Vacancy Head of Lead Characterisation – Ghent


The growing demand for healthy, safe and sustainable food has increasingly imposed restrictions on agricultural practices. Therefore, improving food production efficiency in a sustainable way, while safeguarding the environment and its natural resources, is essential.

At Biotalys, they have the ambition to transform food protection, shaping the future of a sustainable and safe food supply. Biotalys is a rapidly growing and transformative food and crop protection company, developing a new generation of protein-based biocontrol solutions.

Based on their ground-breaking technology platform, they have developed a broad pipeline of effective and safe products with novel modes of action, addressing key crop pests and diseases across the whole value chain, from soil to plate. Their products combine the high-performance characteristics of chemicals with the clean safety profile of biologicals, making them ideal crop protection agents for both pre- and post-harvest applications.

Their headquarters are located in the vibrant biotech cluster in Ghent, Belgium. More information can be found on

To strengthen their valuable team of dedicated employees, and to bring novel biocontrol products on the market, Biotalys is looking for a highly motivated and innovative Head of Lead Characterisation.


Reporting directly to the CSO it will be your mission to design, qualify and validate a very diverse and complex set of bioanalytical assays (in vitro and in vivo) in support of our protein-based biocontrol discovery programs. Development, validation and implementation of creative new bioassays are included in these activities, as well as mode of action studies. You will be responsible to set-up the group further. Setting personal and group objectives in alignment with organisational goals and performance appraisal of the individuals in your team. Since you will act as a key part of the Discovery leadership team, you will be providing updates on the groups’ activities and progress to other parts of the R&D organisation including Senior Management.

Furthermore, you will:

  • Lead the Characterisation group, providing technical, managerial and strategic leadership to the group
  • Lead the overall strategy and manage delivery and timeline of bioanalytical, in vitro and in planta bioassay activities. This includes the development of flexible, scalable and HT bioassays for in vitro and in planta screening of protein-based biocontrols to control fungal, bacterial and/or insect diseases
  • Be responsible for bioanalytical/bioassay strategies (ELISA, cell-based assay, flow cytometry, in planta assays, etc.), methods, data and documents for all programs, both internal and external
  • Will ensure new bioanalytical/bioassay technologies are being assessed and incorporated when appropriate
  • Review study data and write/contribute to reports for regulatory filings as required
  • Collaborate with departmental and inter-departmental colleagues to ensure that bioanalytical/bioassay results meet quality and timeline requirements
  • Mentor Lead Characterisation representatives to achieve team objectives
  • Encourage personal growth. Foster good teamwork and communication amongst staff
  • Build a reputation for excellence both as an individual and as a team


What are we looking for?

  • Ph.D/MS degree in Life Sciences or related discipline
  • At least eight years of industrial experience in protein bioanalysis experience
  • Experience in plant pathology and particularly the development of biological and/or crop protection products is a plus
  • Capable of thinking out-of-the-box and being open-minded
  • At least five years of people leadership experience is required with a proven record of developing employees
  • Strong scientific and problem-solving skills, including design and coordination of study-driven issues
  • Hands-on experience and broad knowledge of bioanalytical/bioassay method development using different platforms (ELISA, Flow cytometry, cell-based assays, …) is required
  • Experience in growth chamber disease bioassay development is a definite plus
  • Possess the ability to solve problems methodically; able to take initiative and act independently
  • The flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances and manage activities to meet the needs of the business while maintaining a focus on quality
  • Must have excellent written and oral communication skills
  • On-site presence is mandatory


Biotalys can offer you:

Teamwork, innovation, passion, well-being and accountability are the Biotalys’ values that guide their business and that they prize when they recruit new talent and reward our employees. Biotalys strives to create an exciting and dynamic working environment in which you will be challenged to take initiative, contributing to the success of the company. You will work in a multicultural and multidisciplinary team of top innovators in the AgriFood Biotech industry who will support you to further develop and grow your personal skills. You will be rewarded with a competitive salary and benefits package.


If you are interested in this job, or in similar ones, please feel free to contact me directly.

Jamie van den Ban
Associate Consultant | Research and Development | Food, Feed and Plant Sciences

+31(0)6-82 66 54 05 
+31(0)23-75 486 60