KU Leuven

PhD position: NTM lung disease unveiled

2024-07-31 (Europe/Brussels)
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KU Leuven is an autonomous university. It was founded in 1425. It was born of and has grown within the Catholic tradition.

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The successful applicant will be part of an interdisciplinary, trans departmental research team including clinical sciences, microbiology and immunology in the Department of Respiratory Medicine at the University Hospital Leuven (N. Lorent), the Laboratory of Microbiology, Immunology and Transplantation (E. André) and the Laboratory of Respiratory Diseases and Thoracic Surgery (BREATHE), respectively.
The work will be guided by prof. dr. Natalie Lorent, a consultant in Respiratory Medicine at UZ Leuven and founder of the national NTM multidisciplinary advisory board and recently appointed chair of NTM-NET, a European research collaboration in the field of NTM. The shared passion for mycobacterial infections make the collaboration with the Clinical Microbiology Laboratory research group of prof. dr. E. André unique. It can draw upon existing and highly complementary expertise, while also benefiting from the extensive knowledge within KU Leuven, including the close collaboration with the REGA Institute. The BREATHE lab at KU Leuven is a renowned research laboratory performing cutting edge research with extensive experience studying host immunity in different respiratory diseases.


Nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) lung infections pose a growing public health challenge, yet many questions remain unanswered. These indolent infections can evolve into chronic respiratory conditions, but diagnosis is often delayed. Managing NTM infections is complex due to treatment limitations and variable risk of disease progression. This interdisciplinary research project aims to study markers predicting disease severity and progression by endotyping people with NTM lung disease in order to identify better who will benefit most from therapy and when.  As a PhD candidate, you will chart the current management approaches in Belgium and Europe building a (inter)national NTM registry whilst studying host-pathogen interactions which may ultimately lead to improved management decisions in NTM lung disease.


  • Motivated and enthusiastic person with a Master’s degree in Medicine or Biomedical Sciences with an interest in infectious/respiratory diseases covering a broad range including clinical care, epidemiology as well as laboratory work.

  • Sociable person who thrives in diverse teams and enjoy working with people from various backgrounds

  • Dedicated person who shows initiative and can contribute independently

  • Basic laboratory skills are a plus

  • Good communication skills, fluency in English, knowledge of Dutch and French are an asset


  • Interdisciplinary environment: Join our collaborative research team spanning clinical sciences, microbiology, and immunology
  • Engage with a broad national and international network of experts worldwide
  • Learn essential research skills and techniques and explore fellowship opportunities

  • Enjoy standard conditions at KU Leuven, including state-of-the art research facilities, training opportunities, social and health benefits

  • A one-year contract, renewable for three more years provided PhD milestones are being met


For more information please contact Prof. dr. Natalie Lorent, tel.: +32 16 342786, mail: natalie.lorent@kuleuven.be.

KU Leuven strives for an inclusive, respectful and socially safe environment. We embrace diversity among individuals and groups as an asset. Open dialogue and differences in perspective are essential for an ambitious research and educational environment. In our commitment to equal opportunity, we recognize the consequences of historical inequalities. We do not accept any form of discrimination based on, but not limited to, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, age, ethnic or national background, skin colour, religious and philosophical diversity, neurodivergence, employment disability, health, or socioeconomic status. For questions about accessibility or support offered, we are happy to assist you at this email address.

Job details

PhD position: NTM lung disease unveiled
Oude Markt 13 Leuven, Belgium
Application deadline
2024-07-31 23:59 (Europe/Brussels)
2024-07-31 23:59 (CET)
Job type
Save job

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About the employer

KU Leuven is an autonomous university. It was founded in 1425. It was born of and has grown within the Catholic tradition.

Visit the employer page