PhD fellowship in the role of fibroblast and fibrosis in the pathogenesis of atrial fibrillation

Copenhagen University
April 06, 2024
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:fixed-term position
Working Time:Full time
Working type:N/A
Ref info:N/A

A position is available in the Cardiac Physiology Laboratory at the Department of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. The position is available from 1st of June 2024, or at a mutually agreed date. Very motivated and committed candidates with experience in cardiovascular research and biomedicine are invited to apply. The employment as PhD fellow is full time and for 3 years. The position is fully funded and is conditioned upon the applicants successful enrollment 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 project

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia affecting more than 33.5 million people worldwide and is associated with increased morbidity and mortality occurring as a result of stroke and heart failure. Currently available therapies have inadequate efficacy and substantial adverse side effects. AF is characterized as being a progressive disease that commonly develop towards longer-lasting AF forms. In this regard, structural remodeling, particularly cardiac fibrosis, is a major driver of AF progression. However, specific therapeutic targets to halt or prevent fibrotic remodeling are lacking, which makes management of cardiac fibrosis the largest unmet therapeutic need in AF. This project will provide novel and important insights in AF pathogenesis, potentially leading to the development of new treatment regimens for AF patients.


Principle supervisor is Professor Thomas Jespersen.

Primary co-supervisor is post.doc Arnela Saljic.


1st of June or as soon as possible.

The group

We are an interdisciplinary and dynamic team of ambitious scientists, where both excellence in science and team-spirit are the primary objectives. The team includes PhD students, postdocs, scholar students as well as bachelor and master students. We have a large collaborative international and national network, which nurtures the group's talent and the impact of our research.

Our research

Our primary research focus is on cardiac electrophysiology and arrhythmias. We aim at elucidating cardiac electrophysiology and structural remodeling in health and disease with a specific focus on ion channels and their associated proteins and functions using molecular, biochemical, pharmacological, and electrophysiological investigations . We also aim to reveal and understand how disease states affect the electrophysiological function of the heart and its ion channels. Our goal is to incorporate in vitro findings into a whole organ context through the use of ex vivo and in vivo animal models.

Job description

Your key tasks as a PhD student are to:

  • Plan, execute and evaluate independent research under supervision
  • Complete PhD courses or equivalent education corresponding to 30 ECTS points
  • Teach pregraduate students
  • Disseminate your research orally and in writing, including writing scientific articles
  • Write a PhD thesis on the ground of your project
  • Criteria for the assessment of candidates

    We are looking for an exceptional candidate who

  • is driven by curiosity and desire to know more about the biomedical aspects and molecular changes that is believed to drive the pathophysiology in atrial fibrillation
  • can show a great ability to collaborate, and contribute to a dynamic, strong, and inclusive working environment
  • has some experience in fibroblast biology
  • has some experience in molecular biology and is familiar with techniques used within molecular biology
  • experience in molecular techniques is an advantage
  • experience in cell culturing and cell isolation is an advantage
  • has experience in cell proliferation, differentiation and collagen secretion assays
  • is willing to undertake international research visits (secondments)
  • We offer extensive training in the following techniques:

  • a wide range of molecular biology, including immunoblotting, ELISA, cloning, RNA/DNA/protein extraction, qPCR, PCR, histology and immunostaining
  • cell isolation and culturing techniques in primary human and animal fibroblasts and cardiomyocytes, as well as in cell lines
  • cellular functional studies (including assessment of cell viability, proliferation)
  • investigations in animal and human samples (blood and tissue)
  • 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.

    Salary, pension, and other conditions of employment are set by the Agreement between the Ministry of Taxation and AC (Danish Confederation of Professional Associations) or another relevant organization. Depending on qualifications, a supplement may be negotiated. The employer will pay an additional 17.1% to your pension fund.

    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.

    The position is covered by the Job Structure for Academic Staff at Universities 2020.


    For specific questions relating to the PhD project, please contact post.doc Arnela Saljic [email protected] or at +45 42360411. General information about PhD programs at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences is available at the Graduate School's website https: //

    Application and Assessment Procedure

    Your online application including all attachments must be in English and submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.

    Please include:

  • Motivated letter of application (max. one page)
  • Curriculum vitae focused on the assessment criterias outlines above. Include information about your education, laboratory experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position. Please include a photo.
  • 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: // transparency/find-assessments/assessment-database. Please note that we might ask you to obtain an assessment of your education performed by the Ministry of Higher Education and Science.
  • Publication list (if possible)
  • Contact information on two-three references
  • Application deadline

    Application deadline is 26nd of Marts 2024. We will not consider material received after the deadline, and will not to consider applications that do not live up to the abovementioned requirements.

    After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the 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.

    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 midst April 2024.

    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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