PhD Position – Nutritional impact on microbiome, immune cell balance and disease

Hasselt VIB-UHasselt Center for Inflammation Research

22 Dec 2020


VIB-UHasselt Center for Inflammation Research

Markus Kleinewietfeld Lab




Our lab is part of the VIB Center for Inflammation Research (IRC). VIB is a life sciences research institute in Flanders, Belgium. With more than 1400 scientists from over 60 countries, we perform basic research into the molecular foundations of life. Hasselt University belongs to the "Transnational University Limburg" (TUL; UHasselt, Belgium and Maastricht University, Netherlands) and is located in the heart of Europe, with cities such as Brussels, Liège, Aachen (Germany) and Maastricht (Netherlands) nearby. 

We are interested in the mechanisms of how the immune system imbalance leads to human disease. Our group focuses on the role of specific immune cells in this process, in particular on the interplay of anti-inflammatory CD4+ regulatory T cells and pro-inflammatory CD4+ effector T cells. Here, our major interest lies in the understanding of the processes that lead to autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis or are related to metabolic- and cardiovascular diseases and cancer  (for an overview: Müller et al., Nat Rev Immunol 2019, Arroyo Hornero et al., Front. Immunol. 2020). To study these processes, we use a translational approach, combining the analysis of human samples and the use of experimental model systems by various immunological, microbiological, and molecular biology state-of-the-art techniques.

Job description

We are looking for a highly motivated Ph.D. student to join our team. He/she will be investigating the immune cell balance and the interplay of environmental factors (diet/microbiota) and its relation to human disease. The position may also involve oversight/supervision of technicians and/or undergraduate and graduate students. 


The ideal candidate has: 

  • a Master's degree in a relevant field. 
  • high experience and background in immunological and/or microbiological research and techniques (felasa certificate and experience with mouse models of disease is a plus)
  • experience and interest in computational biology (experience in R and relevant bioinformatic analysis is a plus)
  • excellent communication, teamwork and interpersonal skills. 
  • fluency in written and spoken English. 

How to apply?

  • Motivated candidates are asked to apply online.  
  • Please add a list of publications to your CV, as well as a summary of past research and the contacts of 2 referees. 
  • Please include your certificate in your online application.