Expert Scientist Therapeutic Biologics

Leuven VIB Discovery Sciences

19 Sep 2017


VIB Discovery Sciences

VIB Discovery Sciences

Senior Scientific



VIB (Vlaams Instituut voor Biotechnologie) is a more than 1500 scientists counting life science research organisation in Flanders, Belgium. VIB has a long-standing history of translating scientific breakthroughs into impactful innovations in society and innovative biotechnology companies.

The current position in the VIB Discovery Sciences unit is part of a translational research team embedded within VIB focusing on validation and translation of scientific breakthroughs into drug discovery projects. The biomedical teams in VIB Discovery Sciences will focus on therapeutic biologics and assay development and will closely collaborate with VIB PI’s working on emerging targets.

VIB is looking to recruit a creative, energetic, self-motivated scientist with proven industrial experience to strengthen the Therapeutic Biologics team within VIB Discovery Sciences.

The Expert Scientists plan and drive the translational research projects in the portfolio. Each project is aimed at further (pharmacological) target validation and developing lead candidate molecules which are the basis of deal-making and/or investments. Direct experience with pharma requirements for target validation, development characteristics up to candidate stage biologics and in vivo proof-of-concept data is therefore a definitive plus. The VIB DS projects are developed in a partnership model with VIB’s academic scientists, external partners and internal VIB Core technology facilities/teams. The VIB DS team operates in synergy with the Technology Transfer Team of VIB.

General job description:

You will be responsible for specific projects, the associated collaborations with partners and setting out experimental strategies with existing VIB facilities and scientists. Specific knowledge and hands-on experience in leading, designing and executing studies in the early phases of drug discovery aimed at therapeutic biologics (up to preclinical development) is requested. You will be responsible for a project from immunization, screening, functional testing, lead optimization up to preclinical in vivo PoC experiments (including benchmarking, dose finding, PK/PD studies in animal models and early toxicity studies), with especially the later of these work packages being performed in a multi-disciplinary collaboration. While project management is important, some personal experimental work will be necessary. You will be involved in the daily operations of the VIB Discovery Sciences unit and will be expected to help drive fund-raising for your translational projects. 


  • You are enthusiastic to apply your expertise to projects spanning a wide area of diseases with a high unmet need (oncology, inflammation and neuroscience) relying on VIB’s scientists for target understanding and mode-of-action data. The candidate is motivated to address societal needs in truly innovative ways, willing to accept and help address the uncertainties in the project.
  • Applicants must have a PhD or an equivalent degree.
  • Applicants must have experience in an industry-environment in therapeutic drug discovery.
  • Experience in molecular biotechnology, preferably in therapeutic antibody drug discovery.
    • Expertise in candidate generation, hit selection methods, cross-reactivity testing, in cellular functional testing, expression and purification studies, etc. 
    • Experience in biophysical characterization methods, including affinity and potency testing, FACS, antibody characterization.
    • Experience in protein engineering and/or affinity maturation methods.
  • Project management capabilities: Project management skills will be required to drive innovative projects at (early-) candidate stage in close collaboration with the scientific originators.
    • Able to identify and troubleshoot problems. Solution-driven.
    • Able to collaborate effectively with VIB DS colleagues, VIB PI’s, CRO’s, external co-development partners and VIB’s Tech Transfer team, able to guide lab members/technical assistants.
    • Support in writing project proposals and grant proposals.
  • Fluency in English (verbally and in writing) is mandatory.

We offer

  • A creative and dynamic scientific culture with a great drive towards innovation.
  • An entrepreneurial setting where curiosity-driven research is matched with product or application oriented R&D activities.
  • An exposure to all facets of innovation, including IP protection, business development and collaborative partnerships.
  • An ambition to ‘do what it takes’.
  • A competitive remuneration.

How to apply?

Motivated candidates should apply online. A complete application file (English) should contain the following documents:

  • your cover/motivation letter
  • your CV
  • 2 references

For more information about the position, please contact Dr. Jérôme Van Biervliet  ( ; +32 473 92 88 50)