Postdoctoral Position in Immunology in an Academic-Industrial Collaboration

Catholic University of Leuven Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Transplantation


The Adaptive Immunology Laboratory is an internationally recognized research group embedded in the infrastructure of KU Leuven (Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Transplantation) and consists two major divisions: the molecular Treg team (headed by Prof. Susan Schlenner) and the primary immunodeficiencies team (headed by Prof. Stephanie Humblet-Baron). The divisions unite to understand the factors that influence disease outcome during immune dysregulation. The laboratory also manages the Mass and Flow cytometry core facility. This position is available in the molecular Treg group that studies molecular and genetic mechanisms involved in healthy and dysfunctional T cell biology. Where required, we develop new genetic tools (inducible, reversible, conditional etc.) that do not require compromise on the objective of using physiological in vivo contexts. Our lab follows two lines of research on T cell/Treg biology: i) mechanisms that underlie Treg plasticity and ii) RNA modifications in T cell biology. In the context of this position, we collaborate intensely with dualyx NV, a seed stage company developing novel and differentiated biologicals for treatment of autoimmune diseases. websites: ,


The candidate will be involved in a translational, pre-clinicalacademic-industrial collaborative project that will employ a set of genetic tools (including lentiviral approaches) and humanized in vivo models (PBMC, bone marrow transfers, ...) to study the effect of regulatory T cell-targeted immunemodulation in autoimmune diseases.

We have already carried out target selection and initial in vitro experiments, which provides a view on the action of the drug candidates. The applicant will join this project at the level of efficacy and mechanistic studiesby generating (humanized) in vitro models as well as applying in vivo models. As part of the downstream analysis, the candidate will apply high-parameter flow cytometry, biomarker analysis and autoimmune disease readouts, that will untangle for instance how our drug candidates influence regulatory T cell numbers, suppressive potential and plasticity.

Together, this project will lead to the development of a drug candidate for treatment of a number of autoimmune diseases.

Key responsibilities

- To design and implement pre-clinical proof-of-concept in vivo strategies to allow transition of promising drug candidates from discovery to efficacy testing.

- To coordinate in vivo/ex vivo studies, manage collaborative relationships with industrial collaborators and internal parties.

- To contribute to scientific discussions and drive technical project progress.

- To interpret, document, retain and summarize raw data and results in adequate systems (e.g.lab note books and data warehouse).

- To report in writing and orally about the progress and conclusion of work packages and to discuss the outcome in a wider context with the lab head and/or the industrial collaborator;to interact with stakeholders on a regular basis to synchronize the planned work versus the time lines.

- With the support of the host lab, the candidate will apply for a VLAIO Postdoc Innovation mandate, Phase 2.


- PhD in biotechnology, (molecular) immunology.

- Strong interest and hands-on experience in animal models. Experience in molecular cloning is an asset.

- You can take initiative, function well in a team, and have a proactive, problem-solving and practical mentality, perseverance and critical mind-set.

- Proficient use of English for both oral and written communication.

Skills, expertise, competencies and contribution

- Excellent problem-solving, organizational and time management skills

- Works self-organized and supports others.

- Keeps abreast with relevant scientific and/or technical developments. Searches literature and other sources independently and applies and shares knowledge.

- Open, transparent communicator (verbal, written, interpersonal, listening) skills Team-oriented with people management skills.

- Quick learner with ability to adapt to changing priorities and meets timelines in a fast-paced environment.


- A full-time postdoc position in the Schlenner lab for at least 2years, with an option to transition into the company’s operations.

- Access to state-of-the art tools and infrastructure within an excellence-based research institute.

- A stimulating and supportive international research environment.

- Various training opportunities to broaden your expertise and skills.


Motivated candidates are asked to apply online via the KUL website,include a detailed CV, a motivation letter describing previous work experience and the names and contact information of two or more references.

Applications are welcome until the position is filled.
You can apply for this job no later than February 28, 2021 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 28, 2021
  • Tags: Cellulaire en Moleculaire Geneeskunde

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