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PhD Fellowships are available at the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Host Institute: Copenhagen Center of Glycomics, Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of Copenhagen

Host Country: Denmark

Start Date: From 1 June 2018 or as soon as possible thereafter

Project description:
Glycans present a huge structural diversity with species and cell- type specificity that underlie specific biological functions. However, more than half a century of research has been severely hampered by the complexity and technical difficulties with analyzing glycans. While, the glycome is a difficult entry point for discovery, the glycogenome is a simple entry point due to fewer technical barriers especially with the emergence of gene editing technologies. We have pioneered the use of gene editing to simplify glycosylation in cells. In this project we now intend to decipher the function of glycans by extension of this approach with the use of organotypic tissue models in combination with sophisticated mass spectrometry. The tissue model has provided the first evidence that aberrant glycosylation in cancer directly induce oncogenic features, and that glycosylation of Herpes Virus Simplex is essential for viral propagation. In this program we will use step-by-step genetic deconstruction of glycosylation capacities in organotypic tissue models for broad discovery and dissection of specific structure-function relationships driving normal epithelial formation, transformation and interaction with the microbiome.

The laboratory generally investigates how glycans impinge on cells during tissue development and cancer growth, and how to exploit this for early detection and treatment of disease. We explore and map glycogenes with new enzymatic technologies to turn genes on and off and identify new causes of disease and establish how glycans influence protein function. In addition, we seek to develop new methods to detect mutations in glycogenes and to investigate what changes these infer on the glycome and cellular processes using novel mass spec technologies.

Your key tasks:

  • Carry out independent research under supervision
  • Participate in active research environments
  • An obligation to conduct some undergraduate teaching and associated examinations or other types of dissemination related to your project
  • It is required that you complete courses or other equivalent education corresponding to approx. 30 ECTS points

The project will be supervised by Professor Hans H. Wandall

Scientific environment
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 programs, 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. You can read more at

Group description:
Copenhagen Center for Glycomics is a Center of Excellence funded partly by the Danish National Research Foundation (DNRF). The Center is comprised of 6 senior professors, 4 junior professors, 7 post docs and 10 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 Center has a wide international collaborative network with academic institutions and industry.

Institute description:
With over 40,000 students and more than 9,000 employees, the University of Copenhagen is the largest institution of research and education in Denmark. It comprises six faculties and more than 100 departments and research centres.

The purpose of the University is to conduct research and provide further education to the highest academic level.

The motivational force of the University's research activities is financially and politically independent, i.e. free basic research; however, specific collaborative endeavours with other institutions and companies also have a place among the countless research activities. The dissemination of knowledge and findings to other research environments and to the general public is a natural element of the University's research efforts. The diversity of academic environments and scientific approaches is the University of Copenhagen's distinguishing feature and strength.

Required qualifications
Applicants to the PhD program must have qualifications corresponding to a master’s degree related to the subject area of the project:
  • Glycobiology
  • Genetic engineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell culture work
  • Epithelial biology
  • Mass spectrometry

Other selection criteria considered important:
  • The grade point average achieved
  • Strong motivation and excellent scientific skills.
  • Professional qualifications relevant to the PhD programme
  • Previous publications
  • 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 candidates to the PhD positions 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, mail:, phone no.: 23840150.

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/PhD diploma and grade transcripts, (v) a short review of scientific research conducted previously for an MSc thesis/PhD 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 01-05-2018. Applications received later than this date will not be considered.

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