Postdoctoral fellow in Blue Biotech Bioinformatics

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven


August 20, 2021


Postdoctoral fellow in Blue Biotech Bioinformatics

(ref. BAP-2021-560)

Last modification : Friday, July 9, 2021

The Computational Systems Biology group (prof. Vera van Noort) is interested in understanding biological systems as a whole. We try to achieve this through computational analysis of large-scale data generated by the ever growing number of new technologies that can systematically measure the behaviour of multiple cellular components, such as biochemical activities, biophysical properties, subcellular localization and interaction. We use and develop new methods to integrate, visualize and query the large amounts of information available and in such a way come to new biological discoveries. The Laboratory of Biodiversity and Evolutionary genomics (prof. Filip Volckaert) is interested in understanding why life is so diverse at the population level. Evolutionary questions related to connectivity, adaptation and speciation carry our interest. Whenever possible we use complementary approaches at the genomic, phenotypic, ecological and environmental level to support our findings. LBEG is an EU-EMBRC reference lab for marine genomics and we manage a high-throughput genotyping laboratory in collaboration with the KU Leuven Genomics Core.

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The newly funded project ENZYMARES aims at leveraging the unique functional characteristics of biological resources from (marine) habitats to discover enzymes that contribute to faster and more efficient industrial processes. The department of Microbial and Molecular Systems - M2S (Faculty of Bio- Engineering) in collaboration with the Department of Biology - LBEG (Faculty of Science) at the KU Leuven are looking for a postdoctoral fellow in data mining, functional genomics & bioinformatics to lead independent applied research towards optimizing novel enzyme discovery pathways from marine (micro-)organisms. Through advanced genome mining, database construction and AI/Machine Learning applications, research will allow for more efficient enzyme screening and applications in various (blue) biotech fields (food, chemistry, cosmetics, biomedical).

The successful candidate will join two international teams that study the molecular evolution of marine organisms and develop analytical tools for NGS data for applied research purposes, and a systems biology team. The research fellow will transition/integrate collected Omics information on marine biosystems to the team of systems biologists and AI engineers also on the project. The candidate will focus on advanced research and data collection of functional genomics of marine (micro-)organisms and contribute to the development of bioinformatic toolkits for automated data mining, data banking and in silico/in vivo enzyme function prediction/testing/validation.


We are looking for a motivated and scientifically excellent candidate in functional genomics/bioinformatics with a problem-solving attitude to work in a collegial environment pervaded with intellectual rigor. Strong communication skills complemented with innovative and analytical thinking are important assets. Applicants must hold a PhD in a related field such as (Applied) Biology, Bioinformatics or Computational Biology. The individual we are looking for has broad knowledge of aquatic/marine (micro-)organisms (omics/phenotypes/environment), and will have to be comfortable with common bioinformatic tools, databases and programming languages (SQL, Python, R). The candidate will also have an opportunity for teaching and mentoring of students.


We offer an initial 18 months contract (extendable with national or EU funds), a competitive salary and interactive work environment in collaboration with a well-established marine research team (https: // and a well-established team of computational systems biologists (https: // www. KU Leuven is a research-intensive, internationally oriented university that has been elected Europe's most innovative university by Reuters and consistently ranks and features in Europe's top-15 universities within the Times Higher Education ranking. Leuven is a historic, dynamic and lively city located in the heart of Belgium, within 20 min from Brussels, the capital of the European Union, and less than 2 h from Paris, London and Amsterdam.


For more information please contact Prof. dr. Vera van Noort, tel.: +32 16 37 92 16, mail: or Prof. dr. Filip Volckaert, tel.: +32 16 32 39 72, mail:

KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at

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