PhD Position in Molecular or Cellular Biology

Catholic University of Leuven


Two postdoctoral research positions are available immediately at the KU Leuven Stem Cell Institute (in the group of prof. Frederic Lluis), funded by the Flemish Agency for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the start-up company Piece of Meat (, the Flanders Food Innovation Center and KU Leuven. The aim is to develop upscaling technology for pluripotent stem cells and hepatocytes from such stem cells, with the ultimate aim to create “foie gras”. Studies will be required to translate the technology that enables generating hepatocytes from human pluripotent stem cells to duck pluripotent stem cells, to optimize fully small molecule-based media for stem cell and hepatocyte cultures, and to develop large scale culture systems for pluripotent stem cells and hepatocytes derived thereof.


The successful candidate will work in close collaboration with students/postdocs in the Stem Cell Institute, Leuven highly experienced in creating differentiated progeny in the hepatocyte lineage from iPSC, and in CRISPR/Cas mediated genome editing; with scientists from the company Piece of Meat, highly skilled in creating ‘cultured meat’ products; as well as chemical- and bio-engineers at the Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant (, to scale up the culture systems.


The successful candidates should:
- hold a PhD in molecular or cellular biology, biochemistry or bioengineering
- have expertise in iPSC differentiation applications; and / or have expertise in duck stem cells
- have an understanding of genome editing by CRISPR/Cas technology
- have outstanding publications in high impact journals
- be structured and responsible
- contribute with enthusiasm to an ambitious and highly interdisciplinary team
- be fluent in written and spoken English



We offer a position for 1 year with the possibility of renewal after a positive evaluation. Currently funding is available for 30 months, which can then be extended when additional funding has been secured by the fellow or by the lab on this topic.


Your application file must include:

- Cover letter containing statement of motivation
- CV (summarizing education, positions and academic work, scientific publications)
- Name and contact details of 3 referees.


For more information please contact Christina Vochten,

You can apply for this job no later than February 20, 2020 via the
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

  • Employment percentage: Voltijds
  • Location: Leuven
  • Apply before: February 20, 2020
  • Tags: Ontwikkeling en Regeneratie
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