Postdoc in metabolic reprogramming by selective autophagy

Updated: 3 months ago
Deadline: 09 Mar 2023

The Department of Biomedicine at Faculty of Health at Aarhus University invites applications for a position as Postdoc in the field of cell biology and metabolism as per 1 May 2023 or as soon as possible thereafter (the starting date is negotiable). The position is a fixed-term full-time position for 36 months.

The department of Biomedicine prioritises diversity and a good work environment, as this is a prerequisite for groundbreaking research. In a dynamic and international research environment, dedicated employees are looking to generate new knowledge within biomedical research areas such as infection and inflammation, membranes, neuroscience, and personalised medicine. The Department of Biomedicine provides research-based teaching of the highest quality and is responsible for a large part of the medical degree programme. Academic staff contribute to the teaching. English is the preferred language in the laboratory, at meetings and at seminars. The department employs approx. 500 people from all over the world, and they make use of the department’s modern laboratory-, core- and animal facilities. The Department of Biomedicine focuses on innovation, entrepreneurship and collaboration with business and industry, and numerous researchers from the department have established companies to develop new medicinal treatments founded in strong scientific basic research. You can read more about the department here and about the faculty here .

About the research project
Autophagy is a highly conserved eukaryotic process for protein and organelles degradation. This catabolic pathway plays a crucial role in quality control and repair mechanisms necessary to maintain cellular homeostasis. Another key function of autophagy is to mediate metabolic adaptation and survival under stress and limited nutrient conditions, by degrading and recycling cytoplasmic components, and generating an internal pool of metabolic resources. While autophagic degradation was often considered to be non-selective, recent evidence has shown that autophagy can be highly selective. It remains largely unexplored, however, whether and under which conditions selective autophagy is necessary and/or sufficient to mediate the adaptation to environmental changes and scarce nutrients.

The goal of this project is to dissect the role of selective autophagy in metabolic adaptations to nutrient shifts. We have been systematically investigating autophagy-mediated metabolic regulation in yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. In particular, we will monitor cargo material, i.e., proteins and organelles, selectively delivered to vacuoles by autophagosomes during dynamic transitions of different carbon sources and from rich to poor nutrient conditions, by using a combination of genetic techniques and quantitative mass spectrometry-based proteomics. Simultaneously, we have been using high-throughput metabolomics to measure dynamic changes in extra- and intra-cellular metabolites and resolve the metabolic rewiring during the studied nutrient transitions. Next, we will integrate proteomics and metabolomics datasets by using constraint-based and kinetic models to identify metabolic reactions regulated by selective degradation of enzymes or enzyme regulators (e.g., transcription factors) by autophagy. Model-based predictions and relevance for cell survival will then be tested by point mutating these enzymes or regulators to specifically inhibit their down-regulation by selective autophagy. Key findings will also be studied in mammalian cells.

This is a collaborative project together with the laboratories of Professor Joern Dengjel (Department of Biology, University of Fribourg, Switzerland), and Dr. Mattia Zampieri (Institute of Molecular Systems Biology, ETH Zurich, Switzerland), and it is supported by the Sinergia program of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF).

Your job responsibilities
As Postdoc studying the metabolic reprogramming by selective autophagy, your position is primarily research-based but may also involve teaching assignments. You will contribute to the development of the department through research of high international quality. In your daily work, you will work closely with colleagues on your project, with whom you will exchange and collaborate.

Your main tasks will consist of:

  • Independent research of high international quality, including publications.
  • Participation and presentations at national and international conferences.
  • Supervise at least one PhD student or junior scientist in the lab.
You will report to Professor Fulvio Reggiori.

Your competences
You have academic qualifications at PhD level, preferably within the areas of cell biology and/or omics technologies, in particular proteomics and metabolomics. You must have expertise in yeast culture and genetics, or cell culture (including transfection, siRNA-based knockdown…). Moreover, you must be familiar with molecular biology techniques (PCR, RT-PCR, cloning, DNA gel electrophoresis…), biochemical techniques (SDS-PAGE, western blot, immunoprecipitations…) and live-cell fluorescence microscopy and/or immunofluorescence. A plus is some training in bioinformatics.

As a person, you are ambitious, take ownership and possess good communication and interpersonal skills. We expect you to be fluent in oral and written English.

In order to be assessed as qualified for a Postdoc position, you must meet these academic criteria .

Shortlisting will be used.

Questions about the position
If you have any questions about the position, please contact Professor Fulvio Reggiori, tel.: (+45) 8715 9527.

Your place of work will be the Department of Biomedicine, Ole Worms Allé’ 4, building 1160, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark.

We expect to conduct interviews in March 2023.

Terms of employment

Your application must include the following:
  • Motivated application
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Diploma
  • Template for applicant – postdoc
  • A list of publications
  • A teaching portfolio. We refer to Guideline on the use of teaching portfolios
  • A maximum of five of the publications of greatest relevance to the job may be submitted (optional)
  • Strategic research plan can be uploaded (optional)
  • Coauthor statement(s) can be uploaded (optional)
  • References/recommendations can be uploaded separately in the e-recruitment system (optional)
We refer to the faculty’s Guidelines for applicants .

The assessment committee may decide to include non-submitted material in its statement. In such cases, you will be informed and obliged to submit material, unless your application is withdrawn.

Aarhus University’s ambition is to be an attractive and inspiring workplace for all and to foster a culture in which each individual has opportunities to thrive, achieve and develop. We view equality and diversity as assets, and we welcome all applicants.

Letter of reference
If you want a referee to upload a letter of reference on your behalf, please state the referee’s contact information when you submit your application. We strongly recommend that you make an agreement with the person in question before you enter the referee’s contact information, and that you ensure that the referee has enough time to write the letter of reference before the application deadline.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to ensure that letters of reference received after the application deadline will be taken into consideration.

International applicant?
Aarhus University offers a broad variety of services for international researchers and accompanying families, including relocation service and career counselling to expat partners. Please find more information about entering and working in Denmark here . Aarhus University also has a Junior Researcher Development Programme. You can read more about it here .

The application must be submitted via Aarhus University’s recruitment system, which can be accessed under the job advertisement on Aarhus University’s website.

Aarhus University
Aarhus University is an academically diverse and research-intensive university with a strong commitment to high-quality research and education and the development of society nationally and globally. The university offers an inspiring research and teaching environment to its 38,000 students (FTEs) and 8,000 employees, and has an annual revenues of EUR 885 million. Learn more at

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