PhD Candidate In SARS-COV-2/COVID-19 Research At Université Catholique De Louvain (UCLouvain), Brussels, Belgium

PhD Candidate In SARS-COV-2/COVID-19 Research At Université Catholique De Louvain (UCLouvain), Brussels, Belgium


The IREC/DDUV/LDRI institutes at UCLouvain (Brussels, Belgium) are urgently seeking for a motivated PhD candidate to work on COVID-19 research in the domain of network precision medicine.

This PhD position will address some of the most important questions in infectiology today, using cutting-edge technologies and tools, including Next-generation sequencing, proteomics, microbiomics and big data analysis. This project is likely to give rise to paradigm-shifting in the way we address the diseases and diagnosis. The project is also expected to produce impactful publications in outstanding scientific journals.

Therefore, this is a great opportunity for a highly motivated ambitious junior scientist who aspires to become doctor in the field of network medicine applied to infectious diseases.

Details of the UNCOVER research project

After its emergence in China in the late 2019, clinicians have rapidly been struck by the diversity of the clinical presentations of SARS-CoV-2 infection, ranging from asymptomatic disease to multiple organ failure and death. The present project aims at generating a system biology network that can recapitulate the complexity of processes underlying differential SARS-CoV-2 phenotypic responses through exploitation of clinical -omics data. This project includes genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, microbiomics and viromics data for apprehending critical strata of biology involved in the response to the infection. The objectives of the project are (i) to describe the local nasopharyngeal (NP) microbiota/viroma/transcriptome/genome of the virus and his host as well as the systemic transcriptome/proteome/metabolome and the genome of SARS-CoV-2 infected patients at acute and convalescent phases in a cohort of 125 patients with different COVID-19 phenotypes; (ii) to correlate the patient -omics profiles and SARS-CoV-2 genomic variability with the different COVID-19 phenotypes through the use of a network-based integrative approach; (iii) to highlight the crucial pathways determining the COVID-19 phenotype in order to predict singular susceptibility to develop a severe/critical COVID-19 phenotype, and to find predictive biomarkers of the clinical evolution; (iv) to integrate all these -omics data through system biology network allowing to provide an exhaustive overview of the interaction between all the investigated -omics strata, and (v) to define specific signatures able to capture the phenotype diversity and the pathological evolution. This will open the way to improved clinical care through the application of precision medicine and advancing researches towards effective treatment and/or vaccine strategies.

More Information



A multicultural, multilingual university open to the world, UCLouvain is a genuine research university that welcomes more international researchers with each passing year. Today, 40% of its research staff is international.  Among doctoral students, the proportion is nearly one in two.

UCLouvain welcomes researchers on its several campuses to residential environments that combine green spaces, culture, sport activities and infrastructure, folklore and a humane atmosphere. A unique experience, in the heart of Europe!

The work environment is also ideal. Researchers work within a research institute and can draw on UCLouvain’s technology platforms. They also have direct access to the business world thanks to UCLouvain’s science parks, which attract many businesses and start-ups that want to collaborate, and thus benefit from research conducted at the university. In addition to immediately available resources, researchers have access to libraries and the online research publication tool.

Additional comments

For the funding, this announce is associated to an application to a PhD fellowship (FNRS/FSR/FRIA or research assistant at the faculty).


Offer Requirements


    FRENCH: Basic

    ENGLISH: Good


We are looking for a highly motivated and independent candidate willing to fulfill a PhD thesis in (bio)medical and/or pharmaceutical sciences. The candidate must have (or is about to) obtained a master degree in (bio)medical, pharmaceutical, biology or bioinformatics sciences (or equivalent) with honors. Preferably, the candidate would have acquired a basal knowledge of the common research approaches during his/her formation.

Title PhD candidate in SARS-COV-2/COVID-19 Research at Université catholique de Louvain (UCLouvain), Brussels, Belgium
Employer Université catholique de Louvain
Job location Place de l’Université 1, 1348 Louvain-La-Neuve
Published November 6, 2020
Application deadline January 7, 2021
Job types PhD  
Fields Biomedicine,   Clinical Sciences,   Bioinformatics,   Epidemiology,   Systems Biology,   Infectious Diseases,   Pharmacy & Pharmacology,   Computational Biology  
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