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PhD Fellowship in Adipose Metabolism and Obesity



Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research
Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
University of Copenhagen

We are offering a PhD Fellowship in Adipose Metabolic Control in the Gerhart-Hines Group commencing on 1 May 2019 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Our group and research
The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research (CBMR) was established in 2010 to conduct fundamental research on metabolism. It is part of the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen. The Center has around 200 employees from all over the world. We moved into new laboratories, offices and meeting rooms in the Maersk Tower in summer 2017. You can read more about us at

The position is in the Gerhart-Hines lab, the Copenhagen partner of the newly established Center for Adipocyte Signaling – ADIPOSIGN. The Gerhart-Hines lab seeks to uncover the molecular underpinnings of environmental, dietary, and circadian control in adipose biology and systemic energy homeostasis. His group is particularly interested in identifying the G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) signalling networks mediating this regulation. The Gerhart-Hines group employs a wide array of adipose-related genetic mouse tools, cellular bioenergetic analyses, in vivo and in vitro pharmacology, and state-of-the-art metabolic phenotyping. You can read more about the Gerhart-Hines Group at:

Project description
ADIPOSIGN is funded by a recent major grant from the Novo Nordisk Foundation and is a shared endeavour between University of Southern Denmark; MRC LMB, Cambridge, UK; and Copenhagen University, Denmark. The goal of ADIPOSIGN ( is to understand how the signalling functions of adipocytes depend on genetic make-up, depot, and gender, and how changes in these signal transductions during development of obesity contribute to the pathophysiological consequences of human obesity.

As a PhD Fellow in ADIPOSIGN you will be integrated into this highly ambitious and interdisciplinary project where you will interact and collaborate closely with other researchers in the Mandrup, Kornfeld, and Babu groups. You will investigate adipocyte signalling states in isolated murine and human adipocytes using an array of functional genomics and proteomics techniques. Key regulatory candidates identified from these studies will be evaluated in gain and loss-of-function cell and mouse models. You will also implement other experimental methods for analysis of adipocytes, including fatty acid uptake, mitochondrial respiration and receptor pharmacology. Most importantly, you will have the opportunity to develop your own ideas and projects within the context of the consortia.

Principal supervisor is Associate Professor Zach Gerhart-Hines, Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research, E-mail:

Start: 1 May 2019 or as soon as possible thereafter
Duration: 3 years as a PhD Fellow

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

  • Carry through an independent research project under supervision
  • Complete PhD courses or other equivalent education corresponding to approx. 30 ECTS points
  • Participate in active, interdisciplinary research environments including a stay at another research team
  • Obtain experience with teaching or other types of dissemination related to your PhD project
  • Teach and disseminate your research
  • Write a PhD thesis on the grounds of your project
Key criteria for the assessment of candidates
We are looking for a highly motivated and enthusiastic scientists with the following competencies and qualifications:

The ideal candidate combines:
  • MSc degree in biomedical or natural sciences
  • Experience in handling animals (including i.p. or s.c. injection as well as dissection of tissues and dissociation of cells for primary isolation)
  • Experience in any of the following: mouse metabolic phenotyping (such as indirect calorimetry), mitochondrial respirometry, or cell surface receptor signalling and pharmacology
  • Experience with mammalian (ideally adipocyte) cell culture
  • Basic understanding of adipose biology and mammalian metabolism in the context of obesity
  • An ambitious, independent and critical mind-set
  • Excellent English communication skills, both written and oral
Place of employment
The place of employment is at Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research, 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, bioinformatics and statistic guidance, and access to big data from multiple cohorts.

Terms of employment and employment
The employment as PhD Fellow is a full time and for 3 years. Starting date is 1 May 2019 or as soon as possible thereafter.

The employment as PhD Fellow is conditioned upon the candidate’s successful enrolment in the PhD 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 candidate.

The PhD study must be completed in accordance with The Ministerial Order on the PhD programme (2013) and the University’s rules on achieving the degree. Salary, pension and terms of employment are in accordance with the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State. Depending on seniority, the monthly salary begins around DKK 26.886 DKK /approx. EUR 3.5684 (October 2018-level) plus pension.

For specific information about the PhD fellowship, please contact the principal supervisor.

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

International applicants may find these links useful: (International Staff Mobility) and

Application procedure
Your application must be submitted electronically by clicking ‘Apply now’ below. The application must include the following documents in PDF format:
  • Motivated letter of application (max. one page)
  • CV incl. education, experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position
  • A certified/signed copy of Master of Science certificate. If not completed, a certified/signed copy of a recent transcript of records or a written statement from the institution or supervisor will do
  • Publication list (if possible)
Application deadline: 31 March 2019 at 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 authorised 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-prioritised 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 can read about the recruitment process at

The applicant 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 wishes to reflect the diversity of society and welcome applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.