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Postdoctoral Scientist, Translational Biomarkers HBV Beerse Belgium,  

Johnson & Johnson (company)

Posted on : 01 May 2017

Project Description

  • Our company is one of the most innovative pharmaceutical companies in the world and employs more than 4,000 professionals in Belgium. 
  • Our research and development center develops products for a wide range of disease areas, such as mental disorders, neurological problems, infectious diseases, immunological disorders, cancer, and cardiovascular and metabolic conditions.
  • The Infectious Diseases therapeutic area of company R&D is pioneering new treatment paradigms for hepatitis B (HBV), and has several assets at different stages of discovery research and early clinical development. 
  • These involve agents acting directly on the life cycle of the virus or agents revamping the host immune response to the chronic infection. 
  • The diversity in working mechanisms of these novel therapeutic options poses challenges for the selection of appropriate readouts that reflect or can predict clinical efficacy in chronically infected HBV patients. 
  • The rapidly evolving environment of HBV treatment modalities provides a strong impetus to investigate and identify how combinations of viral and host factors are predictive and provide insight in mechanisms of response to such novel therapeutic options.
  • The Infectious Diseases Translational Biomarkers department is currently seeking a highly motivated candidate for a 3-year postdoctoral position to strengthen the team that is investigating samples from chronically HBV-infected patients using state-of-the-art high-dimensional (omics) readout methodologies in the search for novel biomarkers that can address the above challenges.

Function Description
  • The research of the postdoctoral scientist will focus primarily on large HBV patient cohorts from observational studies that have been set up especially for this biomarker research. 
  • An extensive exploratory analysis approach, involving a diversity of high-dimensional experimental assays at various levels (DNA, RNA, protein, ..) will be required for the identification of critical biomarkers associated with effective long-term control or cure of the HBV infection. 
  • As different components of the immune system are assumed to significantly contribute to the control and/or resolving of HBV in patients, it is appreciated that the bio marker research efforts are rapidly moving towards analyses at single-cell level. 
  • Further validation of the resulting outcome and exploration in cellular models is also in scope.
  • The candidate will combine hands-on laboratory work with data analysis of various omics methodologies, with particular emphasis to single cell (type) level approaches. 
  • Thereto, he/she will work in close collaboration with the other scientists and laboratory staff of the translational biomarkers, translational medicine, discovery sciences and quantitative sciences teams. 
  • The candidate will also have the opportunity to interact with external collaborators (academic and others) involved in these studies.
  • It is expected that the outcome of this work will lead to high-quality publications in peer-reviewed journals. 

  • MD/PhD or PhD in Medical Sciences, Bioengineering, Biology or related field, with a good track record of publications from his/her PhD.
  • Experience with multiple omics platforms applied for bio marker research in the context of translational clinical studies. 
  • A solid knowledge of immunology science and at least basic skills for laboratory work with primary (human) immune cells is required; expertise of flow cytometry and/or cell sorting is considered an advantage.
  • Hands-on experience with (open source and other) computational tools required for the analysis of omics biomarker data, with a good understanding of appropriate statistical approaches.
  • Have the drive and capability to translate omics data from various sources into biologically meaningful information, based on a solid biology background and a flexible, open mindset.
  • Enthusiastic personality who enjoys a balanced combination of hands-on laboratory work and advanced data analysis.
  • Excellent communication, reporting and team working skills. 
  • Able to effectively report and present scientific data and concepts according to international standards of the scientific community.
  • The ideal candidate will have acquired some expertise relevant for the project already during his/her PhD research, and is intrigued to extend this expertise while gaining experiences in a pharma research environment.

  • As an employee we consider you as our most valuable asset. We take your career seriously.
  • As part of a global team in an innovative environment your development is key and our day-to-day responsibility. 
  • Through e-university, on the job training, various projects and programs, we ensure your personal growth.
  • Our benefits make sure we care for you and your family now and in the future.


Beerse Belgium

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