PhD student in cancer research @ De Preter Lab



Ghent, Belgium



The lab of Translational Onco-genomics and Bioinformatics (TOBI, supervised by prof. dr. ir. Katleen De Preter) at the VIB-UGent Center for Medical Biotechnology (Department of Biomolecular Medicine, UGent) and the Pathology lab (supervised by prof. dr. Jo Van Dorpe and prof. dr. David Creytens) at the Department of Diagnostic Sciences (UGent) have an open position for a highly motivated biomedical researcher with expertise and interest in translational cancer research. Both labs are members of the Cancer Research Institute Ghent (CRIG). More information on the teams and the research focus can be found at,, and

About VIB-UGent Center for Medical Biotechnology

The VIB-UGent Center for Medical Biotechnology (CMB) focuses on the development of new and innovative molecular tools and technologies to challenge human health problems. The Center translates its novel technologies and insights to widely applicable research tools, vaccines, diagnostics, and biopharmaceuticals. Our research pushes the boundaries of biomolecular and bioinformatics research and engineering technologies.

More info on the Ph.D. project

Omics-based strategies ((epi-)genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, …) are opening the unprecedented potential for developing novel precision oncology tools for improved diagnosis, prognosis, and therapy response prediction of cancer patients. Liquid biopsies are now offering great potential for the non-invasive exploration of circulating tumor nucleic acids and cells. Recently, our team has implemented DNA methylation sequencing on tumor tissue and liquid biopsy samples of cancer patients to allow improved diagnosis and classification of the tumor. The new Ph.D. student will further develop, optimize, implement, apply, and validate this novel approach (both on the analytical and bio-informatic side). The final aim of the project is to improve the diagnosis of adult cancer patients with an unknown primary tumor location.

Who we are looking for

  • You have a Master's in Science (Bioengineering, Biochemistry-Biotechnology, Biomedical Sciences, Medicine, or related).
  • You are eligible to apply for an FWO grant (check diploma requirements under “Profile and conditions” on
  • You have knowledge and insights into cancer biology and genomics.
  • Expertise with laboratory work in a molecular/genetic lab, including DNA- and/or RNA-sequencing technologies, is a plus.
  • Some expertise in bioinformatics and data mining is a plus.
  • You have analytical problem-solving skills, and you are a team player, creative, critical, and open-minded.
  • You have excellent oral and written communication skills in English.

What we can offer you

You will work in a multidisciplinary environment under the supervision of senior scientists in the TOBI lab and the Pathology lab and within the broader framework of the Cancer Research Institute Ghent ( We offer:

  • a starting contract for one year to prepare for grant application and defense and to explore alternative funding opportunities (FWO, BOF, …).
  • participation in an exciting and rapidly evolving research area of clinically translational genomics,
  • being part of stimulating and supportive research teams operating at the international level and dedicated to improving the survival of patients with cancer,
  • embedding within top-research teams with a broad range of expertise,
  • access to state-of-the-art technology and facilities ((epi-)genomics, transcriptomics, (single-cell) sequencing, bioinformatics, etc),
  • institutional training opportunities to broaden your expertise and skills,
  • starting date: as soon as possible, the position is immediately available.


Interested candidates are invited to apply as soon as possible via the online system. Applications will be welcome until the position is filled.

Your application must include the following documents:

  • A cover letter, your CV
  • Your diploma with the required degree (if already in your possession). If you have a foreign diploma in a language other than our national languages (Dutch, French, or German) or English, please add a translation in one of the mentioned languages.
  • Optionally: one or more reference letters, …

More information

For more information about this vacancy, please contact Prof. Katleen De Preter (

Please, use the online form to submit your application. We only consider online applications.