Postdoc Researcher in Development of Semi-Automatic Pipelines for GEMs in Human Endothelial Cells

Leuven VIB-KU Leuven Center for Cancer Biology

07 Jun 2018


VIB-KU Leuven Center for Cancer Biology

Peter Carmeliet Lab



Job Description

The laboratory of angiogenesis and vascular metabolism is seeking a highly motivated postdoc candidate who will contribute to the state-of-the-art analysis and development of mathematical models that describe cellular metabolism. 

Qualified candidates must have a PhD or equivalent in Bioinformatics, Computational Biology, Systems Biology, Biochemistry or a related field, and a strong background in reconstructing constraint based metabolic models, statistics and programming, as well as a strong interest in cancer metabolism and its biochemistry and in development of new computational approaches to address interesting biological problems (Genome-scale Metabolic Models – GEMs). 

Candidates with experience in programming in MATLAB and/or the use of the COBRA toolbox are especially encouraged to apply. Working experience (either wet lab or dry lab) with biological samples, transcriptomics/metabolomics/proteomics, use of high performance computers (clusters), and proficiency in programming languages of R, Python and/or Perl are added advantages. 

The successful candidates should also have demonstrated ability for independent and critical thinking, excellent communication and teamwork skills, and enthusiasm for learning new things.

Project goal

To study metabolic pathways in endothelial and cancer cells using multi-omics approaches ranging from genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics and fluxomics.


  • A PhD in (bio)chemistry, biology, bioengineering, bioinformatics or related field 
  • A publication record (including at least one paper as a first author) in peer-reviewed international journals, with an emphasis on quality rather than quantity of publications
  • Excellent communication skills in spoken and written English (proven knowledge of English) is required 
  • Capable of working in a team as well as independently
  • Capacity of organizing a multidisciplinary project
  • Motivated to work on an ambitious project with a dynamic and problem-solving attitude

We offer

  • A dynamic working environment
  • A competitive remuneration package
  • A stimulating scientific surrounding in a young, enthusiastic, motivated team (with English as main language)
  • The opportunity to work on high-impact projects, and long-term career opportunities
  • To meet the increasing demands of performing multidisciplinary research, we offer access to Core facilities with state-of-the-art technologies in biomedical research: Metabolomics, Genomics, Bioinformatics, Histology and Imaging, Molecular Biology, FACS, transgenesis and mouse facility, etc.

Background laboratory 

The focus of the lab is to characterize the regulation of cell metabolism and to determine the role of metabolism during the process of angiogenesis. Angiogenesis, the growth of new blood vessels, plays a crucial role in numerous diseases, including cancer. Inhibiting the formation of vessels within the tumor (anti-angiogenic therapy) has emerged as a promising anti-cancer strategy. 

Clinically approved anti-angiogenic drugs offered prolonged survival to numerous cancer patients. Unfortunately, monotherapy with the current available anti-angiogenic agents often results in the development of treatment resistance. Thus, novel strategies are needed to block tumor angiogenesis via alternative mechanisms. The tight interaction between blood vessels that provide metabolic substrates, and the tumor cells that utilize them, leads to the obvious link between metabolism and angiogenesis, surprisingly this has not been studied so far. 

Recent studies from the lab revealed that targeting endothelial metabolism could be a possible alternative therapeutic strategy for anti-angiogenic therapy. In this perspective, we are aiming to investigate several metabolic pathways in different models of angiogenesis.

How to apply?

Your application file should contain:

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