Scientist for Omics Data Analysis

Leuven VIB-KU Leuven Center for Cancer Biology

11 Feb 2018


VIB-KU Leuven Center for Cancer Biology

Diether Lambrechts Lab



VIB-KULeuven is an exciting, interdisciplinary research institute with excellent facilities and leading research groups in e.g., oncology, genetics, molecular biology, translational research, etc.

The VIB Center for Cancer Biology (CCB) is one of the research departments of VIB within the University of Leuven and is located in the University Hospital Campus, Leuven, Belgium. CCB hosts 11 research groups and in total represents a group of about 200 researchers, administrative and technical collaborators. The Center has a very diverse and highly international character, hosting researchers from at least 25 different countries. The focus of the Center is to unravel the molecular basis of cancer, and whenever suitable, exploit these insights to develop novel therapeutic or diagnostic strategies.


As a scientist, you will be working in the Laboratory for Translational Genetics, which aspires to tackle important questions in oncology by translating genome-scale data sets into clinically applicable knowledge. The general objectives of our research are: leveraging the genetic and epigenetic annotation of tumors for improving cancer prevention, diagnosis, prognosis and therapy. Investigations are based on the application of cutting-edge genetic technologies (HiSeq4000/NovaSeq sequencing, next-generation nanopore sequencing, single-cell transcriptome analysis, 4th generation in situ sequencing, etc) and advanced bioinformatics, and on the seamless integration of genomic data sets with clinical and fundamental biological information. A particular interest of our lab is to characterize the heterogeneity of the tumor microenvironment and determine response to cancer therapies that are targeting this micro-environment. Key examples of such therapies are anti-angiogenic and checkpoint immunotherapies, which are both frequently used in the clinic. 

To achieve our research goals, we are collecting tumor and liquid biopsies from cancer patients participating in clinical studies, and apply the above-mentioned advanced high-throughput sequencing techniques. Our research is funded by the ERC, the VIB and other local charities and funding agencies.

In your role, you will support and contribute to the research projects of the lab but also extensively collaborate with oncologists and pathologists by performing downstream analysis of next-generation sequencing data. Hereto you will apply and optimize standard bioinformatics protocols, and depending on your experience and qualifications also develop new bioinformatics pipelines. You need to be able to organise and troubleshoot your practical work independently, document it thoroughly and communicate results and experiences with the team in a collaborative and professional manner.

The candidate will perform bioinformatics to solve biological questions and will be involved in:

  • Building and applying bioinformatics pipelines in order to analyse omics data, in particular high-throughput sequencing data such as whole-genome, DNA methylation, bulk and single-cell RNA data;
  • Guiding biologists in analysing their own data and performing statistical tests and pathway analysis;
  • Exploring public available databases;
  • Working with and managing big omics data;
  • The creative visualization of the results;
  • Using and maintaining high performance computing clusters.


  • You have a master degree and/or PhD in the Life Sciences, Engineering, Bioinformatics, Statistics, Computational Science.
  • You have a strong interest in bioinformatics programming and statistics for bioinformatics, including Linux, scripting (e.g. Bash) and R (incl. Bioconductor). You are interested in working on high performance computing clusters. Prior experience in bioinformatics is considered a plus, but is not strictly mandatory.
  • You have a strong interest in the analysis of omics data, mainly next-generation sequence data such as whole-genome sequencing, variant calling, copy number profiling, structural variations, bulk and single-cell RNA-Seq.
  • Interest and basic knowledge in (cancer) biology or genetics is considered as a plus.
  • You must have good, open communication skills and be willing to support the other scientists of our team.
  • A strong publication track is considered as a plus.

We offer

  • A fascinating work environment in which quality, professionalism and social contact are encouraged;
  • The possibility to be at the start of a scientifically cutting-edge and society relevant project;
  • The opportunity to contribute to the biological validation of your own research findings;
  • An open-ended contract.

How to apply?

Please complete the online application procedure and include:

  • A detailed CV, including a list of your scientific publications
  • An elaborate cover letter describing your motivation

Applications sent by email will not be considered.  For more information, please contact Diether Lambrechts.