Postdoctoral Research Position on the Development of a Multi-omics cfDNA Platform to Improve the Detection of Tumors and Other Diseases

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    POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCH ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF A MULTI-OMICS CFDNA PLATFORM TO IMPROVE THE DETECTION OF TUMORS AND OTHER DISEASES
    • International
    • Belgium

    Website KU LEUVEN

    A 3-year Postdoctoral research position on the development of a multi-omics cfDNA platform is available in the team of Prof. Dr. Yves Moreau and Prof. Joris Vermeesch (KU/UZ Leuven, Belgium). The team aims to identify new biomarkers in blood that would enable detection of early signs of cancer, pregnancy complications and rejection in transplant patients. In this position, you will play a key role in the MICADO research consortium that strives to maximize the diagnostic and prognostic potential of cell-free DNA (cfDNA) analyses by combining multiple omics layers, with the aim to deliver superior methods for patient stratification and thus improve patient care. In addition, you will develop tools to enable real-time analysis of cfDNA sequencing data. Genomic medicine moves healthcare from being reactive to disease to being predictive to disease onset or from cure to prevention. Next-generation sequencing technologies have leveraged novel concepts to diagnose, treat and monitor diseases. Analysis of free-floating cfDNA from blood or other body fluids – called “liquid biopsy” – represents an emerging tool that enables non-invasive monitoring of tissue dynamics in multiple human physiological and pathological conditions, including pregnancy, cancer and other conditions. The MICADO partners are developing innovative approaches for (epi)genome-wide cfDNA analysis that can lead to novel applications to monitor health and disease. In this project we will increase the cfDNA knowledge base, develop novel analysis tools for mining and integration of cfDNA genomic and epigenome data that could enable development of new liquid biopsy-derived biomarkers. Apart from disease-specific (diagnostic) biomarkers, we will also leverage the full potential of (epi)genomic data for personalized polygenic risk scores assessments to enable patient stratification and guided patient/disease management. The integration of multi-omics data will provide novel and unique approaches for patient stratification, population screening as well as disease detection. Our technology will allow for earlier intervention, improve patient outcomes, increase overall population health and reduce health care costs.
    Responsibilities
    You will:
    • lead and coordinate with other team members the development of a cfDNA platform
    • communicate results in professional manner in spoken and written English through papers, presentations and discussions with consortium members
    • manage the IT component of clinical trials exploring the value of cfDNA  to  diagnose and monitor diseases
    Profile
    You ideally have:
    • a keen interest and motivation to work on ambitious projects in a dynamic, driven team
    • the ability to meet timelines and work accurately
    • an IT, BioIT or engineering background
    • knowledge of or interest in  analyzing high-throughput sequencing data, databasing and user interphases
    • knowledge of genetics and epigenetics (desirable, not a prerequisite)
    You must hold a Doctoral/Ph.D degree when commencing the post. The start date of the position is at the earliest convenience.
    Offer
    Working with us: We have onsite access to state-of-the-art facilities, including single cell analysis platforms, Flow cytometry, High-Throughput Sequencing, Bioinformatics, Imaging, high-capacity computing and others. We are committed to inclusivity and diversity in the workplace, and value a positive, empowering and actively engaging attitude in every team member. Located in Leuven, a small but vibrant and international town by the river Dijle where centuries of history meet cutting-edge science, we are only a stone’s throw away from the cosmopolitan city of Brussels, the heart of Europe. We are part of the University of Leuven, one of the oldest and most prestigious universities of Europe. Founded in 1425, it is Belgium’s largest university, currently featuring among the best universities in the world according to the Times Higher Education and recently ranked as Europe’s most innovative for the third year in a row.

    We offer a 3-year contract on a competitive salary, pending positive evaluation after 1 year.
    Interested?
    For more info, contact Prof. Joris Vermeesch (joris.vermeesch@uzleuven.be) or Prof. Yves Moreau (yves.moreau@kuleuven.be).
    You can apply for this job no later than February 21, 2022 via the online application tool
    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 diversiteit.HR@kuleuven.be.

    To apply for this job please visit webwsp.aps.kuleuven.be.

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