PhD position Next-Generation Pharmacogenomics

Job description

Pharmacogenomics (PGx), the study of how an individual’s genomic profile influences his or her response to drugs, has emerged as a clinical tool to optimize drug therapy. Certain genetic variants increase the risk of severe, life-threatening adverse effects from certain drugs. Meanwhile, other genetic traits are predictive of decreased response. Integrating pharmacogenomics into clinical practice to assist in drug selection and dosing has the potential to improve the outcomes of treatment, reduce the risk of drug-induced morbidity and death, and contribute to more cost-effective healthcare. The field of pharmacogenomics is developing rapidly and we are looking for an ambitious PhD candidate to pursue his/her research in contributing to the development of next-generation PGx methodologies.

The aim of this bioinformatics research project is to facilitate genomics medicine and include the genomic information layer in the clinical decision process. Hence, we aim to investigate and develop new approaches for utilizing genome data interactions between molecular intermediates, like, e.g., genome-proteome and genome-epigenome and drug-protein that are relevant for the clinical outcomes. These approaches will be evaluated and applied on clinal-grade whole-genome sequencing data generated at the Jessa Hospital.

We are looking for a highly motivated and scientifically excellent candidate in the genomics/bioinformatics background with a problem-solving attitude to work in an international, collegial environment. Strong communication skills complemented with innovative analytical thinking are important assets. This project is a strategical collaboration with VITO, Jessa Hospital Hasselt & University of Hasselt and the candidate will be a member of all institutions.

For more information, do not hesitate to contact Gökhan Ertaylan.

We offer:

  • a 4-year PhD-research project (candidates will be encouraged to apply for FWO grants in 2023);
  • a competitive enumeration during the Ph.D. period;
  • participation in an exciting project on personalized and preventive health care;
  • a career development opportunity with access to data derived from cutting edge technologies and analysis platforms;
  • to become a member of a dynamic and multi-disciplinary research team;
  • to embed in a research context with different top-research teams with a broad range of expertise.

Application Procedure: 

Please submit your application through the VITO application portal by uploading your motivation letter (max.1 page), short CV (max. 3 pages), a transcript from the MSc degree, and three names of referees.

After being selected as PhD candidate, you will prepare a formal PhD application and defend it for a VITO-jury. The next PhD jury will be organised on  June 2nd, 2023 (registration deadline 29/03/2023).

Job requirements

You will work in a multidisciplinary environment under the supervision of senior scientists with experience in Clinical Pathology, Bioinformatics, Computational Biology and Data Science, and under the guidance of your university promoter from the University of Hasselt and Jessa Hospital Hasselt as well as VITO.

  • Applicants should hold an MSc degree in bioinformatics, computational Biology, biological disciplines (e.g. biomedical sciences, medicine, bioengineering science or equivalent) or computer science. Master students that obtain such a degree later this academic year can also apply.
  • Candidates with a biomedical background are expected to demonstrate programming experience (e.g. R, Linux bash, Python).
  • Candidates with a computational background should demonstrate basic knowledge in genetics.
  • Developing genomic and cross-omics workflows for processing clinical cohort data and auxiliary data resources.
  • A strong interest and motivation in genomics and pharmacogenomics applications is desired.
  • Candidates should be team players and have strong analytical problem-solving skills (creative, critical, and open-minded).
  • Good oral and written communication skills in English.