Researcher in Aquatic/Marine Genomics and Bioinformatics
Catholic University of Leuven
Belgium

The newly funded project ENZYMARES aims at leveraging the unique functional characteristics of biological resources from (marine) habitats to discover enzymes that contribute to faster and more efficient industrial processes. The project is a collaboration between KU Leuven, Ghent University, VIB, VITO and Biobase Europe Pilot Plant and is supported by Catalisti, Blauwe Cluster, Flanders’ Food. This position is shared between two research groups. The LABORATORY OF BIODIVERSITY AND EVOLUTIONARY GENOMICS (prof. Filip Volckaert; bio.kuleuven.be/eeb/lbeg) is interested in understanding why life is so diverse. Evolutionary questions related to connectivity, adaptation and speciation carry our interest. Whenever possible we use complementary approaches at the genomic, phenotypic, and environmental level to support our findings. LBEG is an EU-EMBRC reference lab for marine genomics and we manage a high-throughput genotyping laboratory in collaboration with the KU Leuven Genomics Core. The COMPUTATIONAL SYSTEMS BIOLOGY GROUP (prof. Vera van Noort; https://www.biw.kuleuven.be/m2s/cmpg/research/CSB) is interested in understanding biological systems as a whole. We try to achieve this through computational analysis of large-scale data generated by the ever growing number of new technologies that can systematically measure the behavior of multiple cellular components, such as biochemical activities, biophysical properties, subcellular localization and interaction. We use and develop new methods to integrate, visualize and query the large amounts of information available and in such a way come to new biological discoveries.

Responsibilities

The junior or senior researcher will collect, annotate and integrate genomics data and ecological information on marine micro-organisms. The candidate will focus on integrating existing resources targeted towards marine and/or aquatic organisms and mining literature for additional information. The gathered information will be used by the team of systems biologists and AI engineers who are involved in the ENZYMARES project. The candidate will contribute towards the development of bioinformatic toolkits for automated data mining, data banking and in silico/in vivo enzyme function prediction, testing and validation. This will allow for more efficient enzyme screening and applications in various (blue) biotech fields such as food, chemistry, cosmetics and biomedicine. The candidate will have the opportunity for teaching and mentoring students.

Profile

We are looking for a researcher with a Master or PhD in ecology, biology, biochemistry, biotechnology, bio-engineering, genomics or bioinformatics. Strong communication skills are an important asset to function in a multi-disciplinary team of biologists, bioinformaticians and engineers. Broad knowledge of marine organisms and specialized marine databases is a big advantage. Experience working with common bioinformatics tools, databases and programming languages (SQL, Python, R) is a plus, but not strictly necessary at the start of the project. 

Offer

We offer an initial 18 months contract (extendable with national or EU funds), a competitive salary depending on the career stage of the candidate and interactive work environment in collaboration with a well-established marine evolution research team and a well-established team of computational systems biologists. KU Leuven (www.kuleuven.be) is a research-intensive, internationally oriented university that has been elected Europe's most innovative university by Reuters and consistently ranks and features in Europe's top-15 universities within the Times Higher Education ranking. Leuven is a historic, dynamic and lively city located in the heart of Belgium, within 20 min from Brussels, the capital of the European Union, and less than 2 h from Paris, London and Amsterdam.

Interested?

For more information please contact Prof. dr. Vera van Noort, tel.: +32 16 37 92 16, mail: vera.vannoort@kuleuven.be or Prof. dr. Filip Volckaert, tel.: +32 16 32 39 72, mail: filip.volckaert@kuleuven.be.

You can apply for this job no later than November 01, 2021 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 diversiteit.HR@kuleuven.be.
  • Employment percentage: Voltijds
  • Location: Leuven
  • Apply before: November 1, 2021
  • Tags: Bio-ingenieurswetenschappen


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