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PhD Position in Single-Cell and Spatial Biology (Multi-Omics) (ref. BAP-2024-353)

We are actively seeking an enthusiastic and innovative engineer or interdisciplinary researcher to join as a PhD researcher in the multi-disciplinary team of Prof. Thierry Voet. You will significantly contribute to a single-cell and spatial (multi-)omics project funded by the EU, focusing on improving the clinical outcome of patients with Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) and Paediatric High-grade Glioma (pHGG), by facilitating personalised immune system-centred treatments. This position is also embedded within the Innovation Lab of the KU Leuven Institute for Single Cell Omics (LISCO), which serves as a hub for interdisciplinary experts in single-cell and spatial (multi-)omics research at KU Leuven and beyond.

Unit website: https://lisco.kuleuven.be/


We seek a motivated PhD student to join the “GLIOMATCH” (GLioma Immuno-oncology MATCHmaker) project to understand tumour-host interactions to enhance personalised immune system-centred treatment. This EU-funded project aims to provide scientific and technological solutions, empowering healthcare professionals to rationally apply and monitor the best therapeutic approach for individual GBM or pHGG patients. We will be achieved by integrating spatially resolved, multi-layered tissue maps (using integrated single-cell and spatial multi-omics) with non-invasive MRI images, creating a novel MRI Radio-multiomics hub.
The PhD project will be focused on the development and application of spatial transcriptomics and epigenomics methodologies in the context of GBM research. In this role, you will devise methods, conduct experiments, analyze data, and collaborate closely with our interdisciplinary team. You will also interact with researchers from other labs involved in the project, including the labs of Prof. Frederik De Smet and Prof. Francesca Bosisio at KU Leuven, and other international partners in the consortium. This PhD position offers a unique opportunity to expand your expertise, advance your research profile in cancer cell biology, immunology, single-cell and spatial (multi-)omics technologies, and contribute significantly to these fields with far-reaching implications.
Your main responsibilities would be:

  • Conceptualize novel spatial (multi-)omics technologies for biomedical applications.
  • Develop novel spatial (multi-)omics methods in an interdisciplinary Innovation Lab.
  • Troubleshoot and optimize protocols to ensure high-quality and reliable results.
  • Develop automated and/or miniaturized versions of established protocols to enhance throughput and minimize costs.
  • Be co-responsible for the successful completion and timely delivery of project milestones.
  • Generate novel ideas/concepts for biological applications and scout for novel technology developments in the context of spatial (multi-)omics.
  • Handle and analyze human tissues and model systems to better characterize cellular interactions and study biological mechanisms.
  • Collaborate with the interdisciplinary teams to translate technical and biological insights into compelling grant applications.
  • Foster new relationships with internal and external interdisciplinary research groups.
  • Report and communicate progress in meetings, publish scientific articles, and participate in international conferences.


  • Master’s degree in life sciences (bioengineering, biomedical sciences, genetics, genomics or equivalent). A publication record is a plus.
  • In-depth knowledge of classical molecular biology techniques and a strong background in cell biology, biochemistry and biostatistics.
  • Genuine interest and commitment to advancing scientific knowledge and innovation.
  • Excellent communication and collaboration skills to work seamlessly across interdisciplinary teams.
  • Excellent verbal and written English communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Experience in designing and troubleshooting experiments is a plus.
  • Experience with or knowledge of single-cell and/or spatial (multi-)omics methods is a plus.


We offer a 4-year PhD position in a stimulating international work environment equipped with state-of-the-art facilities. As part of your doctoral program (Biomedical Sciences), you will engage in diverse training, education, and career development activities. You will be based in Leuven, a historic, dynamic, and vibrant city in the heart of Belgium, close to major European capitals. KU Leuven is a research-intensive, internationally-oriented university that conducts fundamental and applied scientific research with a strong focus on interdisciplinary collaboration and international excellence.


For more information, please contact Prof. Dr. Thierry Voet (thierry.voet@kuleuven.be) or Dr. Katy Vandereyken (katy.vandereyken@kuleuven.be).You can apply for this job no later than June 27, 2024 via the online application tool

KU Leuven strives for an inclusive, respectful and socially safe environment. We embrace diversity among individuals and groups as an asset. Open dialogue and differences in perspective are essential for an ambitious research and educational environment. In our commitment to equal opportunity, we recognize the consequences of historical inequalities. We do not accept any form of discrimination based on, but not limited to, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, age, ethnic or national background, skin colour, religious and philosophical diversity, neurodivergence, employment disability, health, or socioeconomic status. For questions about accessibility or support offered, we are happy to assist you at this email address.


Apply before: 28/06/2024

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