PhD fellowship in In Vivo Pharmacology at the Section for Preclinical Disease Biology Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

University of Copenhagen

We are offering a PhD fellowship in In Vivo Pharmacology commencing from October 1st 2024 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Our group and research
The Experimental Pharmacology and Toxicology Lab – The ExPT Lab – are experts in designing and conducting preclinical studies of drugs and toxins. We host the graduate program for In Vivo Pharmacology and Experimental Animals. Our major in house projects focus on metabolic fatty liver disease, effects of vitamin C deficiency, and drug-induced liver injury. Our group consists of people with a range of different scientific backgrounds covering e.g. veterinary medicine, analytical chemistry, molecular biology. Our vision is that ‘Our research and the students and scientists we train have a high international level and contribute globally to evidence-based disease prevention and treatment’. Within this group you will be part of a dedicated and highly experienced team of scientists with many successful PhD projects behind them.

Project description

The present project is a collaboration between the Experimental Pharmacology and Toxicology Lab and the Laboratory of liquid crystalline nano-self-assemblies (Pharmaceutical Physical and Analytical Chemistry group, the Department of Pharmacy) at University of Copenhagen. Metabolic dysfunction-associated steatotic liver disease (MASLD; previously termed: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)) is a prominent contributor to morbidity and mortality worldwide. It represents the most common cause of liver disease and life-threatening liver failure due to steatohepatitis (MASH) and associated liver fibrosis, with substantial health-care costs for its prevention or management. In line with the urgent global need for new therapies to treat patients with late-stage liver fibrosis, this collaborative project studies a simple-by-design multifunctional nanotherapeutic platform for treatment. This project will use omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω-3 PUFAs) as a viable MASLD/MASH treatment option in combination with adiponectin-derived synthetic short peptides that promote inactivation of hepatic stellate cells (HSCs); the cellular drivers of hepatic fibrosis. The project aims at engineering and characterizing a peptide-coated structurally tunable library of multifunctional cubosomal/hexosomal nanocarriers containing ω-3 PUFAs for accelerated MASLD treatment. The PhD student will interact with the supervisors and a postdoctoral fellow also attached to the project. The primary responsibility of the PhD student will be to design and conduct ex vivo and in vivo studies under supervision to investigate the pharmacokinetics of the constructed nano drugs. Through this integrated in vitro-in vivo profiling, optimized nanosystems will be selected by the group for therapeutic efficacy experiments. This interdisciplinary project integrates innovative aspects of nanoparticle engineering with attributes for production of much needed liver specific drugs targeting liver fibrosis and considers the urgent societal need for introducing effective and low-cost medicines for MASLD treatment.

Principal supervisor is Professor Jens Lykkesfeldt,, 35333163.

Start:                  October 1st 2024 or as soon as possible

Duration:          3 years as a PhD student

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

  • Carrying through an independent research project under supervision.
  • Completing PhD courses or other equivalent education corresponding to approximately 30 ECTS points.
  • Participating in active research environments including a stay at another research team in a different location.
  • Obtaining experience with teaching or other types of dissemination related to your PhD project
  • Writing a PhD thesis on the grounds of your project

Key criteria for the assessment of applicants
Applicants must have qualifications corresponding to a master’s degree related to the subject area of the project, e.g. veterinary medicine or molecular biomedicine. Please note that your master’s degree must be equivalent to a Danish master’s degree (two years).

Essential experience and skills:

  • An EU-ABD accreditation to carry out animal studies
  • A curious mind-set with a strong interest in experimental pharmacology
  • Excellent English skills both written and spoken

Desirable experience and skills:

  • Previous publications
  • Relevant work experience
  • Other qualifications relevant to the PhD project

Place of employment

The place of employment is at the Section of Preclinical Disease Biology, Department of Veterinary and Animal 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 state of the art techniques required for the proposed project.

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. The start date is October 1st 2024 or as soon as possible thereafter

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. This requires submission and acceptance of an application for the specific project formulated by the applicant and supervisors.

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 Taxation and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State. Depending on seniority, the monthly salary starts at approximately 30,700 DKK/Roughly 4,100 EUR (April 2024 level) plus pension.

For specific information about the PhD fellowship, please contact the principal supervisor Professor Jens Lykkesfeldt,

General information about PhD studies at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences is available at the Graduate School’s website:

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. 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: Please note that we might ask you to obtain an assessment of your education performed by the Ministry of Higher Education and Science

4. Publication list (if possible)

5. Proof of any accreditation for animal work

Application deadline: 13th August 2024, 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 find information about the recruitment process at:

The applicants will be assessed according to the Ministerial Order no. 242 of 13 March 2012 on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities.

The University of Copenhagen wish to reflect the diversity of society and encourage all qualified candidates to apply regardless of personal background. 


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.


Jens Lykkesfeldt


Ansøgningsfrist: 13-08-2024
Ansættelsesdato: 01-10-2024
Arbejdstid: Fuldtid
Afdeling/Sted: Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences

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