Careers at UMC Utrecht
Vacancy number: 2019/0629
Apply to: August 28 2019
Education: University
Employment: Temporary position
Full-time/Part-time percentage: 100%

The Center for Translation Immunoloy (CTI) at the UMCU and the National Institute for Public Health and the environment (RIVM) are looking for a postdoc in the field of bioinformatics/computational biology to assess the contributions of internal and external factors (such as the gut microbiome) in vaccination response and use unbiased analysis techniques to unravel biomarkers for vaccination response and immune signatures related to (un)healthy ageing. The candidate will investigate a diverse set of immune parameters as a signature for immune senescence, vaccination response and its relation to environment (gut microbiome profiles) and lifestyle cues and will be responsible for data integration and interpretation of a large set of immunological and omics data. This project is a part of an IMI funded EU project “Vaccines and Infectious Diseases in the Aged population” (VITAL) and makes use of data collected within a clinical vaccine study. This project involves multiple data sets including baseline assessments (clinical, immunological, microbiological) as well as longitudinal dynamics of immune responses after vaccination. To this end multiple data sets need to be integrated to assess the impact of external factors (such as gut microbiota), clinical data (comorbidities and medication use) as well as immunological parameters (different cell types, activation and cytokine production and transcriptomics ex vivo and in vitro) in relation to vaccine responsiveness (multiple readouts at the level of adaptive humoral, cellular and innate responses) and ageing.


CTI/UMCU The University Medical Center Utrecht strives to achieve the highest levels in, patient care, scientific research and education. By dedicating to continuous improvements, cutting-edge treatments can be pioneered, groundbreaking findings can be fostered, and a standard of care can be delivered that meets the healthcare needs for today, and the future. Within the UMCU, the Center for Translational Immunology (CTI) aims to improve the quality of life of those suffering from allergic and (chronic) inflammatory and infectious diseases and cancer. Therefore, the CTI conducts multidisciplinary translational immunological research to impact people’s lives by understanding the essence of life-long immune health, classifying and monitoring inflammatory diseases and identifying their treatable traits. Furthermore, the CTI aims to develop immune-mediated therapy for infection, inflammation and cancer. Thereby the research results contribute (directly) to improving the diagnostics and treatment of patients. IIV/RIVM The RIVM is thé research institute of the government in the area of health, nutrition, environment and safety. It performs research, but also gathers global knowledge and applies it. The institute publishes annually a large number of reports, opinions and scientific articles. The RIVM, based in Bilthoven, employs approximately 1,500 employees ( The center for Immunology of Infectious Diseases and Vaccines (IIV) at RIVM is thé knowledge center of the government in the field of immunology of infectious diseases and vaccines. The core mission of this center is to provide information and advice about effectiveness of vaccines, vaccination strategies and immune responses against infectious diseases to parties within the government and to the general public. In support of this task, research performed at IIV is focused on optimization of the effectiveness and safety of current and future vaccination programs, immunosurveillance, age-related efficacy of the immune responses and correlates of protection. In this work the center collaborates intensively with other RIVM knowledge centers and national and international collaborators specializing in immunology, microbiology, epidemiology and outbreak control of infectious diseases.


We are looking for a candidate with a strong interest in infectious diseases and background in bioinformatics/computational biology. You will apply innovative methodology for unbiased analyses of multiple datasets and search for (immunological) biomarkers of vaccine responsiveness. You will work closely with a PhD student to study the impact of age and other intrinsic (frailty) an extrinsic (infection with chronic herpesviruses, microbiota) factors in collaboration with international partners. In addition, you will work on related projects using multi-level and big data in the context of vaccination response and ageing at the RIVM amongst which SNP array data for integration into studies for performing genome wide association studies (GWAS). Within the bioinformatics group of the UMCU you will exchange knowledge and explore new analysis tools that enable network analyses and systems biology approaches. Specific features: • PhD degree in bioinformatics, computational biology, systems biology or a comparable discipline. Candidates with experiences in microbial ecology, genetics and immunity are preferable. • Experience with advanced statistics • Experience in integrating “omics” (DNA, RNA, epigenetic, proteomic) data analysis and biological interpretation. • Extensive experience with one or more Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technologies (e.g., (single cell) RNA-Seq,) and the analytical tools to support them. • Solid background in Immunoscience biology and experience working with data from clinical trials is a plus. • Ability to communicate effectively with biologists, biostatisticians and computational scientists. • Ability to process SNP array data for integration into studies for performing genome wide association studies (GWAS) is a plus. • Significant experience in R or Python. • Competency working in a Linux/Unix environment and proficiency in other languages, e.g., SQL, java, Matlab is a plus. • Excellent oral and written communication skills • Fluency in English

The maximum salary for this position (100%) is € 4.481,00 gross per month based on full-time employment (work week 36 hours). This job is based on a temporary position for 4 years.

In addition, we offer an annual benefit of 8.3%, holiday allowance, travel expenses and career opportunities. The terms of employment are in accordance with the Cao University Medical Centers (UMC).


additional questions with respect tot he position can be retrieved after 25th of august due to holidays by email or by phone: +31-655132057.

More information

If you have any questions about this vacancy, please contact Mrs.Prof.dr. D. van Baarle, hoogleraar/groepsleider, phone number: 030-2748619, e‑mail adress:

Acquisition based on this jobopening is not appreciated.

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