KU Leuven

Professor in the Field of Gut-liver Axis in Liver Diseases

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Om arbetsgivaren

KU Leuven is an autonomous university. It was founded in 1425. It was born of and has grown within the Catholic tradition.

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(ref. ZAP-2021-103)

The Department of Chronic Diseases and Metabolism -CHROMETA is recruiting an outstanding basic scientist currently developing or willing to implement a state-of-the-art research program on the gut-liver-axis with a focus on intestinal epithelial-microbiome-immune cell interaction in the context of liver diseases. This research profile will be embedded in the division Hepatology with its research focused on the gut-liver interaction in cirrhosis, NASH and primary Sclerosing cholangitis.


It is part of the assignment of the appointed candidate to develop, within in the broad field of gut-liver axis an international, competitive research program, to pursue excellent scientific results at an international level and to support and promote national and international research partnerships. The candidate must meet a strong research profile or have the potential to develop one. In addition, the candidate is expected to have a broad multidisciplinary view and willingness to cooperate with other researchers and research units at KU Leuven within and outside of his/her own department. 

The candidate

Is an excellent, internationally oriented researcher who has the ability to develop a research program at the forefront in the field of mucosal immunology to understand how intestinal microbiota interact with epithelial cells and mucosal and lamina propria immune cells, in liver disease.

Strengthens existing research lines within the Laboratory of Hepatology and brings complementary and/or new expertise by working closely with core facilities including the FACS core, single cell sequencing and live imaging

Publishes articles at the highest scientific level in various leading international journals in the domain and/or broader international top journals.

Develops her/his own research group.

Supervises master students, PhD students and postdocs at a high international level.

Aims to acquire competitive research funding from national and/or international agencies and submits effective research project proposals for this purpose.

Establishes partnerships within KU Leuven, nationally and internationally in the context of this research program and focus.

Strives for excellence in research and provides a contribution to the international research reputation of the division of Hepatology, the department of Chronic Diseases and Metabolism -CHROMETA and KU Leuven.


You gradually contribute to state-of-the-art teaching. The teaching assignment will be in the area of molecular biology.

You contribute to the pedagogic project of the faculty/university. 

You develop teaching in accordance with KU Leuven’s vision on activating and research-based education and make use of the possibilities for the educational professionalization offered by the faculty and the university. 


You provide scientific, societal and internal services (administrative and/or institutional) that will contribute to the reputation of the entire university.


You have a PhD relevant for (bio)medical sciences. If you have recently obtained your PhD, it is important that you support your research and growth potential with e.g. academic references, at least one top publication or promising research projects.

You have the following technical skills:

- An in-depth knowledge of molecular biology techniques to be applied to develop insight in intestinal epithelial cell biology and its interplay with microbiome-immune cells in health and chronic liver diseases

- Expertise in single-cell research and/or single-cell OMICs

- Expertise in the following techniques will be regarded an advantage:

i. gene editing (i.e. development of transgenic and/or biosensor cellular models by using transposons, recombinant viral systems and/or synthetic biology) 

ii. Expertise with primary cell cultures, including organoids

iii. Expertise with functional genomics and/or proteomics

iv. Expertise with fluorescence-activated cell sorting and imaging techniques.

v. Knowledge of computational biology and bioinformatics.

You are ambitious, aiming to develop as an independent investigator and to lead a strong basic and international research team in our group.

You have an indisputable research integrity.

You have a strong research profile, highlighted by peer reviewed publications encompassing first, senior and corresponding authorships in leading international journals in your scientific field and/or highest ranked international multidisciplinary journals.

You have a solid experience as peer reviewer or editorial services for journals of international excellence.

You have an excellent track record of acquiring national and international research funding and aims to actively acquire financial support from national and/or international agencies to support your research.

You have a track record of techno-scientific innovation and/or intellectual property.

You have experience supervising master students, PhD students and/or postdocs.

A solid history of international research mobility is considered as an important advantage.

You take part of initiatives to improve the research infrastructure of core facilities at your institution. 

You have demonstrable qualities related to academic education. Teaching experience and authorship of academic textbooks/chapters is a plus.

You possess organizational skills and have a cooperative attitude. You also have leadership skills within a university context.

Your spoken and written English is excellent. The official administrative language used at KU Leuven is Dutch. If you do not speak Dutch (or do not speak it well) at the start of employment, KU Leuven will provide language training to enable you to take part in administrative meetings. Before teaching courses in Dutch or English, you will be given the opportunity to learn Dutch resp. English to the required standard.


We offer full-time employment in an intellectually challenging environment. KU Leuven is a research-intensive, internationally oriented university that fosters both fundamental and applied scientific research. Our university is highly inter- and multidisciplinary focused and strives for international excellence. In this regard, we actively collaborate with research partners in Belgium and abroad. We provide our students with an academic education that is based on high-quality scientific research.

Depending on your qualifications and academic experience, you will be appointed to or tenured in one of the grades of the senior academic staff: assistant professor, associate professor, professor or full professor. In principle, junior researches are appointed as assistant professor on the tenure track for a period of 5 years; after this period and a positive evaluation, they are permanently appointed as an associate professor.

You will work in Leuven, a historic and dynamic and vibrant city located in the heart of Belgium, within twenty minutes from Brussels, the capital of the European Union, and less than two hours from Paris, London and Amsterdam.

KU Leuven is well set to welcome foreign professors and their family and provides practical support with regard to immigration and administration, housing, childcare, learning Dutch, partner career coaching, …

In order to facilitate scientific onboarding and accelerate research in the first phase a starting grant of 100.000 euro is offered to new professors without substantial other funding and appointed for at least 50%


For more information please contact Prof. dr. Wim Janssens, tel.: +32 16 37 72 65, mail: wim.janssens@kuleuven.be or Prof. dr. Schalk Van der Merwe, tel.: +32 16 37 38 66, mail: schalk.vandermerwe@kuleuven.be.For problems with online applying, please contact solliciteren@kuleuven.be.

KU Leuven places great importance on research integrity and ethical conduct and will therefore ask you to sign an integrity statement upon appointment.

You can apply for this job no later than February 28, 2022 via the online application tool

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.

Om tjänsten

Professor in the Field of Gut-liver Axis in Liver Diseases
Oude Markt 13 Leuven, Belgien
Sista ansökningsdag
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Om arbetsgivaren

KU Leuven is an autonomous university. It was founded in 1425. It was born of and has grown within the Catholic tradition.

Besök arbetsgivarsidan

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