Postdoc in identifying intra- and inter-organ signaling pathways regulating adult gut homeostasis, Department of Biology



Department of Biology at the Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen is offering a Postdoc position in Biology commencing 1st of February 2020 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Description of the scientific environment
The Andersen-Colombani group at the Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen, is recruiting a Postdoc to work on a 2-year project aiming at understanding the mechanisms controlling intestinal stem cell proliferation and gut homeostasis and pathologies using Drosophila Melanogaster as a model organism. The position is available to start on 1st of February 2020 or as soon as possible thereafter. The group is housed in the section of Cell and Neurobiology at the Department of Biology ( and affiliated with the Danstem Center (

The intestine, which represents one of the largest interfaces with the external environment, plays a key role in relaying environmental inputs to other organs to produce systemic responses. In turn, the gut is subject to multiple regulatory inputs from the brain, muscles, liver and adipose tissues. At steady-state turnover rates, the human intestine undergoes complete self-renewal every 4-5 days, a process which is highly accelerated in response to damage of the gut epithelium. This capacity for self-renewal relies on the proliferative activity of the intestinal stem cells (ISCs), which is tightly controlled by multiple local and systemic signals released from neighboring cell populations (the ISC niche) and non-gastrointestinal organs. Despite the physiological divergence between insects and mammals, studies have shown that flies represent a model that is well suited for studying stem cell physiology during ageing, stress, and infection. Our team is interested in identifying the intra- and inter-organ couplings contributing to gut homeostasis and disease.

Project Description
The project advertised here aims at identifying local and systemic signals controlling intestinal stem cell proliferation and gut homeostasis. For this purpose, RNAis will be used to known down all genes encoding receptors specifically in the stem cell niche, which plays an important role in integrating local and systemic signals to control intestinal stem cell proliferation. Sensitivity to oral infection with the gram-negative bacteria, Ecc15, will be used as readout to identify niche-derived signals required for ISC-driven intestinal regenerative growth. The potential of the identified signals to control ISC proliferation during homeostasis and disease will be studied. Since large-scale functional approaches are not feasible in vertebrate, this project could reveal novel couplings contributing to mammalian gastrointestinal homeostasis and disease. The postdoc’s duties will include working on the project described here as well as teaching.

We are looking for highly motivated individuals with a PhD degree in Biology and with prior experience in fly physiology and genetics.

Qualifications/Selection criteria

  • Applicants should hold a PhD degree in Biology
  • Having prior experience with the Drosophila model and Genetics is essential
  • Having a solid background in Physiology is an advantage
  • Strong motivation and very good scientific skills are essential
  • Good communication skills, oral and written
Terms of employment
The position is covered by the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff.

Terms of appointment and payment accord to the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State.

The starting salary is currently up to DKK 430,570 including annual supplement (+ pension up to DKK 73,627). Negotiation for salary supplement is possible.

The application, in English, must be submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.

Please include
  • Curriculum vita
  • Diplomas (Master and PhD degree)
  • Research plan – description of current and future research plans
  • Complete publication list
  • Separate reprints of 3 particularly relevant papers
The deadline for applications is Wednesday 29 May 2019, 23:59 GMT +2.

After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Interview Committee.

The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

Further information on the Department is linked at Inquiries about the position can be made to Dr. Ditte Andersen,, direct Phone: +45 27 85 30 22 or Dr. Julien Colombani,, direct Phone: +45 27 84 76 66.

You can read about the recruitment process at

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Universitetsparken 15
Telefon: 27853022
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