Postdoctoral Scientist in Bioinformatics
Catholic University of Leuven

At the Lab for Complex Genetics we are interested in finding genetic and transcriptomic markers that influence complex disease development and disease subtypes. We use a translational genetics approach that starts from clinical questions, and investigate these using biological samples from patients and from healthy controls. One of our focus areas is Alzheimer’s disease (AD), for which we collaborate closely with the memory clinic UZ Leuven and the Lab for Cognitive Neurology, headed by Prof Rik Vandenberghe. More information can be found on our website.


You will play a key role in the collaborative ‘PRISMA’ project (Polygenic Risk scoring and deep-Immunophenotyping Strategy to Master Alzheimer’s disease). Complex diseases like AD have unknown causes, and are usually diagnosed when already in a more advanced stage. Knowledge of the very early stages of disease is crucial to be able to develop new therapies, and to find biomarkers that help in identifying individuals at risk and stratifying patients as early as possible.

You will structure,curate and analyze large datasets integrating biological (genetic, transcriptomic,…) and clinical (disease course, brain imaging, …) data of unique prospective cohorts of cognitively intact healthy older adults, as well as a memory-clinic based AD research cohort. In particular, you will calculate whole genome and pathway-specific polygenic risk scores (PRS) for all study participants; and assess the correlation between PRS and disease stages/manifestations in AD.

You will manage this project, and report and communicate on progress in meetings and video conferences. You will be co-responsible for successful completion of this project, and for the delivery of project outcomes. You will provide technical advice and guidance to less experienced team members where applicable (eg co-supervise Master thesis and PhD students).


Essential knowledge, skills, and experience required:

  • MSc/doctoraldegree in a relevant field such as Biomedical Sciences, Bio-engineering, Bioinformatics or Life Sciences
  • A strong interest (PhD) or expertise and proven track record (Postdoc) in biological data analysis such as analysis of genomics data
  • A computational mindset and a strong interest in computational analysis
  • Working proficiency in UNIX/Linux and in R programming language
  • High sense of accuracy and the ability to work to meet timelines
  • Excellent critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Able to work independently but also as a team member and in collaboration with (inter)national colleagues
  • Fluency in written and spoken English

Additional desirable skills and experience:

  • Experience with large-scale computational analysis; running software on a high-performance computing cluster
  • Knowledge of human genetics
  • Experience with polygenic risk score analysis
  • Programming skills in other languages than R


  • A full-time (post)doctoral scientist position for one year; renewable for up to three years (postdoctoral researcher) or four years (PhD researcher). 
  • A position in an intellectually challenging environment, extensive international contacts, and a vibrant work atmosphere. 
  • You will work in Leuven, a historic,dynamic and lively city located in the heart of Europe, within 20 minutes from Brussels, the capital of the European Union, and less than two hours from Paris, London and Amsterdam.
  • Start date: as soon as possible - the position is immediately available.


For more information please contact Prof. dr. Isabelle Cleynen, mail:

You can apply for this job no later than August 09, 2020 via the
KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at
  • Employment percentage: Voltijds
  • Location: Leuven
  • Apply before: August 9, 2020
  • Tags: Bio-ingenieurswetenschappen

If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Bioloxy


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