PhD Fellowships 2018 at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen

University of Copenhagen


September 01, 2018


Opportunity Cover Image - PhD Fellowships 2018 at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen

One or more PhD fellowships in glycosciences, gene editing and Drosophila genetics at Copenhagen Center for Glycomics and Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen

Copenhagen Center for Glycomics invites applications for 3-year PhD fellowships in the research area of glycosciences, glycoinformatics, and Drosophila biology. The fellowships are available from Oct 1st, 2018, or as soon as possible thereafter.  
Description of projects 
  1. Biological roles of new types of O-mannosylation of cadherins and plexins. Cadherins and plexins play important roles in morphogenesis, neurogenesis, and tissue integrity, and their expression and functions are dysregulated in malignancies. The aim of this project is to explore O-mannosylation in Drosophila melanogaster (the “fruit fly”)1.  
  2. In-silico models for cellular glycosylation processes. We are building in-silico models to predict cellular glycosylation outcomes based on experimental studies in cell systems as well as transcriptomics and proteomics data. The aim of this project is to develop models for glycosylation in human cells and rodent host cells used for production of glycoprotein therapeutics2.   
  3. Molecular functions of O-glycans. O-glycans are implicated in many biological processes that contribute to health and disease, including protein folding, stability, intracellular transport, secretion, and directing and mediating host-pathogen interactions, and yet we have limited knowledge of how glycans influence cellular functions at the molecular level. This project aims to examine functions in tissue formation, epithelial homeostasis, cancer formation, and host pathogen interactions using genetic approaches and advanced mass spectrometry3.  
PhD fellowships 
  1. In the O-mannosylation project you will use Drosophila melanogaster, which is as a valuable model to study human diseases, including neurological disorders, cardiovascular diseases, as well as cancer. Flies have many experimental advantages, including sophisticated genetic tools, a short life cycle, and the ease with which large numbers of individuals can be examined in well-targeted genetic screens. You will use Drosophila to determine the role of O-mannosylation in normal development and in tumor formation and cancer progression. You will combine the use of Drosophila genetics, immunohistochemistry, confocal imaging, and molecular biology techniques. 
  2. In the in-silico project, you will be developing statistical models and tools that can be used to predict glycosylation pathways and outcomes. This project will use a library of glycoengineered cell lines and glycan, proteomic and transcriptomic data to build dependency graphs mapping glycoconjugates to the genes and enzymes.  
  3. In the O-glycan project you will use gene engineering (CRISPR/Cas), mass spectrometry, in-silico strategies, combined with cell and tissue models. Understanding how distinct and site-specific O-glycans code for specific functions will shed light on basic cellular functions of glycans as well as glycan functions in tissue formation, cancer transformation, and host pathogen interactions.  
Apart from carrying out research within these areas the applicant is expected to take minor part in teaching in cell biology and/or chemistry. The candidate will be enrolled in the 3-year PhD-program at the Faculty of Health Sciences, and will be expected to complete a PhD including completion of local academic and network wide training requirements. The research topic is “Biomedical sciences” and the Faculty examines Doctors of Philosophy. 
Selected references for additional information 
  1. Larsen, I.S.B. et al. Discovery of an O-mannosylation pathway selectively serving cadherins and protocadherins. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 114, 11163-11168  (2017). 
  2. Joshi, H.J. et al. GlycoDomainViewer: a bioinformatics tool for contextual exploration of glycoproteomes. Glycobiology 28, 131-136 (2018). 
  3. Narimatsu, Y. et al. A validated gRNA library for CRISPR/Cas9 targeting of the human glycosyltransferase genome. Glycobiology (2018). 
Your key tasks: 
  • Carry out independent research under supervision 
  • Complete PhD courses or other equivalent education corresponding to approx. 30 ECTS points 
  • Participate in active research environments  
  • An obligation to conduct some undergraduate teaching and associated examinations or other types of dissemination related to your PhD project 
  • Write a PhD thesis on the grounds of your project 
The projects will be supervised by professors Henrik Clausen and/or Hans Wandall, and/or associated professors Hector Herranz, Adnan Halim, and Sergey Vakhrushev.  
Scientific environment 
Copenhagen Center for Glycomics (CCG) is part of the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine (ICMM). CCG is a National Center of Excellence funded partly by the Danish National Research Foundation (DNRF). The Center is comprised of 6 senior professors, 6 junior professors, 5 post docs and 12 PhD students, and focuses on complex carbohydrates and their role in health and disease. We have a unique approach to glycomics using primarily gene editing of the glycogenome to uncover and dissect biological functions of glycosylation. The Drosophila project will be carried out mainly in the fly lab of Hector Herranz. 
The Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine (ICMM) offers an ambitious scientific environment, with many different nationalities represented. ICMM aims to produce research with high international impact focusing on the functional cell, its genetic components and molecular cellular mechanisms in a medical context. ICMM currently comprises five research programmes, three high profile Research Centers as well as a number of international research groups. The scientists at ICMM are involved in high quality research based undergraduate and graduate teaching programs at the University of Copenhagen. 
Required qualifications  
The successful candidate will have a masters’ degree (or equivalent) in biology, biochemistry, molecular biology, computer science or related. Experimental laboratory experience and proficiency in both written and spoken English is required, and candidates with international publications and experience directly related to the research topics of the positions outlined above will be given preference.  
Other selection criteria considered important: 
  • The grade point average achieved 
  • Strong motivation and excellent scientific skills. 
  • Professional qualifications relevant to the PhD program 
  • Previous publications related to the projects and/or methodologies to be used 
  • Good communication skills, both oral and written. 
In all cases, the ability to perform the job will be the primary consideration, and thus the University of Copenhagen wishes to encourage everyone interested in this post to apply, regardless of personal background.  
Terms of employment:  
The successful PhD candidate(s) will be offered a full-time position for a period of three years, contingent on a satisfactory performance, with the specific intent that it results in a PhD degree and scientific publications.  
It is a prerequisite for the appointment as a PhD fellow that the person concerned can be registered as a PhD fellow according to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation Executive Order no 18 of 14. January 2008. Information about the PhD programs at the Faculty of Health Science can be found at 
Salary and other terms and conditions of appointment are set in accordance with the Agreement between the Ministry of Finance and AC (Danish Confederation of Professional Associations) or other relevant professional organization.  
For further information about the fellowship please contact center coordinator Signe Kramer on telephone 23840150 or e-mail:  
Foreign applicants may find the following links useful: (International Staff Mobility) and 
Application procedure 
The application must be submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.  
Applications must be written in English and include (i) a motivation for the application (up to 1 A4 page), (ii) curriculum vitae, (iii) list of publications, (iv) a copy of MSc diploma and grade transcripts, (v) a short review of scientific research conducted previously for an MSc thesis or equivalent, and (vi) the names, e-mails, telephone numbers and addresses of 2-3 referees. 
After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Appointments Committee. All applicants are then immediately notified whether their application has been passed for assessment by an expert assessment committee. Selected applicants are notified of the composition of the committee and 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   
The deadline for applications is Sept. 1st, 2018.  
Applications received later than this date will not be considered.  
Founded in 1479, the University of Copenhagen is the oldest university in Denmark. With 37,000 students and 9,000 employees, it is among the largest universities in Scandinavia and one of the highest ranking in Europe. The University consists of six faculties, which cover Health and Medical Sciences, Humanities, Law, Science, Social Sciences and Theology. 
For more information click "LINK TO ORIGINAL" below.

Eligible Countries
Host Country
Study Levels
Publish Date
August 06, 2018
Link To Original