You will be guided during your research project by Dr. Joana Rocha-Pereira and Prof. Johan Neyts. Dr. Rocha-Pereira’s research focuses on human gut virus biology and antiviral research, using a variety of in vitro and in vivo systems, with a particular interest in zebrafish larvae. Prof. Neyts has a long-standing expertise on antiviral drug discovery and development against a wide range of human viruses. They have discovered multiple classes of compounds targeting human norovirus replication, one of the studied viruses in this project. The Rega Institute has multiple state-of the art BSL-2 and BSL-3 laboratories equipped with two high throughput antiviral screenings platforms (allowing 384-well plate format) coupled to custom-designed databases and a data warehouse platform. In addition, molecular biology laboratories, confocal and fluorescent microscopes and flow cytometry are also available at BSL-2 level. The Neyts-lab has many collaborations with (inter)national experts in the fields of medicinal chemistry, cell biology and structural biology and has a unique collection of virus strains including clinical samples from the University Hospital in Leuven. The lab counts 15 PhD students, 7 post-docs, 10 lab technicians, 1 research expert, 1 scientist, 1 research manager, and 2 innovation managers. Website unit


This GUTVIBRATIONS postdoctoral position will focus on co-developing a human gut mucosa model, followed by the validation of this model and of a human BBB model for use in infectious diseases by performing viral infections (particularly with human norovirus). Importantly,this postdoctoral researcher will be the primary responsible to carry out the validation of the model for antiviral drug development. To fulfil these tasks the postdoctoral researcher will work closely together with the immunology and virology teams at the Amsterdam University Medical Centers, as well as collaborate with all partners of the consortium.

In addition, you will be responsible for co-supervising MSc and PhD students working in the group. You will be the main responsible for generating the data and writing the publications planned within GUTVIBRATIONS, as well as for presenting the data at international meetings.


We are looking for a postdoctoral researcher who is highly motivated, well organized and dynamic with a high level of independence and creative thinking. The postdoctoral researcher will need to explore new ways by combining different techniques in order to contribute to the success of GUTVIBRATIONS.

·          PhD with a topic in one of the following areas: virology, pharmaceutical sciences, biomedical sciences or similar. The candidate should be in possession of a doctoral degree at the time of application.

·          Experience in the following topics is required: virology, namely on the cultivation of human viruses (preferably enteric viruses such as human norovirus, human rotavirus, …), in vitro evaluation of antiviral activity of small molecules, microscopy and molecular biology techniques.

·          Experience in the cultivation of organoids is not required, but considered a plus.

·          Experience in the supervision of MSc students is also valued.

·          Team player that can work independently in a multidisciplinary (international) team

·          Excellent oral and written English communication skills

·          A good publication track record in peer-reviewed journals, including a first author peer-reviewed publication in the last two years.

·          Proactive, inventive, and with a problem-solving attitude, proficient in data analysis and interpretation

·          Ability to work with deadlines and to be involved/ interested in multiple projects


·                    A full-time postdoctoral position for 4 years within a large and highly international research group.

·                    The ability to work on collaborative and international/European project, which is scientifically exceptional and will have a high impact.

·                    The salary and benefits will be in accordance with the KU Leuven salary scales for postdoctoral researchers.

·                    The opportunity to work and live in one of the most innovative universities and cities in Europe. Leuven is located 20 min from Brussels, in the centre of Europe.


For more information please contact Dr. Joana Duarte Da Rocha Pereira, tel.: +32 16 32 18 76, mail: or Prof. dr. Johan Neyts, tel.: +32 16 32 18 93, mail:

The candidate needs to submit the application in both the GUTVIBRATIONS and the KU Leuven website.You can apply for this job no later than January 15, 2021 via the online application toolKU 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

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