Professor Experimental Immunology

Updated: 3 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 24 Jul 2022

Professor Experimental Immunology – Department of Biomedical Sciences

The Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp (ITM) has the aim to advance tropical medicine and global public health, with a focus on low- and middle-income countries (LMIC), by performing world class scientific research. The ITM performs fundamental, translational and applied scientific research, delivers advanced education and provides medical, scientific and societal expert services. The ITM is an open and international campus where staff, students and researchers work on new international health challenges. ITM has three scientific departments, one focusing on pathogens (Department of Biomedical Sciences), one on patients (Department of Clinical Sciences) and one on populations (Department of Public Health).

With worldwide recognized experts on parasites, mycobacteria and viruses, ITM’s Department of Biomedical Sciences constitutes a multi-disciplinary critical mass for basic and translational research that has a direct impact on novel prevention and intervention strategies, as well as on health policies in LMIC. The Microbiology Research Group shares common research questions, expertise and technologies in fundamental and translational biomedical research to understand the biology, to improve the diagnosis, treatment and surveillance of mycobacteria and (re)emerging viruses, as well as to understand the immune responses in diverse hosts against these pathogens.

The Experimental Immunology Unit (EIU) is a pivotal Unit in the vector-pathogen-host triangle, which is rooted in the basic and translational research of the Microbiology Research Group of the DBS. The EIU will focus primarily on the basic (molecular) understanding of innate immune responses to pathogens (e.g. protozoan parasites or emerging arboviruses) in vertebrate hosts and insect vectors and will connect with the ongoing research in other DBS units (e.g. Trypanosoma, Virology, Malariology, Entomology, Molecular Parasitology, One Health, and others) and research groups across ITM (e.g. Clinical Immunology, Clinical Virology) to identify and experimentally validate potential preventive and therapeutic strategies or novel “pathogen-blocking” vector control approaches.

Therefore, the Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp (ITM) is looking for an outstanding scientist with an excellent track record in the field of experimental immunology of vector-borne diseases. She/he will lead the EIU and focus research on the basic understanding of the innate immune responses of vector-transmitted pathogens in the mammalian host and/or the insect vector. The candidate is expected to develop an innovative and internationally competitive research programme in connection with the Units of Protozoology, Virology and Entomology and the Unit of Clinical Immunology (DCS), and in line with the departmental and institutional research priorities. Although this position is primarily focussed on basic immunological research, there will be close links to training and capacity strengthening activities in the department.


-     Develop and conduct innovative basic experimental research in the field of the immune responses against vector-borne pathogens, with the aim to unravel innate immune responses in the mammalian host and the insect vector, and to explore possible novel targets for vaccination, therapeutic interventions and vector control.

-     Collaborate with units of the Department of Biomedical Sciences and the Department of Clinical Sciences to develop one or more synergistic research lines.

-     Acquire competitive internal and external research funding and build up international reputation and visibility.

-     Develop and manage (together with the Unit of Clinical Immunology) a state-of-the-art technical and experimental immunology platform also accessible for researchers from other units working on host-pathogen interactions.

-     Provide teaching and training in the field of immunology of vector-borne diseases at postgraduate, Master and PhD level as well as in specialized short courses at ITM. Contribute to the development of new teaching modules, including distance and blended learning.

-     Provide expert advice to national and international bodies/stakeholders in the field of immunology of vector-borne diseases.

-     Take up management responsibilities, including safety and quality.

-     Contribute to the strategic vision of the department and institutional policy development.


-     A PhD degree in biology, biomedical sciences, (veterinary) medicine, or equivalent field.

-     An excellent academic track record in the field of innate immunology and vector-borne diseases, including successful grant writing and PhD supervision.

-     Excellent skills in experimental research and a track record in successful collaborative research with other disciplines.

-     Experience in academic teaching and training in the field of immunology.

-     Experience with vaccine design and early development is an asset.

-     Working experience in/with low- and middle-income countries is an asset.

-     Strongly identify with ITM values.

-     Excellent pro-active communication skills and respectful people management skills.

-     Fluent in English, both in writing and speaking. Active knowledge of Dutch and French is desirable. If you do not have these skills, willingness to acquire a working level of knowledge of Dutch is requested. Knowledge of other languages is an asset.


ITM is committed to building a diverse, equitable and inclusive institute. We strive for excellence and relevance, integrity, sustainability and persistence and fairness. Your assignment contributes to our mission. We value human dignity and diversity, academic creativity and a critical spirit, solidarity and cooperation, and the well-being of employees, students, patients and clients. We offer you:

·       A full-time appointment. Depending on your record and qualifications, you will be appointed to or tenured in one of the grades of the senior academic staff: assistant professor, associate professor, professor or full professor.

·       A salary set according to the pay scales of ITM and the Flemish universities and to your work experience with some supplementary benefits such as a private pension scheme and meal voucher subscription.

·       An attractive research starting grant.

·       A collegial research environment and mentorship with attention to work-life balance and individual growth and development.

·       An immigration and relocation assistance package.


For more information about this position, please contact HR ( rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank"> ).

To apply for this post, send the ITM’s application form or your CV (compliant with the application form), together with your motivation letter to rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank"> . The application form can be downloaded on our website .



The">The closing date for receipt of applications is September 15th, 2022.

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