KU Leuven

PhD position - Impact of gender-affirming therapy on bone

2024-06-28 (Europe/Brussels)
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KU Leuven is an autonomous university. It was founded in 1425. It was born of and has grown within the Catholic tradition.

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The research group of prof. Steve Stegen is part of the Clinical and Experimental Endocrinology Unit, at the Department of Chronic Diseases and Metabolism. Our research aims to understand how skeletal cell function is regulated by their local microenvironment, both during bone development and in pathological conditions. We have a passion for cell metabolism, and have ample expertise in investigating skeletal cell behavior using in vivo and in vitro models.

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You will work on an exciting and clinically relevant project, investigating how gender-affirming therapy affects bone properties. To tackle our specific research questions, you will use preclinical mouse models that mimic the clinical strategy that is applied in transgender youth, combined with state-of-the-art technologies including single-cell RNA sequencing, metabolomics, multi-color flow cytometry, imaging and genetic engineering to gain deep mechanistic insights. You will take part in internal seminars and meetings to disseminate your findings, and attend relevant workshops and training courses.


  • You hold a Master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences, Bioengineering or a related discipline.
  • Hands-on experience with laboratory animals, cell culture and biochemical assays such as Western blot and qRT-PCR analysis is certainly desired, but not all is required. Some experience with bioinformatics would be a plus.
  • You are a proactive, dynamic person and show spirit for initiative and problem-solving. You take great care and precision in your work, and are able to work independently but also as part of a team.
  • You possess excellent oral and written communication skills in English.


  • We offer a PhD position in a young and dynamic team within an excellent working environment.
  • You will have the opportunity to work on high impact projects in a multidisciplinary environment with access to state-of-the-art technologies and infrastructure.
  • We support PhD students with excellent (daily) guidance and training, and provide the opportunity to participate in (inter)national collaborations and conferences. We aspire to create a lab culture where all talents can flourish and feel welcome, regardless of age, race, gender, cultural background, or disability.
  • The KU Leuven has a strong international character and is located in Leuven, close to Brussels at the heart of Europe.


Please send your application to prof. Steve Stegen at steve.stegen@kuleuven.be, which should include: 1) a CV including previous research experience, 2) a short cover letter describing your motivation, research interests and career objectives.

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.

Job details

PhD position - Impact of gender-affirming therapy on bone
Oude Markt 13 Leuven, Belgium
Application deadline
2024-06-28 23:59 (Europe/Brussels)
2024-06-28 23:59 (CET)
Job type
Save job

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About the employer

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

Visit the employer page