PhD student - Belgium
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- You will join a team that focuses on the study of circulating tumor DNA (and RNA) for the diagnosis of cancer and therapeutic stratification for precision medicine (“liquid” biopsy).
- The development of these liquid biopsies is based on Massively Parallel Sequencing (Next Generation Sequencing) of circulating tumor DNA (and RNA) present in plasma of cancer patients.
- We will use Shallow Whole Genome Sequencing (for the detection of Copy Number Alterations), as well as targeted sequencing (for the detection of point mutations in many oncogenes, tumor suppressor genes and DNA repair genes).
- Your task in the team focuses on the development of bioinformatic and statistical tools for the analysis of the Next Generation Sequencing data.
- Furthermore, you will be intensely involved in the selection of genes for large panels relevant for the development of liquid biopsies.
- The aim of the project is early diagnosis of cancer, therapeutic stratification for precision medicine, follow-up after therapy, and the detection of potential targets for therapy
- The project focuses on lung cancer and lymphoma, but the approach is also promising for other tumor types.
- The project is a collaboration between the Department of Pathology (Laboratory for Cancer Diagnostics and Pathology), the Center for Medical Genetics, the Department of Thoracic Oncology, the Department of Hematology, and the Center for Molecular Diagnostics.
- All these clinical departments and laboratories are located at the campus of the University Hospital.
- There is a close collaboration between the Departments of Pathology, Thoracic Oncology and Hematology of our university hospital for the analysis of the clinical data and the clinical validation of the test. Prospective collection of blood samples of cancer patients has been started in April 2016.
Profile of the candidate
- You hold a master degree in one of the following disciplines: Bioengineering, Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Bioinformatics or an equivalent field.
- You are interested in challenging scientific research.
- You are interested in cancer biology and molecular biological techniques. In close collaboration with the other team members you will try to gain insight in the genetic alterations in tumors, important for the development of diagnostic and prognostic molecular tests on circulating tumor DNA (and RNA).
- Your aim is to obtain a PhD degree.
- You have knowledge of bioinformatic tools and in particular of genomics data analysis (e.g. Whole Exome Sequencing, Whole Genome Sequencing, …).
- You have knowledge of commonly used programming languages in bioinformatics, like R, Python and Perl.
- You can work independently, but are also a good team player.
- You have a creative mind and are a problem solver.
- You are communicative.
- You hold, or expect to hold by June 2017, a master degree (the latest starting date is August 1, 2017).