Research Associate in Cancer Research



Ghent, Belgium


About VIB-UGent Center for Medical Biotechnology

VIB is a life sciences research institute, based in Flanders, Belgium. We perform basic research with a strong focus on translating scientific results into pharmaceutical, agricultural, and industrial applications. VIB is an independent research institute of the government, with 1470 scientists from more than 60 countries working at UGent, KU Leuven, University of Antwerp, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, and Hasselt University.

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 protein-focused biomolecular and bioinformatics research and engineering technologies. CMB educates and trains the next generation of medical biotechnology researchers and informs the public on the impact of biotechnology on human health.


Our laboratory at the Center for Medical Biotechnology (VIB-UGent) specializes for 2 decades in the engineering of glycosylation pathways of eukaryotic cells for biopharmaceutical purposes. As we have now an increasingly complete understanding of the biochemical and genetic basis of glycan biosynthesis, our capabilities of manipulating these pathways offer vast opportunities for enhancing and fine-tuning biopharmaceuticals made by these engineered cells. This is especially true also if patient cells themselves are used for the biopharmaceutical product, as is the case with CAR-T cells.

In the past 5 years, we have invested in setting up a multidisciplinary research team and methodological platform for highly efficient CAR-T production, glyco-gene manipulation, and in vitro/in vivo functional anti-tumor analysis. This new research line has now generated the first highly promising results. In the coming years, we plan to take this work to the next level by further engineering the CART cells, aiming to further enhance their therapeutic efficiency.

Our team ( is part of VIB ( and is a member of the Cancer Research Institute Ghent (CRIG) ( In 2023, an ERC advanced grant and Foundation Against Cancer grant were awarded. These projects aim to target glycosylation pathways to empower CAR-T therapy of solid tumors.

For these projects, we are seeking a highly motivated Research Associate for a longer-term engagement in our team.

Your tasks

  • You will be involved in the engineering of the CAR-T cells. This work includes primary human T cell isolation, cultivation, engineering, characterization of the cells by means of flow cytometry, genome analysis, DSA-FACE,…
  • You will be involved in the in vitro functional analysis of the CAR-T cells. This work includes mainly flow cytometry-based assays.
  • You will be involved in the in vivo functional analysis of the CAR-T cells (mouse tumor models). This experimental work includes mouse injections (ip, iv), monitoring, tissue collection, and processing.
  • You will work in the CAR-T subteam of the Unit of Medical Biotechnology at the VIB-UGent Center for Medical Biotechnology and will interact with multiple other research teams within the VIB and the CRIG as well as international collaborating teams.


  • You possess a Professional Bachelor's degree in Biomedical or Biological Sciences or equivalent
  • FELASA B license for animal work is required
  • Experience in tissue culture, flow cytometry, and mouse models
    •  Strong background in mouse handling and mouse models is a plus
    •  Experience with primary human cell work is an advantage
    •  Experience in immune-engineered/humanized mouse models is a plus
  • You have a sense of planning, organization, initiative, accuracy, and detail, responsibility
  • You can work autonomously while having strong team player skills
  • You can show some flexibility in your work
  • You have strong communication skills
  • You have written and oral English skills and you are able to vouch for reports about the work

We offer

  • a contract of indefinite duration
  • participation in an exciting and rapidly evolving new research area within a multidisciplinary  environment;
  • become a member of an established leading research lab with a young, dynamic, and enthusiastic research staff with great team spirit;
  • being part of a stimulating and supportive research team operating at the international level and dedicated to improving 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 (flowcytometry, in vivo mouse modeling, imaging, etc);
  • institutional training opportunities to broaden your expertise and skills;
  • starting date: 01-09-2023

How to apply?

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.
  • FELASA certificate
  • Optionally: a reference letter, …


For more information about this vacancy, please contact Prof Dr. Nico Callewaert ( or Dr. Nele Festjens (

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