We are offering 2 PhD fellowships in ‘Characterization of Protein Modifications in Atherosclerosis’ commencing 1 October 2022 or as soon as possible.

Our group and research
The Department of Biomedical Sciences (BMI) conducts research that seeks to explore and understand organ systems, pathology, pathophysiology and pharmacology. The Department is an important centre for research into basic and clinical science with the aim of improving diagnostics and patient therapies.

The “Oxidative Biology of Proteins” Group led by Professor Michael Davies carries out research focused on understanding and characterizing the mechanisms and consequences of protein modification, a process known to be of major importance in cardiovascular disease as well as other human diseases associated with inflammation. We use a range of biochemical, molecular, cellular, animal and human studies to examine these processes, with an overall aim of understanding whether, and how, protein modifications are associated with tissue changes during the development of atherosclerosis.

Project description

Cardiovascular disease causes over 1.9 million deaths (~40% of all mortality) in the European Union each year. There is considerable evidence that a major cause of cardiovascular disease – atherosclerosis (which is characterized by lipid and cholesterol accumulation) is driven by chronic low-grade inflammation of the artery wall. Disease development is associated with changes to both cellular proteins and the extracellular matrix (ECM) that surrounds and supports cells, and lipid deposition at sites of ECM damage. The resulting atherosclerotic lesions can be stable (asymptomatic), or unstable and undergo rupture to give heart attacks and strokes. Lesion instability is associated with a thin and weak fibrous cap of the lesion, a low ECM content, high macrophage numbers and ongoing inflammation. Inflammation, and the damage that it induces therefore appears to be an early and necessary event in lesion development, and critical in lesion rupture. In current studies we are examining the changes that occur to proteins within atherosclerotic carotid and aortic lesions, and how such changes may be altered by compounds that act as inhibitors of enzymes that are associated with protein damage.

Principal supervisor is Prof Michael J. Davies, Dept. of Biomedical Sciences. Email: davies@sund.ku.dk

Start: 1 October 2022, or as soon as possible

Duration: 3 years

Job description
Your key tasks as a PhD student at SUND are:

Carry through an independent research project under supervision
Complete PhD courses or other equivalent education corresponding to approx. 30 ECTS points
Participate in active research environments including a stay at another research team
Obtain experience with teaching or other types of dissemination related to your PhD project
Teach and disseminate your knowledge
Write a PhD thesis on the grounds of your project
Key criteria for the assessment of applicants
Applicants must have a Master’s degree in biomedical science. Please note that your master’s degree must be equivalent to a Danish master’s degree (two years).

Essential qualifications:

Experience in the area of atherosclerosis
Handling of human and animal tissues, and cell samples
Experience in protein chemistry and biochemistry including extraction, analysis and quantification of proteins and modifications on these (oxidation/chlorination/nitration)
Extensive experience with protein analysis methods, and particularly SDS-PAGE, Western blotting, immunoprecipitation, ELISA, and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry
Proteomic analysis at the amino acid and peptide level
Experience with peroxidase enzymes (myeloperoxidase)
Fluent in written and spoken English
Other important criteria are:

The grade point average achieved
Professional qualifications relevant to the PhD project
Previous publications
Relevant work experience
Other professional activities
Place of employment

The place of employment is at the Department of Biomedical Science, 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
Employment as a PhD fellow is full time, and for 3 years.

It 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 in consultation with the principal supervisor.

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 Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State. Depending on seniority, the monthly salary begins around 28,365 DKK/Roughly 3,812 EUR (April 2022 level) plus pension.

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

General information about PhD study 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. Motivation letter (max. one page)
  2. CV, including evidence of education, experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position
  3. Master of Science diploma and transcript of records. If not completed, a certified/signed copy of a recent transcript of records or a written statement from the institution or supervisor will do
  4. Publication list and conference presentations (if relevant)

Application deadline: 6 July 2022, 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 can read about the recruitment process at https://employment.ku.dk/faculty/recruitment-process/

The applicant 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 July and August 2022.

The Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences comprises approximately 7500 students, 1500 PhD students and 3200 employees. The Faculty advances the field of health sciences through its core activities: research, teaching, knowledge sharing and communication. With basic research fields ranging from molecular studies to studies of society, the Faculty contributes to a healthy future through its graduates, research findings and inventions benefitting patients and the community. The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the surrounding community and invites all regardless of personal background to apply for the position.

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