Fully funded PhD Scholarship in Nutritional Immunology at Department of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen

Updated: about 2 months ago
Deadline: 14 Oct 2021

Who we are

The Nutritional Immunology Lab at Department of Biomedical Sciences, UCPH, led by Assist. Professor Benjamin A. H. Jensen. We study how dietary factors affect intestinal immunology at the onset, prevention and treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases. 

What we do

We dissect how diet components, gut microbial community structures and compartmentalized immunology synergizes to orchestrate host immunometabolism at both gastrointestinal and extra-intestinal origin. We develop and use experimental systems tailored to model human disease with unmet medical needs; first and foremost to improve our molecular understanding of disease progression, and secondly to identify biological factors of therapeutic relevance. Our research spans from diet-induced liver complications over gastrointestinal dysfunction (including IBD, HDP secretion/function, and bacterial translocation), to respiratory complications such as asthma, pulmonary infections, lung immune function and COPD. We are characterized by an innovative mindset and thus – when relevant – strive to identify key (inter)national industry partners to co-develop early discoveries/molecular drug targets to curb human diseases.

Who you are

You are 1) Curious, talented and highly motivated with an MSc in Molecular Biomedicine, Biochemistry, Immunology or equivalent; 2) Interested in fundamental scientific discoveries and their translational potential; 3) FELASA accredited. Additionally, you preferably has the follwoing: A) Proven track record in scientific and experimental independence, career stage considered; B) Experience with germ free mice and experimental competences within ex vivo and in vitro cell signalling assays as well as cell migration assays; C) Knowledge about the gut microbiota, as well as innate and adaptive immunity; and lastly D) Strong statistical knowledge including programming skills (statistical and graphical) in R and/or Python.

The Project

Host-Microbe Mutualism in Diet-induced Liver Disease: When Friends Become Foes.

Us Together

We design and executive experiments that lead to the discovery of promiscuous microbes that under certain physiological conditions turn from former friends into disease promoting foes in diet-induced obesity. We further explore how to utilize the armoury of host immunity to tweak the behaviour of hostile microbes towards an immune resolving path, hence allowing for a peaceful co-existence between commensal  bacteria and intestinal immune cells in both lean and obese mice. Lastly, we develop a customized experimental diet tailored to target murine liver pathologies resembling clinical manifestations of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and preferably hepatic fibrosis and end stage liver disease. This diet is expected to broaden the research field in preclinical NASH, and thus adding significant value to the molecular understanding of disease progression and hopefully contribute to the development of novel treatment regimens against this devastating disease, with a currently unmet medical need.

The environment

The Department of Biomedical Sciences is an interdisciplinary and ambitious department covering both fundamental and applied biomedical research. The department has a key focus on translatability, innovation, commercialization and teaching. You will become part of a young, ambitious  and dynamic team that is part of an international and highly collaborative research environment. We encourage innovation and teamwork in part by organizing seminars, journal clubs, and social events. Lastly, we strive to develop every member of the team, enabling him/her to unleash his/her full potential; professionally as well as personally.

Start date

You commence at January 1st 2022 or as soon as possible hereafter.

Place of employment

The place of employment is at Department of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Blegdamsvej 3, 2200 Copenhagen N.

Terms of employment

The fully funded PhD scholarship is full time and for 3 years.

It is conditioned upon the applicant’s success­ful enrolment as a PhD student at the Graduate School at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen. This requires submission and acceptance of an application for the specific project formulated by the applicant before the end of 2021, i.e. prior to employment.

The PhD study must be completed in accordance with The Ministerial Order on the PhD programme (2013) and the Faculty’s rules on achieving the degree. Salary, pension and terms of employment are in accordance with the agree­ment between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State.


For specific information about the PhD fellowship, please contact group leader, Benjamin A. H. Jensen; Benjamin.jensen@sund.ku.dk .

General information about PhD study at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences is available at the Graduate School’s website: https://healthsciences.ku.dk/phd/guidelines/

Application procedure

Your application must be submitted electronically by clicking ‘Apply now’ below. The application must include the following documents in PDF format: 

1. Motivated letter of application (max. one page)

2. CV incl. education, experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position

3. Master of Science diploma and transcript of records. If not completed, a certified/signed copy of a recent transcript of records or a written statement from the institution or supervisor will do

4. Publication list (if possible)

Application deadline:  October 14th 2021, 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.

The assessor makes a non-prioritized assessment of the academic qualifications and experience with respect to the above-mentioned area of research, techniques, skills and other requirements listed in the advertisement.

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 https://employment.ku.dk/faculty/recruitment-process/

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 Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences comprises approximately 7500 students, 1500 PhD students and 3200 employees. The Faculty advances the field of health sciences through its core activities: research, teaching, knowledge sharing and communication. With basic research fields ranging from molecular studies to studies of society, the Faculty contributes to a healthy future through its graduates, research findings and inventions benefitting patients and the community. The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the surrounding community and invites all regardless of personal background to apply for the position.

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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