nanoJOBS – Careers in Nanotechnology

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Postdoctoral Researcher on Label-free Detection of Gut Bacteria Detection using Electrical-based Biosensors
Employer: imec
Location: Leuven, Belgium
Employment Start Date: As soon as possible

Organization Description:

Imec is the world-leading research and innovation hub in nanoelectronics and digital technologies. The combination of our widely acclaimed leadership in microchip technology and profound software and ICT expertise is what makes us unique. By leveraging our world-class infrastructure and local and global ecosystem of partners across a multitude of industries, we create groundbreaking innovation in application domains such as healthcare, smart cities and mobility, logistics and manufacturing, and energy. 

As a trusted partner for companies, start-ups and universities we bring together 4,000 brilliant minds from over 90 nationalities. Imec is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium and also has distributed R&D groups at a number of Flemish universities, in the Netherlands, Taiwan, USA, China, and offices in India and Japan. All of these particular traits make imec to be a top-class employer. To strengthen this position as a leading player in our field, we are looking for those passionate talents that make the difference!

What we do for you

We offer you the opportunity to join one of the world’s premier research centers in nanotechnology at its headquarters in Leuven, Belgium. With your talent, passion and expertise, you’ll become part of a team that makes the impossible possible. Together, we shape the technology that will determine the society of tomorrow.
We are proud of our open, multicultural, and informal working environment with ample possibilities to take initiative and show responsibility. We commit to supporting and guiding you in this process; not only with words but also with tangible actions. Through, 'our corporate university', we actively invest in your development to further your technical and personal growth.
We are aware that your valuable contribution makes imec a top player in its field. Your energy and commitment are therefore appreciated by means of a competitive salary.

Job Description:

Imec’s Biomedical Circuits and Systems design team has a strong experience and background in integrated circuits for future healthcare and life science applications. Our team specializes in IC design for wearable and implantable healthcare. Our ICs cover a broad range of sensing modalities like ECG, EEG, EMG, PPG, blood pressure, bio-impedance etc. We are currently launching a new research track into label-free detection of gut bacteria based on electrical based biosensors for in-body solutions. To strengthen this research roadmap, we are looking for an experienced researcher willing to start a postdoc in this field.
Recent scientific evidence has demonstrated the link between human gut bacteria and a number of gastrointestinal (GI) diseases, as well as health conditions. For example, the presence of the bacteria Helicobacter pylori (H. Pylori) is linked to peptic ulcers, stomach cancer, gastritis and celiac disease. Continuously monitoring of such bacteria helps the doctors and nutritionists to better understand the relation between host’s diet and the gut health of the host. Current methods to detect these bacteria require the use of a specific label or offline analysis of a biopsy, serum or stool sample. These methods are cumbersome and require trained personal to perform the test. In this post-doctoral research, we want to investigate if emerging electrical-based biosensing methods like di-electrophoresis for enrichment and broadband dielectric spectroscopy for sensing can offer a label-free, rapid, and low-cost bacteria analysis. The goal is to have an on-line in-vivo diagnosis device (e.g., a smart pill) to help doctors and nutritionists to better understand the interaction between patient’s diet and their gut health.
In this research the candidate will be expected to perform initially an in-depth literature research and present a suitable label-free electrical-based detection method. The candidate will then develop a proof-of-concept benchtop device. The performance to detect H. Pylori bacteria will be characterized in a suitable in-vitro model. The research will require a strong electrical design skillset including PCB design and manufacturing, PCB debugging, electrical testing and debugging. But the candidate should also have a basic understanding of microbiology and shall be requested to culture bacteria and perform golden standard bacteria testing.


-  PhD research relevant to the proposed research topic. This means preferably a PhD in electrical engineering with strong affinity with microbiology or bacterial sensing. Or a PhD degree in microbiology, biological engineering or bioengineering with strong affinity with electronics development.
-  We are looking for your experience with prototyping electrical systems and electrical measurement (PCB design, soldering, electrical test & characterization).
-  You are familiar with multi-physics simulation (e.g., COMSOL).
-  Experience with bacteria culturing and biosensor validation is a plus.
-  Experience in microfluidic (in-vitro cell culture and biosensing, organ-on-chip, etc) is a plus.
-  We value your strong research mindset with at least 1 high-profile publication from PhD.
-  You have a broad interest across disciplines.
-  We appreciate your problem-solving attitude and strong desire to stay up-to-date with recent advancements in state-of-the-art.
-  You are able to work independently and eager to take initiative and responsibility.
-  We value your open and constructive communication skills.
-  You are very fluent in English (oral and written).

This postdoctoral position is funded by imec through KU Leuven. Because of the specific financing statute which targets international mobility for postdocs, only candidates who did not stay or work/study in Belgium for more than 24 months in the past 3 years can be considered for the position (short stays such as holiday, participation in conferences, etc. are not taken into account).


Job Application:

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Date Posted: April 25, 2019