Our established healthcare system is no longer sustainable due to the aging population demographics and the transformation of many fatal disorders into chronic diseases. Preventive healthcare is rising to the challenge of providing early diagnosis and assistance to the risk group populations, effectively allowing individuals to live healthy instead of living with chronic diseases. Within the “I am Frontier” cohort, we are following 30 healthy participants on a monthly basis, which we use to generate different omics data sets including (but not limited to) genomics (Whole Genome Sequencing), epigenetics (Methylation), clinical biomarkers, microbiome, proteomics and metabolomics. Moreover,  we collect information about physiological parameters (heart rate, sleep patterns …) and lifestyle (activity, food intake,stress, ...) via questionnaires and wearables. This data, used in combination with data from a range of disease, profiles allow us to calculate individual risk profiles for a range of diseases.
The aim of this bioinformatics project is to develop new approaches to data integration, analysis and visualization in high-dimensional cross -omics datasets. Beginning with genomics, epigenetics, proteomics, metabolomic and microbiome data generated on samples from the I am cohort, the Ph.D. candidate will develop methods to discover the relationships across these datasets, identify relevant patterns in the data and relate these to available public databases. Moreover, those data can also be correlated to a wide range of clinical parameters as well as data obtained using activity trackers.
We are looking for a highly motivated and scientifically excellent candidate in genomics/bioinformatics background with a problem-solving attitude to work in an international, collegial environment. Strong communication skills complemented with innovative  and analytical thinking are important assets.

Collaboration with University of Hasselt
Registration deadline: 21/08/2020

You will work in a multidisciplinary environment under the supervision of senior scientists experience in Bioinformatics, Computational Biology and Data science, and under the guidance of a university promotor.
  • Applicants should hold a MScdegree in bio-informatics, biological disciplines (e.g. biomedical sciences,medicine, bioengineering science or equivalent) or computer science. Masterstudents that obtain such a degree later this academic year can also apply.
  • Candidates with a biomedical background are expected to demonstrate basic programming experience (e.g. R,Linux bash, Python).
  •  Candidates with acomputational background should demonstrate basic biology knowledge.
  • A strong interest and motivation in omics data analysis is required.
  • Candidates should be teamplayers and have strong analytical problem-solving skills (creative, critical, and open-minded).
  • Good oral and written communication skills in English.
Application Procedure:
We look forward to receiving a motivation letter (max. 1 page), short CV (max. 3 pages), a transcript from the MSc degree, and three names of referees.


      We offer:
      • a 4-year PhD-research project (candidates will be encouraged to apply for FWO grants in 2020).
      • a competitive enumeration during the PhD period
      • participation in an exciting project on personalized and preventive health care.
      • a career development opportunity with access to data derived from cutting edge technologies and analysis platforms
      • to become a member of a dynamic and multi-disciplinary research team.
      • to embed in a research context with different top-research teams with a broad range of expertise.