Postdoc in protein science/bioinformatics at the Department of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen

Updated: 6 days ago
Deadline: 26 Nov 2020

We are looking for a highly motivated and dynamic researcher for a 2-year position in the Safavi Lab at the University of Copenhagen, starting March 1, 2021.

The position is part of a larger research grant that centers on the computational discovery and functional characterization of hormone-like toxins from large sequencing datasets of animal venoms.

Information on the department and our research group can be found at:  and . Information on working at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark can be found at

Our research
Venomous animals use a myriad of potent and selective receptor ligands to disrupt the physiology and behaviour of prey. Our research centers on developing new computational and experimental methods to accelerate the discovery and functional characterization of venom compounds with a focus on those that (1) can provide novel insight into receptor-ligands evolution or (2) serve as pharmacological tools and drug leads for human disease . This project will particularly focus on developing and implementing computational tools for the discovery of toxins that share sequence and functional similarity to human hormones. Most of these are anticipated to target G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs).

Your job

You will join an interdisciplinary team of biologists, biochemists and pharmacologists who closely collaborate with other scientists and clinicians at the Deaprtment of Biomedical Sciences and several other Departments and Centers at the University of Copenhagen.

Your job will be to optimize and apply several homology-based computational tools that will be used to identify toxins with sequence similarity to human hormones from large in-house protein/peptide venom sequencing datasets. You will have to have training in peptide/protein biochemistry and sequence analysis and have basic or advanced knowledge of coding and programming. Your findings will directly inform on the generation of lead compounds for functional and structural evaluation by other members of the team. There will also likely be a structural component in this project and the possibility of evaluating newly identified GPCR ligands in animal models of disease.

You will be working as part of a dynamic, interdisciplinary environment that promotes postdoctoral career development and dissemination of results through publications and conference attendances.

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

Essential experience and skills:

  • You have a PhD in biology or biochemistry with a focus on protein/peptide science or a closely related field
  • You have demonstrated capability as highly organized, a creative problem-solver, and able to work independently as well as within cross-functional teams
  • You are highly experienced in computational protein/peptide analysis (e.g., BLAST, comparative sequence alignments, modelling)
  • You have processing experience of large-scale DNA or protein data sets
  • You have experience in at least one of these technologies: R, Unix, Perl, Python, Java
  • You have several publications in some of these areas
  • You have an interest in mentoring and teaching students, and outreach activities
  • Proficient communication skills and ability to work in teams
  • Excellent English communication skills (oral and written)

    Desirable experience and skills:

  • Presenting research findings to peers and communicating research outcomes to the public
  • Knowledge of next-generation sequencing methodology and data analysis tools
  • Knowledge of molecular modelling and simulation
  • Knowledge of hormones, venoms or toxins
  • Knowledge of GPCR evolution and structure-function
  • Knowledge of molecular modelling and simulation

Place of employment

The place of employment is at the Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Copenhagen. We offer creative and stimulating working conditions in dynamic and international research environment. Our research facilities include cutting-edge laboratories and interdisciplinary research teams focused on conducting basic biomedical research with translational impact. Postdocs will have the opportunity to participate in several different career mentoring program and will have regular training and outreach opportunities.

We value a diverse, gender-balanced and inclusive work environment.

Terms of employment
The employment as postdoc is a full time and fixed-term position for 2 years. Starting date is March 1, 2021 or after 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 34,600 DKK/ approx. 4,648 Euro (April 2020-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 December 2019.

For further information please contact Helena or go to  

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:  26 November 2020, 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.

Interviews are expected to be held in January.

University of Copenhagen wish to reflect the diversity of society and welcome applications from all qualified candidates regardless of age, disability, gender, nationality, race, religion or sexual orientation. Appointment will be based on merit alone. 

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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