Downstream Bioprocess Engineer - AAV Gene Therapy - KU Leuven


The Laboratory for Viral Cell Biology and Therapeutics (LVCBT – KU Leuven), headed by prof. Els Henckaerts, is a pioneering lab that works on the cutting edge of AAV biology research and translational science to develop novel AAV-based gene therapies towards the clinic. Recent advances in the gene therapy field have boosted the commercial value of clinical AAV vectors. However, large-scale manufacture of high-quality vectors remains a challenge, underlining the need for innovative solutions in upstream and downstream bioprocessing. The LVCBT team is looking for a motivated and skilled Bioprocess Engineer to perform downstream process development and implement innovative bioprocessing solutions in order to meet the needs of modern day vector production.


How will you make an impact?

You will be part of the AAV manufacturing team tasked with developing and optimizing AAV manufacturing processes to the highest quality. Moreover, as a downstream process (DSP) engineer you will have the opportunity to explore and implement innovative technologies and processes allowing you to influence and drive the long-term ambition to develop a scalable and robust manufacturing platform for AAV vectors within KUL.

What will you do?

As an expert in downstream purification for AAV vectors, you will

  • optimize the downstream process for AAV vectors including clarification, chromatography purification and formulation using both existing and newly developed technologies as well as those developed in-house.
  • design and implement scale-up methodologies for AAV vector purification with quality, yield and cost-efficiency in mind
  • apply bioprocess engineering strategies to optimize the AAV purification methods towards GMP-compatible standards
  • investigate and develop novel technologies in the current manufacturing process
  • write and review technical documents including SOPs and reports of the DSP activities.
  • perform data analysis, write reports, and effectively communicate this information back to the relevant team members and collaborators

As a team player, you will:

  • be part of a team responsible for AAV vector manufacture for internal projects as well as for collaborations with external partners in biotech and pharma.
  • work with the quality team responsible for AAV vector analytics
  • be responsible for training and managing a small team of technicians


What profile do you have?

Their ideal DSP engineer has:

  • a PhD in Biochemistry, Bio-engineering, Biomedical Sciences or equivalent through relevant experience.
  • Industry and GMP knowledge
  • expertise in downstream process development for biologics; experience in working with viral vectors is a plus.
  • hands-on experience with filtration and chromatography instruments such as AKTA Flux, AKTA Purifier/Pure/Explorer/Avant
  • strong knowledge on membrane filtration (normal flow and tangential flow) and chromatography (affinity, ion exchange, size exclusion)

Additionally, you have

  • strong understanding of (statistical) data analysis and quality management
  • a detail-oriented, pro-active mindset that strives for continuous improvement of yourself and your work
  • excellent communication skills
  • good interpersonal skills that allow you to work effectively within a team
  • the ability to prioritize and navigate your work in a fast-paced and rapidly evolving research environment
  • very good command of English, both spoken and written.


What does our client offer?

As their colleague, you will

  • be part of a team of ~20 people with different backgrounds and expertise who share the encompassing ambition to deliver new therapeutics to patients
  • work in a well-funded, state-of-the-art laboratory that nurtures novel research initiatives in order to complement upstream, downstream and analytical efforts
  • get the opportunity to gain deep knowledge of gene therapy research and the associated development process in a stimulating environment
  • be exposed to superb career development opportunities with the intent to provide a long-term horizon perspective
  • be able to connect to a dynamic network of both academic and industrial partners in an international setting

Publication date


Contact person

Sophie Gravy

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