Declaration of interest regarding PhD project at the Research Unit for Infectious Diseases at the Department of Clinical Research, SDU

Updated: about 1 month ago
Deadline: 09 Feb 2023

Declaration of interest regarding PhD project at the Research Unit for Infectious Diseases at the Department of Clinical Research, university of Southern Denmark

Topic:Hepatitis C elimination in Denmark by 2025?

The Hepatitis Team at the Research Unit for Infectious Diseases at the Department of Clinical Research is looking for applicants for a PhD scholarship within the field of viral hepatitis, public health, clinical epidemiology, and marginalized populations.

We are looking for a medical candidate with interest in fields mentioned above. You will become part of the multidisciplinary hepatitis team. We expect you to be interested in and preferably have some experience with epidemiology and registry based research. An interest in the elimination of hepatitis C is needed, as this will be the overarching theme of the PhD.

Research environment
The research unit at the department of infectious diseases is headed by professor Isik Somuncu Johansen and currently have 29 employees including research support such as for data management, statistics and budget. The unit published more than 100 papers in 2022. More information can be found here: Infektionsmedicinsk Forskningsenhed på OUH .

The hepatitis team is led by professor Peer Brehm Christensen and has for the last 20 years focused mainly on hepatitis C research. The team has conducted clinical research on delivering care in the community and implementing point of care investigations like Fibroscan and dry blood spot tests to simplify care pathways as well as on the epidemiology of hepatitis C in Denmark. Most research since 2015 has been within the context of eliminating hepatitis C as a public health threat in concordance with the WHO strategy. The team consists currently of five senior researchers and one phd student, as well as research and clinical nurses. The team has an affiliated senior researcher from the department of Immunology. The team participate in the research and clinical education of medical students.

Project description
Hepatitis C is a blood borne disease with dire long term consequences to patients and society. The infection is primarily affecting people with current or former intravenous drug use (PWID). Since 2018, it has been possible to treat all infected and thereby eliminate hepatitis C in Denmark. The five regional health systems have engaged in this in different ways but currently we have no solid evidence on how far Denmark is from eliminating Hepatitis C. Better data are needed on the coverage of diagnosis and treatment in the target populations.

The hepatitis team have developed and implemented the necessary tools to monitor elimination progress at a national level. Our hypothesis is that Denmark will be able to reach WHO elimination goals in 2025 by reducing prevalence of HCV in PWID by 80%.

The aim of the project is to estimate the size of the remaining Hepatitis C population in Denmark and the effects of ongoing elimination initiatives at a national and regional level. By combining several national registers with the newly re-established register of all laboratory results of hepatitis C tests in Denmark (DANVIR) we can estimate the current population with untreated and undiagnosed hepatitis C in Denmark.  A central part of elimination is infection control in drug users, which together with imported cases constitutes the incident population in Denmark. Test and treatment uptake and reinfection can be evaluated by combing the DANVIR registry with the registry of drug use treatment and registered drug related deaths. Finally by using DANHEP - the national clinical hepatitis database- we  can evaluate the Call-In initiative where 4000 diagnosed HCV cases have been contacted and offered treatment. The combined studies should provide evidence of the current prevalence of hepatitis C in the general population and the prevalence and incidence in people with current or former injecting drug use.   The PhD student is also expected to take part in the our outreach programs including our van based low-threshold diagnosis and treatment of hepatitis C program (Linje C) in the Region of Southern Denmark.
This project will be essential for the national achievement of HCV elimination, leading to healthier lives for a large group of marginalized patients and helping the regional health systems to identify areas where increased efforts are necessary.

The project is fully funded by internal and regional grants, and the protocol has been submitted for pre-assessment at the PhD school.

A successful candidate should have a Medical Degree preferably with at least one year of clinical experience, at least one published authorship and flair for statistics. Previous experience with register-based research, clinical quality databases, Danish administrative registries such as the National Patient Registry will be useful but is not required. An interest to work with marginalized populations , and experience in this field will be an advantage. It is essential to have good team-work capacity and being able to work independently.

For further information about the project, please contact:

Peer Brehm Christensen
Professor, Consultant  -

Department of Infectious Diseases
Odense Universityhospital
J.B. Winsløwsvej 4, Entrance 18 Penthouse 2. flor,
5000 Odense C 

Applications must include:

  • At letter stating the interest, motivation and qualifications for the project (max. 2 pages) - upload under “Application form”.
  • Detailed CV, including personal contact information
  • Certified copy of diploma from Medical School
  • In the field "projektbeskrivelse" please upload an empty document

Applications must be submitted electronically using the link "Apply online".

Attached files must be in Adobe PDF or Word format. Each box can only contain a single file of max. 10 Mb.

Incomplete applications and applications received after the deadline will neither be considered nor evaluated. This also applies to reference letters.

Closing date 9.Feb.2022

Successful candidates will be asked to send an application to the PhD Secretariat, Faculty of Health Sciences, to be enrolled as PhD students.

The PhD programme will be carried out in accordance with Faculty regulations and the Danish Ministerial Order on the PhD Programme at the Universities (PhD order)

The terms of employment as a salaried PhD Research Fellow are stated in the Agreement between the Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC).

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

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