Postdoc in genetic-based precision medicine and genetic variation

Updated: about 2 months ago
Deadline: 03 Oct 2022

The University of Copenhagen is seeking a highly motivated and talented postdoctoral fellow to commence 1 January 2023 or after agreement at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research, University of Copenhagen.

About Us
The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research’s vision is to strengthen interdisciplinary research that transforms our basic understanding of the mechanisms that underlie metabolic health and disease, and to accelerate this knowledge toward new prevention and treatment strategies. We were established in 2010 and in 2017, we moved into new laboratories, offices and meeting rooms in the Maersk Tower

The Center has around 260 employees who work in an international, highly collaborative research environment across a range of biomedical disciplines. You can read more about us here: .

Our Research
In the molecular understanding of metabolic diseases, a major gap exists between basic genetic and microbiome discoveries and their impact on physiology and the potential for clinical translation. The Hansen Group aims to bridge this gap by connecting genomic discoveries and epidemiology, with physiology and clinical application.To study the role of selected genetic variants in human metabolism, we perform physiology and intervention studies based on recruit-by-genotype principles.

We also investigate families and populations with extreme metabolic phenotypes and perform physiology and intervention studies.

Finally, we investigate targeted clinical management of carriers of selected high-impact variations in the human genome.

In the Hansen Group, we strive for an inclusive and social work environment where support and constructive feedback is offered within the group. You can read more about the Hansen Group here:

Job Description
Your job and responsibilities will include analysis of high throughput genomic data, including whole genome sequencing (WGS) from diabetic and population isolate cohorts. It will also include translation of the genetic results combined with computational and experimental results into physiological outcomes, especially in relation to the development of diabetes. You will have a solid medical background as well as profound genetic understanding. In addition, you must have excellent communication and organisational skills as you will drive and coordinate research and project tasks with colleagues and partners within the TRANSLATE project.

With the project TRANSLATE (Translating Genetic Knowledge into Clinical Care in Non-Autoimmune Diabetes), we aim to implement genetic information directly into patient care to improve diagnosis and treatment of non-autoimmune diabetes. This project is the first large-scale research project for systematic genetic testing within a common, non-communicable, chronic disease in Denmark, and will spearhead efforts to advance personalized medicine in Denmark. The project will contribute to establishing technology, workflow, and evidence on how to implement and communicate actionable genetic information to clinicians and patients in a generalized format.

The purpose of TRANSLATE is therefore to introduce cost-effective sequencing technology, which enables the use of WGS as a standard diagnostic method, and it will capitalize on already generated Danish reference data on selected diabetes genes.

Your tasks would be:

In collaboration with TRANSLATE partners, to ensure that whole genomes from 6500 patients with diabetes are sequenced. We expect to sequence DNA from 1000 women with gestational diabetes and 5500 patients with type 2 diabetes.    

  • Genetics within TRANSLATE and Greenlandic cohorts

Interpretation of rare variants of WGS data within the TRANSLATE project and Greenlandic cohorts. Sequencing also enables detection of variants in non-coding genetic regions and structural variants, which adds new dimensions to genetic interpretation. Thus, you will also facilitate studies of any novel types of genetic regulation. 

  • Phenotypic profiling of carriers with rare genetic variants

Re-call studies to perform physiological investigation of participants with rare large effect size variants

We are looking for a highly motivated and enthusiastic scientist with the following competencies and qualifications:

  • M.D.
  • PhD in genetics or a closely related discipline
  • Excellent scientific track record in relation to career stage
  • High level of proficiency in programming and experience in applying statistical methods to genomic data
  • Experience with the analysis of high throughput genomic data (genome wide association arrays, exome chip, exome/genome sequencing)
  • The ability to interpret genetic results in a physiological and clinical setting
  • Demonstrated capacity for project coordination
  • Demonstrated capacity for effective team work  
  • Excellent English communication skills, both written and oral                                                 

Place of employment
The place of employment is at the 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
The employment as postdoc is a full time and fixed-term position for 3 years. Starting date is 1 January 2023 or as soon as possible afterwards upon mutual agreement.

Salary, pension and terms of employment will be in accordance with the agreement between the Danish Ministry of Finance and AC (Danish Confederation of Professional Associations). Currently, the monthly salary starts at 35,624.36 DKK/approx. 4,784 EUR (April 2022 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 June 28, 2013.

For further information about the position, please contact Professor Torben Hansen at . For questions regarding the recruitment procedure, please contact HR at .

Foreign applicants may find this link useful:  (International Staff Mobility).

Application procedure
Your online application must be submitted in English by clicking ‘Apply now’ below. 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.

Application deadline:  3 October 2022, 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 themselves.

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

Part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and among Europe’s top-ranking universities, the University of Copenhagen promotes research and teaching of the highest international standard. Rich in tradition and modern in outlook, the University gives students and staff the opportunity to cultivate their talent in an ambitious and informal environment. An effective organisation – with good working conditions and a collaborative work culture – creates the ideal framework for a successful academic career.

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