We are offering a PhD fellowship in “Protective mechanisms of selenocyanate in inflammatory disease” commencing 1 October 2022 or as soon as possible hereafter.

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 “Redox Biology” Group led by Professor Clare Hawkins carries out research focused on understanding how oxidants produced during inflammation modify the structure and function of biological molecules and cells associated with the arterial wall during the development of the disease atherosclerosis. We use a range of biochemical, molecular, cellular and animal studies to examine these processes, as a means to develop more targeted therapies to prevent tissue damage during chronic inflammation and slow the progression of atherosclerosis, which is the major cause of cardiovascular disease.

Project description

Chronic inflammation is a repetitive cycle of immune cell infiltration and activation that underlies the development of many diseases, particularly atherosclerosis. Activated immune cells release the enzyme myeloperoxidase, which catalyses the reaction of hydrogen peroxide with chloride ions to form the potent oxidant hypochlorous acid (HOCl, the active component in bleach). This oxidant plays a critical role in the immune system by killing microbes to combat infection. However, excessive production of HOCl in chronic inflammation causes extensive, irreversible host tissue damage, which results in disease. As a result, there is widespread interest in the development of strategies to combat HOCl-induced damage in a number of chronic disease settings like atherosclerosis. This project will explore the use of selenocyanate as a means to prevent the tissue damage seen in chronic inflammatory pathologies without compromising innate immune defenses. This is important for the development of novel therapies for atherosclerosis and could also help to underpin development of new approaches to combat pathogens with resistance to other treatments.

Principal supervisor is Prof. Clare Hawkins, Department of Biomedical Sciences.

E-mail: clare.hawkins@sund.ku.dk

Start:                  1 October 2022

Duration:          3 years as a PhD student

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 with cell culture, preferably with cells of relevance to atherosclerosis (e.g. endothelial, smooth muscle, neutrophils, monocytes, macrophages)
  • Experience in cellular and molecular biology techniques (including SDS-PAGE, Western blotting, immunoprecipitation, ELISA, qRT-PCR, flow cytometry)
  • Experience in protein handling, extraction and analysis
  • Experience or knowledge of oxidation processes
  • 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
  • Curious mind-set with a strong interest in understanding disease mechanisms

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. Our research facilities include modern laboratories and access to state-of-the-art equipment and core facilities.

Terms of employment
The employment as 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. Motivated letter of application (max. one page)

2. CV incl. 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:  7 August 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 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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