgeon whether they may be eligible/will benefit from surgery. However,
surgical resectability is difficult to predict as spatial changes are
unreliable on CT-scans and the tumor marker (CA 19-9) is not specific
enough. Patients with circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in their blood in a
pre-operative setting show a detrimental outcome despite successful tumor
resections. Indeed, CTC presence predicts early distant metastases and
impaired survival. However, isolating CTCs from blood samples is not a routine
laboratory test. In fact, characterizing such CTCs requires optimizing the
isolation procedure of this rare cell population and the development of proper
The main goal of this multidisciplinary, translational project is to search
for highly specific biomarkers in blood predicting BR/LAPDA resectability and
prognosis by combining clinical and genetic profiling of liquid biopsies.
First, we will study the evolution of the number of CTCs in blood samples of
patients, followed by phenotyping of the cells. Second, we will perform a
longitudinal analysis of the driver mutations and epigenetic changes in cell-
free DNA. Third, we will perform genotyping of the germline variations in
noncoding, functional regions of genes that regulate cancer progression,
invasion and metastatis. Lastly, we will determine specificity, positive and
negative predictive values of the genetic data in relation to clinical and
surgical parameters. The outcome of this project will have an immediate impact
in the therapeutic decision tree, avoiding unnecessary open abdomens, making
treatment more proficient improving the quality of life.
You will assist in the teaching activities at the department.
You will assist in the internal and external services of the department.
The assignment mainly compromises scientific research in preparation of a
doctoral dissertation. The contribution to teaching activities and
services of the department are limited.
WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR
You hold a degree of Master in Bioengineer, Biotechnology, Biomedical
Sciences, Bioinformatics or similar. For diplomas awarded outside the
European Union, a certificate of equivalence (NARIC) must be submitted.
The degree requirements need to be fulfilled at the start of your
You are interested in academic and/or project-based research.
You are interested in both wet lab work and bioinformatics.
Participation in extra training, conferences, etc. is recommended.
WHAT WE CAN OFFER YOU
We offer you a two-year appointment, which may be renewed twice for two
years, on condition that the previous term was given a positive
evaluation. Attention : If you have been previously appointed as a
junior assistant or doctoral fellow at a university within the Flemish
Community, this appointment will be deducted from the maximum term of
appointment, which is six years at the most according to the Codex of
Your appointment will start on 15 January 2022 at the earliest.
Your remuneration will be determined according to salary scale AAP3. More
information about our salary scales.
All Ghent University staff members enjoy a number of benefits, such as a
wide range of training and education opportunities, 35 days of paid leave,
bicycle commuting reimbursement, ecocheques, etc. A complete overview of
all our fringe benefits (in Dutch).
Apply online through the e-recruitment system before the application
deadline (see above). We do not accept late applications or applications
that are not sent through the online system.
Your application must include the following documents:
In the field ‘Cv' : your cv and an overview of your study results, and
references (merged into one pdf file)
In the field ‘Cover letter' : your application letter in pdf format
In the field ‘Diploma' : a transcript of the required degree (if
already in your possession). If you have a foreign diploma in a language
other than our national languages (Dutch, French or German) or English,
please add a translation in one of the mentioned languages.
In the field ‘Certificate of equivalence' : only for diplomas awarded
outside the European Union a certificate of equivalence (NARIC) must be
submitted. (This can be requested via www. naricvlaanderen.be/en).
Note that the maximum file size for each field is 10 MB.
As Ghent University maintains an equal opportunities and diversity policy,
everyone is encouraged to apply for this position.
For more information about this vacancy, please contact Prof. Kathleen Claes
(kathleen.claes@UGent.be, +32 09/332 24 78).
Do you have a question regarding the online application process? Please read