The Laboratory of Viral metagenomics (part of the Laboratory of Clinical and Epidemiological Virology) at the Rega Institute is headed by Prof. Jelle Matthijnssens, and focuses on the role of the human gut virome in human health and disease. For virome analyses, we use a recently optimized method (NetoVIR) to efficiently investigate viromes in fecal samples. For the analyses of bacteria and eukaryotes we use 16S and 18S approaches in collaboration with the lab of Prof. Jeroen Raes (also in the Rega Institute). The Matthijnssens lab currently holds six PhD students and a lab technician. Our group is now looking for a dynamic and highly motivated new student to join our young and dynamic research team, and to start a 4-year PhD project under the umbrella of the Doctoral School Biomedical Sciences (https://gbiomed.kuleuven.be/english/phd). The PhD project will be executed in close collaboration with Dr. Mustafizur Rahman from the ICDDR,B (International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh), Prof. Jeroen Raes (Bioinformatics and (eco-) systems biology lab), and senior PhD student Leen Beller, who has worked on similar data sets for Belgian infants (see below). The KU Leuven is ranked in the top-20 of best Universities in Europe, and the Rega Institute is worldwide renowned for its research on viral immunology and antiviral therapies.
The development of the intestinal microbiota is a key process in early life, as it significantly affects the metabolism and immune system of the host. Hence, the establishment of this symbiosis is of crucial importance to achieve and maintain optimal health. The human gut microbiota is a complex ecosystem of bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites, influenced by external factors such as diet and the environment. The overall interplay between these different components of the microbiome as well as their dynamics over time are poorly understood. Furthermore, the microbiome is increasingly being implicated in several complex human diseases, despite the lack of baseline knowledge on the “healthy” microbiome at multiple-kingdom levels and its recruitment early in life. As part of the PhD thesis of Leen Beller we have looked at the gut microbiota development of 8 Belgian (high-income country) infants during the first year of life. In the current project, fecal samples of a longitudinal cohort of 30 Bangladeshi infants (low income country) and their mothers are being sampled in collaboration with Dr. Mustafizur Rahman.
The Ph.D. candidate will:
Do you think you are the right person for this challenging PhD project?
Apply online, and include:
Your motivation letter, explaining why you are the perfect candidate for this position.
Your Curriculum Vitae
Transcript of obtained grades
A list with at least two references (with name, function, email, address, phone number)
For more information please contact Prof. dr. Jelle Matthijnssens, tel.: +32 16 32 11 61, mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or Mrs. Leen Beller, tel.: +32 16 32 12 85, mail: email@example.com.
You can apply for this job no later than June 30, 2019 via the online application tool
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|Title||Untangling the Gut Microbiota Development (Bacteria, Viruses, Fungi and Parasites) in Bangladeshi Infants Using Various Metagenomics Approaches|
|Job location||Oude Markt 13, 3000 Leuven|
|Published||April 5, 2019|
|Application deadline||June 30, 2019|
|Job types||PhD  |
|Fields||Biomedical Engineering,   Biomedicine,   Biochemistry,   Bioinformatics,   Virology,   Microbiology,   Immunology,   Parasitology,   Bioengineering,    and 1 more. Bacteriology  |