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Assistant Professor or Postdoc at the Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

University of Copenhagen

We are looking for a highly motivated and dynamic researcher to work on organoid models for schizophrenia implementing induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) in the group of “Disease Stem Cell Models and Embryology” headed by Associate Prof. Kristine Freude. The position is a 39 month position to start September 1 2021 or after agreement.

The project is embedded in our current research activities investigating the cell specific phenotypes of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, Epilepsy & Glaucoma. Specifically, the advertised position is funded though the Lundbeck Foundation collaborative grants, including Martin Røssel Larsen (Proteomics specialist at SDU) and Madeline Lancaster (MRC, Great Britain), focusing on generation of iPSC from schizophrenic patients and functional assessment of cerebral organoids generated from such.

More information on the department can be found at: https://ivh.ku.dk/english/aboutthedepartment/

Information about the Research group led by Kristine Freude can be found at: https://ivh.ku.dk/english/research/pathobiological-sciences/freude-group/

Our research

The research activities within the Freude group is focused on modelling and understanding neurodegenerative diseases using human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC). We have recently generated several iPSC models for Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) & Epilepsy from patient material and via CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing. Our current research is focused on brain cell type specific phenotypes in AD and FTD to gain mechanistic insights into the diseases. Our group has for example previously shown that FTD3 can be recapitulated in iPSC derived neurons and delivered new insights into neuronal disease phenotypes including metabolic defects. Our AD models display characteristic pathological hallmarks and have contributed to decipher cause and consequences in the disease pathology contributing to the identification of novel intervention points at the early disease stages. Our collaboration with Martin Røssel Larsen and Madelaine Lancaster, relevant for this job posting, will enable the group to develop platforms for air-liquid interphase cerebral organoids and their functional assessment through mechanistic studies including state of the art multielectrode assays. Additionally, we collaborate extensively not only with local Danish scientists based at the university and industry (Lundbeck, Novo Nordisk and Bioneer A/S), but also internationally with researchers based in the USA, Brazil, India, Australia, UK, Sweden and Germany. Our group has a strong emphasis on collaborating with experts within the field and hosting international students and researchers for training in iPSC disease modelling. The long term aims of the research in Dr. Freude’s lab is to translate the in vitro results into identification of druggable targets.

Your job

The position will linked to the Lundbeck collaborative project “Developnoid” (https://lundbeckfonden.com/en/researchstories/mini-brains-to-shed-light-on-nervous-disorders)

You will be responsible to generate iPSC from schizophrenic patients together with a project technician implementing our semi-automated robotic reprogramming platform. Subsequently, your central role will be the establishment and functional readout of air-liquid interphase cerebral organoids (CO’s). You will have the opportunity to visit Madelaine Lancaster’s laboratories at Cambridge, UK to be trained in the specific technique. Furthermore, you are expected to bridge and functionally validate the proteomics data generated by our collaborator Martin Røssel Larsen at SDU. You will have access to state-of-the-art iPSC facilities, robotic assistance in reprogramming of cells as well as multielectrode equipment for recording of network activities in the CO’s. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to participate in teaching of the iPSC PhD course and cell biology teaching to advance your teaching competencies.

The assistant professor’s responsibilities will primarily consist of:

  • research, including publication/academic dissemination duties
  • research-based teaching
  • sharing knowledge with society
  • participation in formal pedagogical training program for assistant professors
Profile
We are looking for a highly motivated and enthusiastic scientist with the following competencies and experience:

Essential experience and skills:

  • You have a PhD in Biology, Biochemistry or similar
  • You are highly experienced in stem cell culture and CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing
  • You are highly experienced in differentiation of neurons and astrocytes from iPSC in 2D settings
  • You are highly experienced in molecular techniques such as qRT PCR, western blotting, immunocytochemistry and electron microscopy
  • You have an active interest in neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental diseases
  • You have pre- and postgraduate teaching experience within cell biology and stem cells
  • You have actively supervised Bachelor and Master students
  • Proficient communication skills and ability to work in teams
  • Excellent English skills written and spoken
Desirable experience and skills:

  • Experience in the assessment of transcriptomics and proteomics data including pathway analysis would be an asset
  • Experience in electrophysiology and organoid cultures would be an asset
Place of employment

The place of employment is at the Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Frederiksberg Campus, Section for Pathobiological Sciences, University of Copenhagen. We offer creative and stimulating working conditions in dynamic and international research environment. Our research facilities include modern laboratories and vibrant scientific community.

Terms of employment

The employment as assistant professor is a full time and fixed-term position for 3.5 years. Starting date is September 1st or after agreement.

Salary, pension and terms of employment will be in accordance with the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and AC (Danish Confederation of Professional Associations). Currently, the monthly salary starts at 34,600 DKK/ approx. 4,640 Euro (April 2020-level). Depending on qualifications, a supplement may be negotiated. The employer will pay an additional 17.1 % to your pension fund.

Non-Danish and Danish applicants may be eligible for tax reductions, if they hold a PhD degree and have not lived in Denmark the last 10 years.

The position is covered by the “Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff at the Universities” of 19 December 2020.

Questions
For further information please contact Associate Prof. Kristine Freude, kkf@sund.ku.dk

Foreign applicants may find this link useful: www.ism.ku.dk (International Staff Mobility).

Application procedure
Your online application must be submitted in English by clicking ‘Apply now’ below, or via employment.ku.dk/faculty/. Furthermore, your application must include the following documents/attachments – all in PDF format:

1. Motivated letter of application (max. one page)

2. CV incl. education, work/research experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position

3. A certified/signed copy of a) PhD certificate and b) Master of Science certificate. If the PhD is not completed, a written statement from the supervisor will do

4. List of publications

5. Teaching portfolio if applicable



Application deadline: May 31 2021, 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. 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 http://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.

Six overall criteria apply for assistant professor appointments at the University of Copenhagen. The six criteria (research, teaching, societal impact, organisational contribution, external funding and leadership) are considered a framework for the overall assessment of candidates. Find information about each criteria here: https://employment.ku.dk/faculty/criteria-for-recognising-merit.



Interviews are expected to be held in June/July 2021

University of Copenhagen wish to reflect the diversity of society and welcome applications from all qualified candidates regardless of age, disability, gender, nationality, race, religion or sexual orientation. Appointment will be based on merit alone.


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