Scientist - Genetic analyses of viral and bacterial infectious diseases

Scientist - Genetic analyses of viral and bacterial infectious diseases

  • Fixed-term Position (12 months)
  • Brussels (Belgium)
  • Published on September 10 2021

Sciensano supports Belgian and European health policy by innovative scientific research, surveillance and expert advice. Our 800 employees collaborate in more than 100 scientific projects, financed by governmants, Belgian or international partners and stakeholders. More information on current and future projects can be found at

The ‘HERA’ project : the analysis capacity for genomic typing of pathogens has increased enormously during the COVID-19 crisis in Belgium. The one-year HERA project (2022) aims to sustain and strengthen this capacity and expertise, and to embed it within a sustainable infrastructure for national public health purposes. More specifically, the HERA team will build a national genomic databank for pathogens, and strengthen the infrastructure for sharing and analysis of this data. This will enable rapid identification of, for example, new variants of SARS-CoV-2, or the detection of outbreaks and clusters at the regional and national level. The national databank has to communicate with international databases to maximize the efficiency of identifying and managing future cross-border outbreaks and pandemics.

You will join the HERA team and will be integrated in the scientific units of human bacterial and viral diseases.

You will be trained by experienced scientists in the ongoing national surveillance activities for the five selected case studies, namely SARS-CoV-2, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella enterica, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and Influenza.

You will help to establish sequenced-based surveillances and be responsible for linking the lab team to the HERA development team.

You coordinate the development of the pathogen database with the bioinformatics involved.

You help to develop, test and report on our Belgian genomic database.

You follow the most recent developments in the field, discuss with national and international stakeholders, participate actively in national and international meetings and conferences and present your findings in peer-reviewed journals.

You work at the Uccle site (rue de l'England).

Our ideal candidate : 4 years of (applied) research experience in a field related to the topic (preferably a doctoral degree); technical competences: • theoretical and practical knowledge of molecular biology, virology and/or bacteriology • knowledge of next-generation sequencing • knowledge of command line environment is an asset.

Generic competences: • well-organized, pragmatic and problem-solving mindset • enthusiastic & eager to learn • good communicator • Fluent in English, knowledge of Dutch and/or French is an asset.

Our offer : start from the 1st of October; a challenging and fascinating project in a rapidly evolving field; a knowledge-intensive position in a renowned health institute; a contribution to public health policy in relation to human genomics; a young enthusiastic team of colleagues