PhD fellowship in Pancreatic Cancer Research at BRIC

Updated: 22 days ago
Deadline: 06 Jun 2022

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
University of Copenhagen

We are offering a PhD fellowship in Pancreatic Cancer commencing 1 September 2022, or as soon as possible thereafter.

Our group and research
The main focus of the laboratory is to understand the molecular regulation of cellular identity in pancreas development and cancer. Cancer is a disease of differentiation, and molecular regulators of cellular identity are potent tumor suppressors in pancreatic cancer. We are interested in understanding how regulatory elements of pancreas development control cell fate decision in tumor progression and resistance to therapy. We employ a multidisciplinary approach using mouse models and pancreatic organoids, in combination with next-generation sequencing techniques, high-throughput screening and molecular and systems biology approaches. These studies are intended to discover novel molecular markers of tumor progression and targetable molecular mediators of cellular identity to prevent the initiation and progression of pancreatic cancer.

Project description
The project focuses on understanding the transition of cellular states in pancreatic cancer. You will investigate how transcription factors and non-coding regulatory elements of pancreas development contribute to phenotypic adaptations in the progression of pancreatic cancer. You will use state-of-the-art technologies, such as (but not only) single-cell RNA sequencing, identification of RNA-protein interactions, chromatin conformation capture experiments and follow-up functional genomics in human cell cultures and mouse models. The ultimate goal of the project is to obtain mechanistic insights into how non-mutational mechanisms regulate therapy resistance and adaptations to changes in the tumor microenvironment associated with tumor progression and metastasis. You will validate the results in well-annotated clinical samples.

Principal supervisor
Luis Arnes Perez
Associate Professor
University of Copenhagen
Biotech Research & Innovation Centre
Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Stem Cell Biology
Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Start:                1 September 2022
Duration:         3 years as a PhD student

Job description
Your key tasks as a PhD student at SUND are:

  • Carry through an independent research project under supervision
  • Complete PhD courses or other equivalent education corresponding to approx. 30 ECTS points
  • Participate in active research environments including a stay at another research team
  • Obtain experience with teaching or other types of dissemination related to your PhD project
  • Teach and disseminate your knowledge
  • Write a PhD thesis on the grounds of your project

Key criteria for the assessment of applicants
Applicants must have qualifications corresponding to a Master’s degree (equivalent of the Danish candidate, 3+2 years) related to the subject area of the project and documented work in computation in single cell omics, neuroscience, and brain disorders.
Furthermore appilcants must have qualifications corresponding to a master’s degree related to the subject area of the project e.g. Pancreas development and pancreatic cancer.

Strong skills and practical experience in molecular/cellular biology, FELASA accreditation, orthotopic pancreatic cancer models as well as cancer mouse model studies are required. Previous experience with pancreatic cancer organoids and CRISPR-Cas9 will be positively considered. Other important criteria are:

  • The grade point average achieved
  • Professional qualifications relevant to the PhD project
  • Relevant work experience
  • Other professional activities
  • Curious mind-set with a strong interest in basic cancer research
  • Language skills

Place of employment
The place of employment is at BRIC, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen. We offer creative and stimulating working conditions in dynamic and international research environment. Our research facilities include modern laboratories and relevant core facilities for the project.

Terms of employment
The employment as PhD fellow 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.

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. Depending on seniority, the monthly salary begins around 28.300 DKK /approx. 3.800 EUR (April 2021-level) plus pension.

For specific information about the PhD fellowship, please contact the principal supervisor.
General information about PhD study at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences is available at the Graduate School’s website:

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. As a prerequisite for a PhD fellowship employment, your Master’s degree must be equivalent to a Danish Master’s degree. We encourage you to read more in the assessment database: . Please note that we might ask you to obtain an assessment of your education performed by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scienceed to the subject area of the project e.g. documented work in computation in single cell omics, neuroscience, and brain disorders
4. Publication list (if possible)

Application deadline: 6 June 2022, 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

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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