Flanders Institute for Biotechnology (VIB)

Postdoc in Angiogenesis and Vascular Heterogeneity

Flanders Institute for Biotechnology (VIB)

Leuven, Belgium

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: https://vibcancer.be/peter-carmeliet/postdoc-position-aarhus

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 (https://international.au.dk/) which is closely intertwined with his lab at the VIB-KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium (https://vibcancer.be/peter-carmeliet).

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.

Job description

We are recruiting highly motivated postdoc candidates to help us achieve the above stated goals:

  • to discover new therapeutic targets (using bulk/single cell multi-omics)
  • to bridge the valley of death (by functionally validating these targets), at the Aarhus University twin lab
  • to lead independently a research project, under direct supervision of Prof. Carmeliet, and also team up with members of the Aarhus and Leuven lab, and willing to run an own micro-lab
  • to manage projects, including supervising junior colleagues, planning daily agendas, managing budgets, writing papers/grants, designing experiments, etc.

Your main tasks will consist of (amongst others):

Target discovery: via multi-omics analyses: isolation of fresh tumor and normal endothelial cells from surgical samples (human and mouse); single cell library preparation and sequencing; bioinformatical analysis & biological interpretation; computational programming, analyzing and integrating complex omics- and clinical datasets, etc. For the “IMEC target discovery” project: immune cell – endothelial cell assays in vitro & in vivo.


Target validation: functional validation (in vitro & in vivo) and preclinical translation in order to bridge the valley of death.

Your Profile

  • In general: (i) You have a PhD in biology/biomedicine, pharmacy, biomedical engineering, bioinformatics/computer science (AI), or related fields, with minimal 3-4 years of research experience; (ii) You have a publication record in peer-reviewed international journals.
  • For the “IMEC target discovery” project: a training in immunology and related assays, with an interest in IMEC biology and targeting IMECs for alternative immunotherapy
  • For the “bridging the death of valley” project: a training in endothelial cell biology and assays (experience with immune cells is an extra-added value), interest in translational development and additional experience in biotech, intellectual protection, etc. are an extra-added value. 
  • Other extra-added values: (i) experience in single-cell multi-omics; (ii) computational programming in R; (iii) competence/interest in analyzing and integrating complex omics- and clinical datasets. 
  • Basic standard values: (i) You are interested and motivated to work on ambitious projects in an open, dynamic, competitive and driven team; (ii) You have excellent organizational and supervisory skills, you can 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

  • The unique opportunity to work in a multidisciplinary international team (at two locations) and to contribute to the discovery and development of novel drug targets.
  • You will start working in the Leuven lab and have access to, and training in, state-of-the-art technologies in biomedical research. The Leuven lab has multiple core-facilities (see: https://vibcancer.be/expertise-centers).
  • Opportunities to interact with and become acquainted with start-up companies, involved in developing new vascular medicine and/or “big-biological data management companies” (https://unicle.life/) involved in target discovery.  
  • A dynamic working environment in which quality, professionalism and team spirit are encouraged. A stimulating scientific surrounding in a young, enthusiastic, motivated international team (with English as main language).
  • Training in project management (e.g. supervision of students, budget management). Excellent training conditions within a team of experts. Long-term career opportunities.
  • Starting as soon as possible.

How to apply?

Applications for this position should be submitted online and contain:

  • Complete CV
  • Motivation letter
  • List of publications
  • Summary of past research
  • Contact information or reference letters of 2 or 3 referees

If you have questions about this position, please contact Prof. Peter Carmeliet: peter.carmeliet@kuleuven.be.

Please apply via recruiter’s website.

Quote Reference: 38455