PhD fellow viral hepatitis and disease modelling

Updated: 3 months ago

Department: Translational Research in Immunology and Inflammation
Regime Full-time

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The departments TWI2N and VAXINFECTIO of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences are hiring a full-time (100%) PhD fellow in the field of viral hepatitis and disease modelling.

The Viral Hepatitis research groups (Laboratory of Experimental Medicine and Paediatrics, Department TWI2 N) led by Prof. Thomas Vanwolleghem and SIMID, CHERMID (Centre for Health Economics Research and Modelling Infectious Diseases, Department VAXINFECTIO) led by Prof. Niel Hens of the University of Antwerp, are planning an innovative research project on biomarker discovery and modelling of clinical outcomes in patients with chronic hepatitis B infection.


  • You will model clinical outcomes after stopping antiviral therapy in chronic Hepatitis B patients, using a combined dataset of different studies. You are responsible for building the database, data-cleaning and -mining and coordinate intensively with the international researchers who conducted the various studies (under the supervision of Prof. Vanwolleghem). Under the supervision of Prof Hens, you develop and refine new statistical methods to deal with heterogeneous datasets. You explore machine learning methods to analyse time-to-event data.
  • You will be involved in the bioinformatic analysis of RNA sequencing data of samples from a Belgian prospective study in which antiviral therapy is stopped (COIN-B) (under supervision of Dr Van Renne). Together with a team of researchers, you will study viral and host markers associated with favourable clinical outcomes and functional cure.
  • You regularly report your findings at lab meetings of the different research groups and conferences. You publish scientific papers related to the research project.
  • You are registered as a PhD student at the University of Antwerp and are preparing a PhD thesis.


  • You hold a Master degree in in statistics or related field or you will have obtained it by the time you start work.
  • You can demonstrate excellent study results.
  • You have a keen interest in combining statistics and bioinformatics to address translational research questions.
  • Your teaching competences are in line with the University of Antwerp’s educational vision .
  • Your research qualities are in line with the faculty and university research policies .
  • You act with attention to quality, integrity, creativity and cooperation.

What we offer

  • We offer a doctoral scholarship for a period of 1 year. Following a positive evaluation, the scholarship can be renewed twice (total duration 4 years).
  • The planned start date is 1 September 2024 or as soon as possible after that date.
  • Your monthly scholarship amount is calculated according to the scholarship amounts  for doctoral scholarship holders on the pay scales for Contract Research Staff (Dutch: Bijzonder Academisch Personeel, BAP).
  • You will receive ecocheques, Internet-connectivity allowance, and a bicycle allowance or a full reimbursement of public transport costs for commuting.
  • You will do most of your work at Campus Drie Eiken in a dynamic and stimulating working environment.
  • Find out more about working at the University of Antwerp here .

Want to apply?

  • You can apply for this vacancy through the University of Antwerp’s online job application platform up to and including 29 February 2024 (by midnight Brussels time). Click on the 'Apply' button and complete the online application form. Be sure to include the following attachments:
    • a motivation letter
    • any additional documents demonstrating your interest or expertise in the combination of statistics and bioinformatics.
  • The selection committee reviews all applications as soon as possible after the application deadline. As soon as a decision is made, we will notify you. If you are still eligible after the pre-selection, you will be informed about the possible next step(s) in the selection procedure.
  • If you have any questions about the online application form, please check the frequently asked questions  or send an email to [email protected] . If you have any questions about the job itself, please contact Dr. Thomas Vanwolleghem ([email protected] ) or Prof. Dr. Niel Hens ([email protected] ).

The University of Antwerp received the European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research Award  for its HR policy. We are a sustainable, family-friendly organisation which invests in its employees’ growth. We encourage diversity  and attach great importance to an inclusive working environment and equal opportunities, regardless of gender identity, disability, race, ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation or age. We encourage people from diverse backgrounds and with diverse characteristics to apply.

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