Postdoc in in the development of immuno-competent blood-brain barrier organoids to investigate cerebral malaria at Centre for Medical Parasitology

Updated: 29 days ago
Deadline: 23 Feb 2023

We are looking for a highly motivated and dynamic researcher with a strong interest in immunology and cell biology for a postdoctoral position (21 months) commencing 1st May.

During cerebral malaria, the accumulation of infected red blood cells within the microvasculature leads to localized inflammation, disruption of the blood-brain barrier, and can lead to sudden, rapid swelling of the brain. Previous work by our group showed that infected red blood cells capable of utilizing both ICAM-1 and EPCR can selectively disrupt the blood-brain barrier and can enter endothelial cells. This discovery was facilitated using blood-brain barrier organoids, which mimic the blood-brain barrier. This project aims to further enhance the model by developing immune-competent organoids to investigate the impact Plasmodium falciparum infected red blood cells have on these immune cells. To this aim, we are seeking and enthusiastic, motivated postdoc to join our team. The project is sponsored by the Independent Research Fund Denmark.

Our research
The TARGETS group ( is based at the Centre for Medical Parasitology ( and comprised of two PhD students and a laboratory technician under the supervision of Associate Professor Yvonne Adams.  Our research goal is to understand the impact Plasmodium falciparum infected red blood cells have upon the blood-brain barrier during cerebral malaria, with a particular focus on the role of ICAM-1. We utilize blood-brain barrier organoids, 3D cell culture, advanced microscopy, microfluidics, flow cytometry and other methods. The group is based on the 11th floor of the Mærsk Tower in state-of-the-art laboratories with access to core facilities for flow cytometry and microscopy.

Your job
As our new postdoc, your job would be to generate a new, immune-competent blood-brain barrier organoid model to investigate the immune responses elicited by ICAM-1 binding Plasmodium falciparum infected red blood cells and how this impacts blood-brain barrier dysfunction, peripheral immune cell migration, and the immunological responses these interactions generate. Your tasks would include, malaria parasite cell culture, mammalian (human) cell culture, flow cytometry, and confocal microscopy. Supervision of BSc/MSc students where applicable.

We are looking for a highly motivated, independent, and enthusiastic scientist with the following competencies and experience:

Essential experience and skills:

  • PhD in immunology, cell biology, infectious disease, or similar
  • Proven experience with mammalian cell culture
  • Experience with microscopy and flow cytometry
  • Good communication skills and the ability to work in teams
  • Excellent English skills written and spoken

Desirable experience and skills:

  • Experience with 3D cell culture/organoids
  • Experience with culturing of malaria parasites
  • Knowledge of blood-brain barrier and malaria

Place of employment

The place of employment is at the Centre for Medical Parasitology, Mærsk Tower, Panum Institute, University of Copenhagen. Department of Biomedical Sciences, Panum Institute, University of Copenhagen. We offer creative and stimulating working conditions in dynamic and international research environment. Our research facilities include modern laboratories and access to state-of-the-art equipment.

Terms of employment
The average weekly working hours are 37 hours per week.

The employment as postdoc is a full time and fixed-term position for 21 months. Starting date is May 1st, 2023. 

Salary, pension and other terms of employment are set in accordance with the Agreement between the Ministry of Taxation and AC (Danish Confederation of Professional Associations) or other relevant organisation. Currently, the monthly salary starts at 35,000 DKK/approx. 4,700 EUR (October 2021 level). Depending on qualifications, a supplement may be negotiated. The employer will pay an additional 17.1 % to your pension fund.

Foreign 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 Job Structure for Academic Staff at Universities 2020.

For further information please contact Associate Professor Yvonne Adams;;

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:

  • Motivated letter of application (max. one page).
  • CV incl. education, work/research experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position.
  • 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.
  • List of publications.
  • Deadline for applications: 23 February 2023, 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

    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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