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PhD project

Endothelial immunosuppressive mystery genes for alternative immunotherapy: dissecting their features via lipid nanoparticle-based target validation (II)

Call for applications for one or more fully financed PhD fellowships

Project description 

The Laboratory of Angiogenesis and Vascular Heterogeneity headed by Prof. Peter Carmeliet focuses on the development of blood vessels (angiogenesis) and vascular heterogeneity in health and disease, with the ultimate aim to identify novel therapeutic strategies. The lab developed and uses innovative integrated approaches (e.g. scRNA-sequencing, Artificial Intelligence(AI-)based tools, metabolomics, multi-omics analysis) to efficiently discover new, biologically important and therapeutically attractive targets. The ultimate goal is to bring promising validated scientific targets, upon translation, to the level of drug development. The project will be conducted in a multidisciplinary environment at the interface of an academic and clinical environment, where animal surgery expertise and clinical samples will be available.

The PhD project is a collaboration between the laboratory for Angiogenesis and Vascular Heterogeneity, Department of Biomedicine, Aarhus University (https://pure.au.dk/portal/da/pecar@biomed.au.dk) and the laboratory of Angiogenesis and Vascular Metabolism, Oncology Department, Leuven University, Belgium (https://carmelietlab.sites.vib.be/en). The recruited PhD student will have to spend time in both labs during the PhD. The project is fully funded by the NNF Foundation.Both labs, under supervision of Prof. Peter Carmeliet, interact continuously, which offers opportunities for short-term training periods in Leuven (and joint PhD at a later stage). Both the newly starting Aarhus and the Leuven lab apply their expertise and therapeutic focus to evaluate and deliver novel therapeutic concepts into clinical development with the ambition to change the life of patients with vasculature-related disorders.

PhD topic: Improving anti-angiogenesis therapy

Current anti-angiogenesis therapies (AATs), by targeting the pro-angiogenic factor VEGF, suffer resistance and insufficient efficacy. The Carmeliet lab explores opportunities to overcome these limitations and to improve AAT by focusing on endothelial cell metabolism, endothelial heterogeneity and, in particular, endothelial immunity. Recent projects, combining single-cell transcriptomics with bulk multi-omics (transcriptomics, (epi)-genomics, proteomics & metabolomics) revealed novel insights in endothelial cell metabolism and heterogeneity in health and disease that can help design novel AAT strategies.

PhD description:

We are recruiting motivated PhD candidates to help us achieve following goals:

(i) to discover new therapeutic targets: using bulk & single cell multi-omics on surgical samples from human and mouse, performing bioinformatical analysis & biological interpretation or

(ii) to bridge the valley of death by functionally validating newly discovered targets using in vitro & in vivo assays

You will perform the research project under direct supervision of Prof. Carmeliet and a postdoctoral fellow. You will participate in weekly team meetings to update your research results to your colleagues as well as attend high-level seminars to disseminate and discuss your research findings. In addition, you will be trained in the writing of papers and grants, the design of experiments, guidance of master students, etc.


Your Profile:

  • You have a Master Degree in biology/biomedicine, pharmacy, biomedical engineering, bioinformatics/computer science (AI/ML), or related fields.
  • Having any experience in molecular biology, biochemistry, cell culture, cancer/metabolism and/or in bioinformatics/computer science is an advantage.
  • You have a curious mind and dare to take risks
  • You have a strong commitment to basic/clinical research. 
  • Basic standard values: (i) You are interested and motivated to work on ambitious projects in an open, dynamic and driven international team; (ii) You have a hands-on attitude and are able to work in a team as well as independently; (iii) You have a strong ability to multi-task, meet timelines and work accurately; (iv) You have good communication skills in spoken and written English.

How to apply

Please submit your application via this link. Application deadline is 24 May 2022 23:59 CET. Preferred starting date is 1 August 2022. 

For information about application requirements and mandatory attachments, please see our application guide 

Further information

Please contact Prof. Peter Carmeliet, peter.carmeliet@kuleuven.be or Katie Van Geyte, katie.vangeyte@biomed.au.dk for further information. 

All interested candidates are encouraged to apply, regardless of their personal background. Salary and terms of employment are in accordance with applicable collective agreement.