PhD fellowship in organoid modelling of the post-acute phase of COVID at the Department of Biomedical Sciences

Copenhagen University
July 21, 2024
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Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

University of Copenhagen

We are offering a PhD fellowship in organoid development and tissue modelling commencing 1st of October 2024 or as soon as possible hereafter.

Our group and research The Desler Group are a newly started research group counting 10 group members. We investigate aging at the molecular level and its link to age-related diseases. This is done using 2D and advanced 3D cell culture models alongside biopsies collected from human cohorts. Our goal is to unveil novel molecular mechanisms in aging, discover robust biomarkers for age-related diseases, and identify potential therapeutic targets.

This PhD project is part of an EU Horizon funded highly interdisciplinary and multifaceted research project between 10 different groups across Europe and lead by the Desler Group.

Project description

In this project we aim to understand and explain the mechanistic link between the post-acute phase (PAP) of COVID-19 and risk of noncommunicable diseases. More specifically, we aim to determine the clinical and biological mechanisms behind the increased risk of reduced organ function in pulmonary, cardiovascular, and renal systems associated with the PAP of COVID-19.

Your primary research area will be to generate, assess and use induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived organoids to support the project. You will optimize the protocols for kidney and lung organoid generation and use this model system to assess novel immune factors in blood samples from human controls and patients suffering from COVID. Using both 2D and 3D representative model systems, you will, in collaboration with other group members assess viability, fibrosis, senescence load, bioenergetic changes and morphologic changes.

Principal supervisor is Associate Professor Claus Desler, Department of Biomedical Sciences, [email protected]

Start: 1st of October 2024

Duration: 3 years as a PhD student

Job description We are seeking a highly motivated and ambitious candidate with a strong educational background in human organoid development biology. The perfect candidate has experience with generation, assessment and use of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived organoids.

As a PhD candidate in the Desler group, you will take on both teaching- and research-related responsibilities, including the supervision of students associated with this project.

We strive for great outreach in our project, and part of the job includes presenting and communicating our research to the public as well as to the scientific community.

Your key tasks as a PhD fellow at SUND are:

  • Carrying through an independent research project under supervision.
  • Completing PhD courses or other equivalent education corresponding to approximately 30 ECTS points.
  • Participating in active research environments including a stay at another research team.
  • Obtaining experience with teaching or other types of dissemination related to your PhD project
  • Teaching and disseminating your knowledge.
  • Writing a PhD thesis on the grounds of your project
  • Key criteria for the assessment of applicants Applicants must have qualifications corresponding to a master's degree related to the subject area of the project, e.g. Cell biology, Human Biology, Molecular Biology, Biochemistry and similar. Please note that your master's degree must be equivalent to a Danish master's degree (two years).

    Other important criteria are:

  • Professional qualifications relevant to the PhD project
  • Relevant work experience
  • A curious mind-set with a strong interest in organoid development and age- related research
  • The grade point average achieved
  • Previous publications
  • Other professional activities
  • Proficient in English
  • Place of employment

    The place of employment is at the Department of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen. We offer creative and stimulating working conditions in dynamic and international research environment.

    Terms of employment The average weekly working hours are 37 hours per week.

    The position is a fixed-term position limited to a period of 3 years. The start date is 1st of October or as soon thereafter

    The employment is conditioned upon the applicant's success­ful enrolment as a PhD student at the Graduate School at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen. This requires submission and acceptance of an application for the specific project formulated by the applicant.

    The PhD study must be completed in accordance with The Ministerial Order on the PhD programme (2013) and the Faculty's rules on achieving the degree.

    Salary, pension and terms of employment are in accordance with the agree­ment between the Ministry of Taxation and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State. Depending on seniority, the monthly salary starts at approximately 30,700 DKK/Roughly 4,100 EUR (April 2024 level) plus pension.

    Questions For specific information about the PhD fellowship, please contact the principal supervisor.

    General information about PhD studies at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences is available at the Graduate School's website: https: // healthsciences.ku.dk/phd/guidelines/

    Application procedure Your application must be submitted electronically by clicking ‘Apply now' below. The application must include the following documents in PDF format:

    1. Motivated letter of application (max. one page)

    2. CV incl. education, experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position

    3. Certified copy of original Master of Science diploma and transcript of records in the original language, including an authorized English translation if issued in other language than English or Danish. If not completed, a certified/signed copy of a recent transcript of records or a written statement from the institution or supervisor is accepted. As a prerequisite for a PhD fellowship employment, your master's degree must be equivalent to a Danish master's degree. We encourage you to read more in the assessment database: https: // ufm.dk/en/education/recognition-and-transparency/find- assessments/assessment-database/?setlanguage=en. Please note that we might ask you to obtain an assessment of your education performed by the Ministry of Higher Education and Science

    4. Publication list (if possible)

    Application deadline: July 21st 2024, 23.59pm CET

    We reserve the right not to consider material received after the deadline, and not to consider applications that do not live up to the abovementioned requirements.

    The further process After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the hiring committee. All applicants are then immediately notified whether their application has been passed for assessment by an unbiased assessor.

    The assessor makes a non-prioritized assessment of the academic qualifications and experience with respect to the above-mentioned area of research, techniques, skills and other requirements listed in the advertisement.

    Once the assessment work has been completed each applicant has the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that relates to the applicant him/herself.

    You find information about the recruitment process at: https: // employment.ku.dk/faculty/recruitment-process/

    The applicants will be assessed according to the Ministerial Order no. 242 of 13 March 2012 on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities.

    Interviews are expected to be held in week 33-35.

    The University of Copenhagen wish to reflect the diversity of society and encourage all qualified candidates to apply regardless of personal background.

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