28 May 2021

Get in touch!


For more info, contact Prof. Bernard Thienpont (mail: Applicants must hold a PhD or have their thesis submitted when commencing the post. The earliest start date of the position is July 2021, but we are very happy to cater this for the ideal candidate. You can apply for this job no later than June 30, 2021.

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

(ref. BAP-2021-343)

Apply before 30 June 2021

A new 3-year postdoctoral position is available in the team of Prof. Bernard Thienpont (Laboratory for Functional Epigenetics, KU Leuven, Belgium).

The Thienpont lab is a dynamic team of driven, enthusiastic and inclusive scientists. We aim to characterize the epigenetic mechanisms that underpin cell biology and its implications for disease by relying on (single cell) omics analyses of patient samples and functional in vitro assays. In this position, you will play a key role in an international project to understand (epi-)genetic variation in the etiopathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease.

Project background: Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a degenerative brain disorder that mainly affects the motor system. It not only affects the function of our brain, but also of our gut, which are both complex tissues composed of functionally diverse types of cells that need to cooperate for organ function. At least 90 regions in our genome predispose people for PD. How such inherited DNA variants function in increasing PD risk remains largely unknown. The aim of this project is to investigate how, in which cells and in which physiological context, PD risk loci affect chromatin accessibility, DNA methylation and gene expression, to induce or accelerate PD onset and progression. To achieve this, you will exploit single cell nucleosome, methylome and transcriptome profiling, and analyse the resultant multi-omic datasets. Your work will thus define how the genome influences PD, and generate important new knowledge in the areas of PD pathogenesis and progression. This work is part of an international multidisciplinary consortium funded by ASAP, composed of the teams of Profs. Thierry Voet, Stein Aerts, Guy Boeckxstaens and Christos Proukakis.

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You will:

  • work at the interface between the wet and dry lab, focusing on data analysis.
  • communicate results in professional manner in spoken and written English through papers, presentations and discussions with consortium members.
  • supervise single cell methylome, nucleosome accessibility and transcriptome seq library preparation, and perform NGS data analysis and integration.
  • coordinate with other team members on brain and colon sample selection and processing.

You ideally have:

  • a passion for generating and analyzing high-throughput sequencing data.
  • a track record in dry or moist (mixed wet and dry) lab research, and excellent analytical skills.
  • the interest and motivation to work on ambitious projects in a dynamic, driven team.
  • a strong ability to meet timelines and work accurately.
  • at least 1 first-author paper in a peer-reviewed journal (we value quality over quantity).
  • experience in epigenetics or neurodegenerative disorders (desirable, not a prerequisite).

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 an initial postdoctoral position of 3 years, based on renewable contracts.