Ph.d.-stillinger – Københavns Universitet

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PhD position – Structure-function analysis of aquaporins

A 3-year full-time PhD position is available at the Department of Biomedical Sciences at University of Copenhagen. The starting day of employment will be according to agreement, but not later than the 1st of January 2018.  
The Department of Biomedical Sciences (BMI) conducts research that seeks to ensure the continued exploration and understanding of organ systems, pathology, pathophysiology and pharmacology. The department is an important factor in basic research from a clinical perspective aimed at improving diagnostics and patient therapies. BMI’s research is therefore often carried out in cooperation with clinical researchers and departments.  
The Membrane Protein Structural Biology Group headed by Associate Professor Pontus Gourdon works on structural and functional characterization of membrane proteins that are essential for human health and highly attractive targets in the treatment of disease. The overarching aim is to reveal the molecular principles and determinants of transport processes across cellular membranes. To this end, we use a number of state-of-the-art techniques within membrane protein structural biology to study structure-function relationships.  
Job/Study Description:  
The main aim of this cutting-edge PhD project is to study cellular processes associated with human aquaporins which play important physiological roles in body weight and energy homeostasis. Research will aim for a detailed understanding of their structures, functions and regulation. The selected candidate will employ an interdisciplinary approach centered on crystallography and using the most recent techniques; from membrane protein overproduction to structure determination. Generated hypotheses will be validated through functional characterization in vivo, in vitro and in silico. Providing this desired information will represent a major contribution to basic bioscience with implications beyond physiology and biomedicine: the ultimate objective is to stimulate efforts to identify and develop modulators of therapeutic value to combat aquaporin related disorders. The successful applicant will work in the Membrane Protein Structural Biology Group at the Department of Biomedical Sciences, but will be expected to visit European synchrotron radiation facilities occasionally. We are seeking a highly motivated individual interested in a challenging project. 
Required qualifications:   
• A master degree in biochemistry (or related discipline) or exam at corresponding level obtained before the start of the employment  
• Fluency in English and excellent communication skills including scientific presentations  
Desired qualifications (four of these are required):  
• Experience in cloning (primer design, PCR etc)  
• Experience in protein overproduction (particularly bacterial and/or yeast platforms)  
• Experience in protein purification (preferably membrane proteins) using FPLC (such as ÄKTA systems)  
• Experience in protein characterization in vitro and/or in cells  
• Experience in crystallization, structure determination using X-ray and/or neutron crystallography and/or Cryo-EM methods and/or structural analysis  
Additional qualifications:  
Experience with work on aquaporins and/or cryo-EM will be considered an additional merit.  
The research will be performed under the supervision of Associate Professor Pontus Gourdon and assistant Professor Kamil Gotfryd.  
Application Procedure:  
Apply by clicking "Søg stillingen" below. Please note that only online applications will be accepted.  
Applications - in English - must include:  
• Cover Letter detailing your motivation and background for applying. Make sure to include a description for why this particular PhD project is interesting for you.  
• CV  
• Diploma and transcripts of records (including grades)  
• Other information for consideration, e.g. list of publications and/or manuscripts (if any), peer reviewed and others  
• Possible references (with contact details – email and telephone numbers) and minimum two letters of recommendation.  
The closing date for applications is 23.59 pm, 10 September 2017. Applications received later than this date will not be considered.  
Application procedure  
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. An expert assessment committee is appointed in order to make an assessment of the selected applicants for the specific post. 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  
Please note that the applicant will be contacted if the assessment committee requires further documentation.  
The applicant will be assessed according to the Ministerial Order no. 242 of 13 March 2012 on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities and the University of Copenhagen’s 2013 guidelines.  
Read about the recruitment process.  
The main criteria for selection will be the candidate’s research potential and the above-mentioned skills. The successful candidate will be requested to formally apply for enrolment as a PhD student at the SUND Graduate School. Employment as a PhD fellow will be conditional on successful enrolment in the PhD programme.  
Terms of employment:  
The position is offered for a period of three years and employment is governed by the Protocol on PhD Research Fellows signed by the Danish Ministry of Finance and AC (the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations).  
The successful candidate will be requested to formally apply for enrolment as a PhD student at the SUND Graduate School. Employment as a PhD fellow will be conditional on successful enrolment in the PhD programme.  
Applicants are encouraged to read more about the research group at For specific information about the position, please contact Associate Professor Pontus Gourdon, Any questions regarding the application process or administrative queries of any kind should be directed to Academic Officer Ragnhild Helene Mostert, e-mail  
For more information on working and living in Denmark:, and  
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.  

Københavns Universitet giver sine knap 10.000 medarbejdere muligheder for at udnytte deres talent fuldt ud i et ambitiøst, uformelt miljø. Vi sikrer traditionsrige og moderne rammer om uddannelser og fri forskning på højt internationalt niveau. Vi søger svar og løsninger på fælles problemer og gør ny viden tilgængelig og nyttig for andre.


Ansøgningsfrist: 10-09-2017
Ansættelsesdato: 01-01-2018
Arbejdstid: Fuldtid
Afdeling/Sted: Biomedicinsk Institut

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