PhD position - Epigenetic Epidemiology- KU Leuven Belgium

PhD position - Epigenetic Epidemiology- KU Leuven Belgium


The Epidemiology group at the Faculty of Medicine (KU Leuven) focuses on epigenetic aspects of early

exposures, including nutrition, environmental pollutants, etc. We collaborate with the Leuven University

Fertility Center (LUFC) at UZ Leuven and the Genomics Core, both located on campus. Part of this

collaboration includes a longitudinal study, Epigenetic Legacy of Paternal Obesity (ELPO), where we

collected data and samples from patients seeking fertility treatment. This research project involves

assessment of epigenetic characteristics and patterns in sperm, embryos, maternal and paternal tissues,

and offspring samples.

Your major tasks:

You perform epigenetic tests on human samples.

You are interested and motivated to use one of the "next-generation sequencing technologies",

such as Whole-Genome Bisulfite Sequencing Analyzes, Pyrosequencing, Infinium


Under the guidance of a bioinformatics team, you perform complex statistical analyzes on the

data obtained.

You are willing to learn techniques within the LUFC team regarding embryo growth.

You report to the principal investigators and participate in team meetings.

You draw up a PhD plan, based on the collected data, tissues and the needs within the team.

Within the first year you have finished at least one review or an original article.

Your profile:

A Master degree in a relevant field, such as Bio-Engineering, (Epi)Genetics, Biomedical Sciences,

Molecular or Cell Biology, ...

Some experiences with DNA/RNA extractions or related techniques.

You are highly motived to develop your skills in Human Epigenetics and Epidemiology.

Familiar with statistical programming (such as R, SAS, SPSS,...)

Good organizational skills, dynamic, and reliable.

It is important to be self-motivated, an independent worker, but at the same time a team


A good command of English, oral and written. Preferentially also Dutch.

Our offer:

This PhD-project offers you the opportunity to apply for a research grant through an FWO or SB

scholarship; supported by our team. We provide the opportunity to accelerate your skills and join a

dynamic and young team.

Application information:

Your application must contain: an email with subject: "PhD EPI", to the Head of the research unit


A motivation letter, CV, and transcript of degrees/classes.

Name of your current supervisor and Master thesis topic (1 page).

Contact information of 3 referees.

Although we foresee a selection procedure from July till September 2017, this vacancy is open until a

candidate has been selected with the skills needed; hence, we recommend applying as soon as possible.

Only selected applicants will be contacted, within 30 days after all documents have been received