POSTDOCTORAL position in Bio-Informatics

Leuven VIB-KU Leuven Center for Cancer Biology

16 Oct 2022


VIB-KU Leuven Center for Cancer Biology



Postdoctoral position in Bio-Informatics to unravel the transcriptional dynamics of lymph node metastase

The MetaNiche team is looking for a highly motivated and skilled computational scientist/ bioinformatician to join our efforts in understanding the spatio-temporal cellular and molecular changes during lymph node metastases.  The MetaNiche team is part of the VIB-KU Leuven Center for Cancer Biology (CCB), an interdisciplinary research institute of the VIB with excellent facilities and leading research groups in e.g., oncology, genetics/-omics, molecular biology and translational research, located at Campus Gasthuisberg, Leuven. CCB hosts 11 research groups and several research excellence centers  that are well-equipped with the newest top technologies relating to single cell transcriptomics, metabolomics, FACS and multiplex profiling. In addition, VIB will establish a center for artificial intelligence which will further foster interactions and collaborations relating to computational projects within the different VIB centers. CCB’s ambition is to contribute to a better understanding of the biology underlying cancer initiation, progression and metastatic dissemination and exploit these insights into developing more effective anticancer strategies and therapies. 

The successful candidate will work closely with the MetaNiche team comprised of the three CCB laboratories led by G. Bergers, C. Scheele and P. Agostinis, and oversee and coordinate single-cell transcriptomics datasets generated by the EOS-MetaNiche to create a holistic and dynamic understanding of processes driving lymph node metastases. The candidate will also provide advice and guidance to PhD students and postdocs of our teams. Importantly, the incumbent will be able to use the generated datasets to initiate their own research project relating to the MetaNiche project . 

The project: Lymph nodes (LN) are the first metastatic relay before cancer disseminate to distant organs. There is growing evidence that tumor-emanating signals create a premetastatic niche in sentinel LN that facilitate metastatic cell dissemination. However, the mechanistic underpinnings of how tumor cells induce a pre-metastatic niche in LNs and escape cell death and immunosurveillance upon seeding in the LN are less understood. The overarching goal of the MetaNiche project is to provide a first holistic view of the spatial and temporal 4D changes of the vascular, immune, and stromal components in the LNs from homeostasis to the metastatic state through state-of-the-art approaches (4D intravital imaging, transcriptional, proteomic and metabolic profiling) using metastatic mouse tumor models and human LN samples of cancer patients. 


  • You are self-motivated, curious and able to work both independently and in a team.
  • You possess a strong track record and expertise in Bioinformatics, Computational science, System Biology, data science or related areas.
  • You are experienced in designing, conducting and analyzing large-scale, single-cell omics experiments, and can derive systems biology-driven networks from integration of omics data.
  • You have experience in analyzing and interpreting transcriptomic data of publicly available datasets (e.g., TCGA, GEO datasets). Experience in computational cancer biology/vascular biology or immunology is an added value. 
  • You are fluent in programming languages commonly used in bioinformatics/ computational programming (e.g., R,Python,Bash, Snakemake, MATLAB, SQL and others)
  • You are skilled in the application and development of statistical approaches to solve biological problems (e.g. statistical testing, linear modelling, regression, machine learning).

We offer:

  • A dynamic and stimulating working environment in which quality, professionalism and social contact are encouraged.
  • The possibility to work at the forefront of cancer research in a multidisciplinary international team and in close collaboration with clinical and industrial partners;
  • The opportunity to contribute to the biological validation of your own research findings.

How to apply:

Please complete the online application procedure and include: 

  • A detailed CV, including a list of your scientific publications
  • A detailed cover letter describing your motivation
  • The contact information of 3 referee

For more information, please contact Colinda Scheele,