PhD Student

Last application date
Nov 30, 2022 00:00
GE32 - Department of Diagnostic Sciences
Limited duration
Master degree in biotechnology, biochemistry, (bio)medical sciences, bio-engineer, or equivalent.
Occupancy rate
Vacancy type
Research staff

Job description

The production and application of cell therapy products is one of the fastest growing fields in biomedicine. This is exemplified by the growing interest and successful implementation of CAR T cells for the treatment of cancer. However, the logistics that are involved in the production of CAR T cells renders this procedure extremely expensive and time-consuming, and this is also a very personalized approach because of immunogenic reasons. Therefore, universal CAR T cells that are available unlimited as off-the-shelf products are considered as the holy grail in this field.

In the context of a European EIC pathfinder grant, the research group of Prof. Tom Taghon (, located in Ghent, Belgium, is looking for 2 talented and highly motivated PhD students to tackle this problem. Research in our lab is focused on the functional characterization of the molecular mechanisms that control T cell development in human (Roels et al., Nature Immunology 2020; Lavaert et al., Immunity 2020; Van de Walle et al., Nature Communications 2016) and we recently discovered a novel signaling cascade that promotes the generation of human T cell precursors from hematopoietic stem cells. In this EIC pathfinder grant, we wish to apply this discovery to optimize the generation of T cell precursors from induced pluripotent stem cells. We will implement state-of-the-art techniques such as gene-editing (for example CRISPR) and advanced cell culture, and also wish to develop novel approaches for cell-mediated immunotherapy.

The project is in collaboration with Prof Kevin Braeckmans (Department of Pharmaceutics) and successful applicants will work together with an international group of postdocs, PhD students and technicians in the Medical Research Building2 on the Ghent University Hospital campus that provides access to cutting-edge technology and facilities, and that houses leading research groups in the field of Immunology and Genetics, thereby providing a state-of-the-art and stimulating research environment.

Job profile

  • You hold a degree of Master in Biomedical Sciences, Medicine, Applied Biological Sciences (bio engineer), Pharmaceutical Sciences, Biotechnology or equivalent.
  • You have strong enthusiasm for scientific research.
  • You are a highly motivated and flexible team player with the capacity to work independently.
  • You are creative, critical and have great problem-solving skills.
  • You have strong research and presentation skills, illustrated by your master thesis.

How to apply

For further information or to apply (include motivation letter, curriculum vitae with study results and contact information of two potential referees), please contact : Prof. Dr. Tom Taghon (E-mail: