PhD position in Angiogenesis and Vascular Heterogeneity

Leuven VIB-KU Leuven Center for Cancer Biology

10 Jan 2023


VIB-KU Leuven Center for Cancer Biology

Peter Carmeliet Lab



24 Jan 2023

Background: the science

The laboratory of Professor Peter Carmeliet is part of the Center for Cancer Biology (CCB), one of the research departments of VIB (Flanders Institute for Biotechnology) located at the KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium. The lab is focusing on unraveling the molecular and cellular basis of the formation of blood vessels (angiogenesis) in health and disease, and in particular the role of vascular metabolism and vascular heterogeneity herein, with the ultimate goal to identify novel therapeutic pro- or anti-angiogenic strategies.

Improving anti-angiogenesis therapy: Current anti-angiogenesis therapies (AATs), by targeting the pro-angiogenic factor VEGF, suffer resistance and insufficient efficacy. The Carmeliet lab explores opportunities to overcome these limitations and to improve AAT by focusing on endothelial cell metabolism, endothelial heterogeneity and, in particular, endothelial immunity. Recent projects, combining single-cell transcriptomics with bulk multi-omics (transcriptomics, (epi)-genomics, proteomics & metabolomics) revealed novel insights in endothelial cell metabolism and heterogeneity in health and disease that can help design novel AAT strategies.

Further information available at:

The group

Prof. Peter Carmeliet recently started a twin lab, the Laboratory of Angiogenesis and Vascular Heterogeneity, at the Department of Biomedicine at Aarhus University in Aarhus, Denmark ( which is closely intertwined with his lab at the VIB-KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium (

Both the Leuven and new Aarhus lab will function as one virtual lab, and synergistically combine their joint forces and focus to study similar fundamental questions in vascular biology and angiogenesis, and to develop more efficiently new vascular medicine. The Lab is looking for a dynamic and highly motivated PhD student to join the team.

Job description

We are recruiting motivated PhD candidates to help us achieve following goals:

  • to discover new therapeutic targets (using bulk/single cell multi-omics on surgical samples from human and mouse, performing bioinformatical analysis & biological interpretation)
  • to bridge the valley of death (by functionally validating these targets using in vitro & in vivo assays)
  • to lead a research project, under direct supervision of Prof. Carmeliet and a postdoctoral fellow
  • to participate in weekly team meetings to update your research results to your colleagues as well as to high-level seminars to disseminate your findings
  • to support the writing of papers and grants, design of experiments, etc.

Your Profile

  • You have a Master Degree in biology/biomedicine, pharmacy, biomedical engineering, bioinformatics/computer science (AI), or related fields.
  • Having any experience in molecular biology, biochemistry, cell culture, cancer/metabolism and/or in bioinformatics/computer science is an advantage.
  • You have a curious mind and dare to take risks
  • You have a strong commitment to basic/clinical research. 
  • Basic standard values: (i) You are interested and motivated to work on ambitious projects in an open, dynamic and driven team; (ii) You have a hands-on attitude and are able to work in a team as well as independently; (iii) You have a strong ability to multi-task, meet timelines and work accurately; (iv) You have good communication skills in spoken and written English.

We offer

  • A dynamic and stimulating working environment in a young, enthusiastic, motivated international team (with English as main language).
  • You will start working in the Leuven lab and have access to, and excellent training in, state-of-the-art technologies in biomedical research. The Leuven lab has multiple core-facilities (see: managed by a team of experts.
  • Training in project management (e.g. supervision of master students, writing of manuscripts, budget management) which will give you the opportunity to develop yourself, your competences and skills.
  • The unique opportunity to work in a multidisciplinary international team (at two locations: Leuven and Aarhus) and to contribute to the discovery and development of novel drug targets.
  • Opportunities to interact with and become acquainted with start-up companies, involved in developing new vascular medicine and/or "big-biological data management companies" ( involved in target discovery. 
  • Starting as soon as possible.

How to apply?

Your application should contain:

  • Complete CV
  • Motivation letter
  • List of publications (if applicable)
  • Summary of your past research experiences
  • Degree during Master studies
  • Contact information or reference letters of 2 or 3 referees

If you have questions about this position, please contact Prof. Peter Carmeliet:

VIB values diversity - in backgrounds and in experiences. The institute needs people from all backgrounds and ways of life to help build a thriving scientific environment. VIB is therefore looking for candidates who are not only strong in their own aptitudes but care deeply about supporting each other's growth. VIB's collaborators are people with different strengths, experiences and backgrounds, who share a passion for science that generates impact in science and in society. Diversity not only includes race and gender identity, but also nationality, age, disability status, sexual orientation, religion and many other parts of one’s identity. All of VIB’s employees’ points of view are key to its success, and inclusion is everyone's responsibility.