Postdoctoral researcher

Ghent University


August 31, 2021


→ Apply before 31/08/2021 23:59 (Brussels Time) → Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences → Department: GE31 - Biomoleculaire Geneeskunde → Occupancy rate:100% → Number of positions: 1.00 → Type of employment: Contract of unlimited duration with clause → Term of assignment: 2 jaar → Wage scale: PD1 to PD4 (doctoral degree) → Required diploma: PhD


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, as well as technical and social service provision on a daily basis. It is one of the largest, most exciting employers in the area and offers great career opportunities. With its 11 faculties and more than 80 departments offering state-of-the-art study programs grounded in research in a wide range of academic fields, Ghent University is a logical choice for its staff and students.


Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, brain cancer and neuroblastoma are the three most frequent cancers occurring in children. Survival rates for childhood leukaemia have dramatically increased over the past decades while survival for children with relapsed disease remains low. Increase in survival for children suffering from brain cancer or neuroblastoma has been modest and current therapy has severe short and long-term side effects. Given these facts, there is an urgent medical need for novel insights and discoveries that can pave the way for more effective and less toxic treatment.

Using multi-omics technologies, single-cell applications and innovative in vitro and in vivo models, we seek for novel druggable vulnerabilities in paediatric cancers with focus on neuroblastoma. We test novel small molecule combinations and explore the power of PROTACs for protein degradation in a preclinical setting. As partner of the ITCC consortium and EU-Vagabond initiative, we aim to accelerate the future transition towards more potent and less toxic precision medicine from the bench to the patient.

We make combined use of high-throughput genomics and proteomics, cellular model systems, mouse and zebrafish models and advanced bioinformatics to gain insights into the role of genes and gene regulatory and signalling networks in initiation and development of childhood cancer as well as processes leading to treatment resistance, the main cause of cancer deaths.


  • At least 70% of your assignment will be spent on academic research.
  • You are involved in research unravelling the role of DNA damage signalling pathways and components as novel targets for synergistic drugging in the paediatric tumour neuroblastoma.
  • You are coordinating in vitro functional genomics assays and preclinical investigations to study the role of the novel candidate genes as drug targets.
  • You will interact with multiple other research teams within the Cancer Research Institute Ghent ( as well as international collaborating teams as part of the ongoing multidisciplinary investigations.

  • You hold a thesis-based doctorate in Life Sciences (obtained max. 6 years ago. This term of 6 years is determined by the date written on the above- mentioned required diploma).)
  • Excellent written and oral English skills are required, as evidenced by prior peer-reviewed publications and conference presentations.
  • You are a talented and enthusiastic researcher, who is seriously motivated and has a sense for high professional standards.
  • You are ambitious and passionate about research.
  • You have a proven track record of successful research and high ranked publications.
  • You have the ability to work autonomously while having strong team player skills.
  • You are motivated towards applying for future competitive postdoc grants (e.g. FWO (
  • You are a fluent communicator.
  • You know how to apply the principles of project management.
  • Experience in in vitro functional genomics and in vivo preclinical drug studies, tumor biology, sequencing, data mining is required.
  • Experience in zebrafish and/or mouse work and DNA repair related assays is a plus.
  • Experience in project writing and successful achievement of grants is a plus.

  • We offer you a contract of indefinite duration with a maximum term of 2 years.
  • Your contract will start on 1/09/2021 at the earliest.
  • Participate in an exciting and rapidly evolving new research area within a multidisciplinary environment
  • Become member of an established leading research lab with a young, dynamic and enthusiastic research staff with great team spirit (https: // www.
  • Research team operating at international level and dedicated to improving survival of children with cancer embedded in ITCC (https: // www. itcc- and EU-vagabond (https: //
  • "state-of-the-art" technology and facilities (sequencing, FACs, imaging, molecular biology, histology, bioinformatics, in vitro CRISPR modeling, in vivo mouse and zebrafish modeling, advanced cellular models).
  • Embedded within top-research teams with a broad range of expertise.
  • A defined track for postdoc coaching and career development (see postdoc community at Ghent University https: // www. plan/postdoc-community).
  • Your remuneration will be determined by salary scale PD1. Click here for 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 holiday leave (on an annual basis for a full-time job) supplemented by annual fixed bridge days, a bicycle allowance and eco vouchers.. Click here for a complete overview of all the staffbenefits(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 submitted through the online system.

    Your application must include the following documents:

  • In the field ‘CV' : your CV and an overview of your study results (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 “other documents” : Upload at least one reference letter. A link to the PhD dissertation and/or published research papers should be provided (e.g. ORCID, google scholar profile).
  • 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. Frank Speleman preferentially by e-mail (, for urgent questions call +32 (0)9/332.24.51.

    Important: do NOT send your application by e-mail, but apply online.

    Do you have a question? Please read our FAQ regarding the online application process.

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