PhD Student (Immuno-oncology)
KU Leuven

PhD Student (Immuno-oncology)

Belgium 05 Apr 2021


KU Leuven

Visit institution page


State University
Host Country
05 Apr 2021
Study level
Opportunity type
Eligible Countries
This opportunity is destined for all countries
Eligible Region
All Regions

(ref. BAP-2021-59)

The Laboratory of Cell Stress & Immunity (CSI) seeks a highly motivated PhD student, within the context of the iBOF consortium, "MIMICRY" - “Modulating Immunity and the Microbiome for effective CRC Immunotherapy”. The CSI Lab, headed by Prof. Abhishek D. Garg, is embedded within the Department of Cellular & Molecular Medicine (CMM), in KU Leuven (Belgium). KU Leuven is one of Europe's oldest universities, that consistently ranks amongst the world's best universities and is widely regarded as one of the most innovative research institutions. The CSI laboratory focusses on the following research themes: cancer immunology & immunotherapy, immunology of cancer cell death, stress or therapy-elicited immune-signalling, immune cell biology, computational immunology and precision biomarkers for clinical immuno-oncology. Ultimately, the CSI lab aims to specialize in reverse translational approaches to hasten progress in immuno-oncology and help improve therapeutic outlook for cancer patients, in close collaboration with leading researchers, immunologists, and oncologists.

Website unit

The current PhD position is available for a highly motivated candidate. The PhD student will exploit the already available expertise in cancer immunology & immunotherapy to address emerging questions seeking to understand the immune-checkpoint biology in the context of colorectal cancer (CRC). This objective is situated within the wider aim of the iBOF MIMICRY consortium (described below).

Description of iBOF consortium: A fundamentally important biological question is how our bodies maintain a critical balance between inflammation and immune tolerance, and how this may be modified orevaded by cancers. The human colon, a tissue where many inflammatory diseases and cancers arise, performs this balancing act basally in the presence of dietary antigens and the normal microbiome. Within this homeostatic state,colorectal polyps and colorectal cancer (CRC) arise and can evade clearance bythe immune system despite treatment by immune checkpoint inhibitors. We hypothesize that these pre-malignant lesions subvert the default tolerogenic state of the colon and induce additional immunosuppressive mechanisms.Deciphering the complex interaction between the epithelium, immune system and microbiome requires a talented group of researchers with complementary expertise. The unique composition of this ‘MIMICRY’ iBOF consortium aims tocombine human samples, state-of-the-art immunology, novel tools, and in vivo mousemodels to study the multi-factorial aspects of colorectal cancers. These willhelp develop novel immunotherapeutic strategies.


• You hold a Master's degree in Biotechnology/Biological Sciences/Life Sciences/Biomedical Sciences or related fields, obtained from a recognized University.

• You have demonstrated following practical skills: basic molecular and/or cellular biology techniques, flow cytometry analyses, animal cell culture, basic research data handling and statistical analyses.

• You have solid demonstrable theoretical knowledge of: Molecular Cell Biology, Cancer Biology, Immunology and Basic anatomy.

• You should be a team player with excellent oral and written (English) communication skills.

• Practical knowledge and technical skills related to Immunology, Histology/Immunohistochemistry and, Animal handling would be a plus and candidates possessing these will be preferred.


Key Responsibilities:

· Performing experiments dealing with molecular & cell biology, cell death mechanisms, immunology and, in vivo tumor immunology & immunotherapy.

· Delivering presentations (oral or poster) in consortium/institutional seminars and national/international symposiums or conferences.

· Eager to carry out visitations (if required) to other laboratories (within Belgium or abroad) for learning new techniques.

· Eager to co-supervise the thesis projects of Master's students. 

We offer:

• At least a 4 years contract (although we do encourage the candidate to apply for a personal PhD fellowship to be part of this programme for a longer period of time).

• Access to state-of-the-art infrastructures and active collaborations with well-known Belgian or international laboratories.

• A stimulating, international research environment in an emerging state-of-the-art academic laboratory and the opportunity to interact with several highly collaborative, world-class investigators part of this consortium. 

For more information please contact Prof. dr. Abhishek Garg, tel.: +32 16 37 93 40, mail: Don't email your applications, please use the KU Leuven online application system.

You can apply for this job no later than April 05, 2021 via the online application tool

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

Choose your study destination

Choose the country you wish to travel to study for free, work or volunteer

Please find also