KU Leuven

Multi OMICS analysis of idiopatic pulmonary fibrosis

2024-09-16 (Europe/Brussels)
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The BREATHE laboratory (group of Dr Laurens De Sadeleer, Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD) Unit) has an open PhD position for a highly motivated researcher to investigate lung fibrosis through state-of-the-art imaging analysis and multi-omics techniques.
The BREATHE lab at KU Leuven is a renowned research laboratory performing cutting edge research leveraging a world-leading highly-characterised explant lung biobank.
The ILD Unit combines in-depth morphological analysis using innovative CT-derived techniques with multi-omics approaches, both in explant lung and clinical samples from the ILD clinic.
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Idiopathic Pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a fibrotic lung disease affecting more than 300,000 patients in Europe. 

Until now, most research in the field focused on the deposition and accumulation of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins. 

However, as this is highly intertwined with physiological repair upon injury, the quest for intervening herein has been unfruitful. 

In this project, we will focus on an entirely different disease aspect: the vast increase in conductive airway-like structures, called traction bronchiectasis (TBx) and honeycombing (HC).

 While initially thought of as passive phenomena due to traction appearing in end-stage disease, these opinions are not supported by literature and our own preliminary findings.

We hypothesize that TBx/HC are the result of an active process induced by an aberrant regenerative signaling response which should be specifically targeted to stop further disease progression, and which is not addressed with current therapeutic options. 

The global aim of this research project is to understand the morphological and molecular dynamics of this distinct disease aspect and to pave the way for entirely novel therapeutic options targeting these HC/TBx phenomena.

This research project consists of two main aims, both focusing on computational analysis. 

The first goal of the project is to assess 3D structure of HC/TBx leveraging our unique inflated explant lung biobank and state-of-the-art whole-lung ultra-high-resolution CT-scan and microCT of smaller samples of the lung. 

Second goal is to molecularly characterize these enigmatic disease aspects, using multi-omics and spatially resolved transcriptomics datasets which are readily available.


Motivated and enthusiastic person with a Master’s degree in Bio-engineering, Bioinformatics, Biomedical Sciences or similar.

Experience with computational analysis (single cell omics analysis, image analysis, or both)

Sociable person who thrives in diverse teams and enjoy working with people from various backgrounds

Dedicated person who shows initiative and can contribute independently

Basic laboratory skills are a plus

Good communication skills, fluency in English, knowledge of Dutch is an asset


We offer a 4-year PhD position in a dynamic and enthusiastic team
Salary is competitive and in accordance with university standards
Opportunity to get experienced with state-of-the-art imaging and multiomics analysis techniques
We support PhD students with close guidance and provide opportunity to participate in (inter)national collaborations and conferences. 
Enjoy standard conditions at KU Leuven, including state-of-the art research facilities, training opportunities, social and health benefits, in the heart of Europe


For more information please contact Mr. Laurens De Sadeleer, mail: Laurens.Desadeleer@kuleuven.be or Prof. dr. Wim Wuyts, mail: Wim.wuyts@kuleuven.be

KU Leuven strives for an inclusive, respectful and socially safe environment. We embrace diversity among individuals and groups as an asset. Open dialogue and differences in perspective are essential for an ambitious research and educational environment. In our commitment to equal opportunity, we recognize the consequences of historical inequalities. We do not accept any form of discrimination based on, but not limited to, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, age, ethnic or national background, skin colour, religious and philosophical diversity, neurodivergence, employment disability, health, or socioeconomic status. For questions about accessibility or support offered, we are happy to assist you at this email address.

Informatie over de vacature

Multi OMICS analysis of idiopatic pulmonary fibrosis
Oude Markt 13 Leuven, België
Uiterste sollicitatiedatum
2024-09-16 23:59 (Europe/Brussels)
2024-09-16 23:59 (CET)
Soort functie
Baan opslaan

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Over de werkgever

KU Leuven is an autonomous university. It was founded in 1425. It was born of and has grown within the Catholic tradition.

De pagina van de werkgever bekijken