Postdoc position with spin-off track: designing enhancers for gene therapy

Leuven VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research

28 Jul 2020


VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research

Stein Aerts Lab



Job description

The Laboratory of Computational Biology ( is seeking an enthusiastic postdoc to design cell-type specific enhancers, and to evaluate their activity using massively parallel enhancer-reporter assays, such as CHEQ-seq and STARR-seq. The assays will be performed in vitro, as well as in vivo in mouse tissues. The main activities will involve wet-lab work, including cloning, transfections/transductions, imaging, and sequencing. This will be performed in close collaboration and iteration with computational scientists, and with disease experts within the University of Leuven, the VIB, and the University Hospital. In parallel, the candidate will explore the possibilities of technology transfer, by interacting with companies, and evaluating the possibilities to create a spin-off company.

This project is funded by a Proof-of-Concept grant from the European Research Council (ERC).



  • PhD in the life sciences such as molecular biology, bio-engineering, or related fields
  • Strong expertise of molecular biology (e.g., cloning techniques like Gibson, Gateway, ...)
  • Interested in gene regulation
  • A computational and systems biology mindset, fast learner & team player
  • Ability to collaboratively lead a multidisciplinary project with international and national partners in academia, industry and the clinic
  • Project management and effective communication skills
  • Good mastery of English language
  • Interested in gene therapy
  • Interested in tech transfer, Intellectual Property, biotech industry


  • Experience with cell culture
  • Experience with mouse models (Felasa C)
  • Experience with viral vectors (lenti, AAV)
  • Experience with either brain disease, liver disease, or cancer
  • Experience with enhancers, transcription factors, and gene regulatory networks
  • Experience with bioinformatics (R, Python)

We offer

  • A stimulating, diverse, international and strong research environment in a world-class academic laboratory with a focus on single-cell genomics, computational biology, Artificial Intelligence, and gene regulation
  • Opportunity to learn state of the art technology
  • Opportunity to work with an excellent bioinformatics & AI team
  • Access to state-of-the-art infrastructure
  • Financial support is available for at least 18 months. However, the successful candidate is encouraged to obtain a personal fellowship (Marie-Curie, HFSP, EMBO, or National funding organizations).

Start date: as soon as possible - the position is available immediately

How to apply?

Please complete the online application procedure and include a detailed CV, a motivation letter describing research interests and previous research experience, and a list of publications.  For more information: please contact