Vacancy: Research Associate – Downstream Processing (fixed term contract – 6 month

Fascinated by protein science and cheese? The Downstream Processing team at Those Vegan Cowboys is responsible for the purification and characterization of native and recombinantly produced milk proteins. We develop DSP processes, study protein formulations and use our purified proteins in functional studies and cheese making.

We are looking for a Research Associate with an interest in protein purification. A great opportunity to work in a dynamic environment, where you can dive deeper into the science behind protein purification through internal training, a springboard for your career. You are available from June-July until December 2022.

The successful candidate should be a creative and motivated person that enjoys challenges with the aim to provide high quality material for characterization and cheese making. The team closely interacts with other disciplines within the company (e.g. Molecular Biology and Fermentation).


Job description:

  • Perform protein purifications, using different types of column chromatography (ion exchange, HIC, gel filtration ….), membrane filtration, precipitation techniques etc.
  • Perform different filtration, buffer exchange and concentration techniques (e.g. micro-filtration, ultrafiltration, depth filtration)
  • Evaluate each step in the purification process (yield, protein integrity and purity) using different protein analysis tools such as SDS-PAGE, Western Blot, ELISA, analytical HPLC, …
  • Execute the designed experiments in the lab/pilot, followed by data collection, data analysis and data interpretation.
  • Execute all experiments according to the in-house established standard operating procedures.
  • Collaborate with and help colleagues within the team for execution of experiments.
  • Responsible for individual safety and that of your colleagues by following the correct procedures and policies.


Your profile:

  • Master degree in Life Sciences or Bachelor degree with possibly relevant working experience.
  • Insights in protein purification and characterization.
  • Hands-on experience with purification systems is a plus.
  • Ability to work independently as well as in team environment.
  • Problem-solving abilities and analytical skills.
  • Flexible within a dynamic environment, able to multi-task.
  • Communication and organizational skills (interpretation and documentation of data, report writing, planning).
  • Available from June-July until December 2022.


Are you our new Temporary Downstream Processing team member?

Please drop us a note at

If you have any questions about these vacancies, please contact Belinda Hunziker by mail or phone + 32 (0)9 261 77 00.


About Those Vegan Cowboys:

Those Vegan Cowboys are developing new vegan food products with the same taste as traditional dairy products such as cheese. Our cowboys work in our NewMilkLab, within the grounds of Ghent University. Our researchers collaborate with scientists and players from the traditional dairy industry to develop milk proteins through microbial fermentation. In part not new: nowadays most of all hard cheeses are produced with vegan microbial rennet. Now, Those Vegan Cowboys want to make the casein and other dairy proteins vegan by microbial production.

Those Vegan Cowboys expect that it still will take several years to market products on a serious scale. CEO Jaap Korteweg: “We hope to present something tasty on a smaller scale earlier. The upscaling and traditional processing of high-quality dairy copies takes time. But if it succeeds, this project will make a very positive contribution to animal welfare, fair world food distribution, nature, the climate and biodiversity.” Animal husbandry currently occupies 70% of the current agricultural area. Korteweg: “If you use this area for vegetable meat and dairy products, you only need half or less. Now, large areas of nature are being destroyed daily to feed the growing world population and animal life stock. With vegetarian meat and vegan dairy products, we can reverse this development and give large areas back to nature.”

Those Vegan Cowboys regard the development of a “stainless steel cow” as a logical development within the dairy industry which historically already evolved from hand milking, via the milking machine to the fully automatic milking robot of today. Korteweg: “In Ghent, a predecessor of the milking machine was already demonstrated at the agricultural exhibition in 1910. In 1992, a Dutchman, as first farmer in the world, milked all his cows with a milking robot. The modern dairy farm is no more than a factory where machines insert the grass and trucks take out the milk. The cow is an unnecessarily painful part of this industrial process. The Low Countries have a huge tradition of innovation in the dairy industry. For us, this project is no more than a logical next step.


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