PhD Position in Glycoproteomic

Updated: 25 days ago
Deadline: 15 Jul 2022

Protein glycosylation, addition of sugar units to proteins that are placed on the cell surface, is important for communication between cells and cell migration, mechanisms essential for development of organs, such as the brain. A big difference between us and our monkey relatives is the presence of the sugar molecule called sialic acids (SA) on cell surface proteins. A mutation in the CMAH gene (an enzyme that convert N-acetylneuraminic acid (Neu5Ac) to N-glycolylneuraminic acid (Neu5Gc)) took place in humans after the common ancestor with the chimpanzee. Thus, humans have the precursor for the monkey SA. This, together with other changes in enzymes for SA biology between human and monkeys could have an influence on the development of the brain and participate in human-specific features.

In the present project we will use gene manipulation to modulate important genes in SA biology in stem cells and study the early brain development in stem-cell derived 3D brain organoids using Omics and imaging technology. Furthermore, we will develop new technologies to identify and quantify intact sialylated glycopeptides.

Location of the project:
The project is taking place in the research group of Professor Martin R. Larsen , Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Southern Denmark.

The Larsen research group is part of the Protein Research Group (PRG) at the University of Southern Denmark (SDU) in Odense, Denmark. Odense is located only one hour from the main capital of Denmark, Copenhagen. The PRG was founded almost 50 years ago by the recognized protein and biological mass spectrometry researcher Professor Peter Roepstorff and is internationally recognized for their contributions within biological mass spectrometry, proteomics, PTMomics, biomedical research and clinical proteomics. The PRG consist today of a large international research environment with nine individual research groups and more than 60 scientists, postdocs and students who share laboratory facilities and research environment. The PRG has a fantastic student environment with many multicultural inputs.

The PRG has the newest mass spectrometers for biological mass spectrometry applications including one Orbitrap Lumos Tribrid, one Orbitrap Eclipse Tribrid, two Orbitrap Exploris480, two Q-Exactive HF and one Bruker TIMS TOF Pro. In addition, the PRG has a large fully equipped protein chemistry/proteomics laboratory, cell laboratory facilities and bioinformatics that will be available for the present project.

The Larsen group has for the past 20 years developed many methods for assessment of PTMs in proteomics, including the Titanium Dioxide method (Larsen MR et al., Mol. Cell. Proteomics 2005) used by many research groups worldwide for isolation of phosphorylated peptides for characterization of signal transduction pathways in mammalian systems. The Larsen group research focus is centred on investigation of the role of PTMs in system biology and biomedicine and development of new innovative methods for assessment of PTMs in biological samples. The Larsen group has a significant amount of national and international collaborations and is publishing in higher ranging journals.

Qualifications of the candidate
A successful candidate should preferentially have a Master's or Honour's degree in cell biology, molecular biology, proteomics or a related field and should be highly motivated and innovative. A candidate with significant experience in glycoproteomics, glycopeptide analysis, brain organoids, functional proteomics, LC-based mass spectrometry or bioinformatics is preferable. Excellent communication and writing skills and an ability to interact socially and scientifically with other laboratory members and collaborators are essential.

Note that the attachments to your application are required by ministerial order. The attachment with a research proposal/description of your approach to the project may not be easy for you to write at the time of application, and we will not give that much weight. Instead, focus on the attachment detailing your interest, motivation, and qualifications, and of course your CV.

Application deadline: 15 July 2022.
Expected starting date: 1 September 2022.

For further information, please contact Professor Martin R. Larsen, PhD, e-mail: .

Application, salary etc.
Appointment as a PhD Research Fellow is for three years. Employment stops automatically at the end of the period. The holder of the scholarship is not allowed to have other paid employment during the three-year period.

The successful applicant will be employed in accordance with the agreement on salaried PhD scholars between the Ministry of Finance and AC (the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations). Please check links for more information on salary  and taxation .

The successful candidate will be enrolled at this university in accordance with faculty regulations and the Danish Ministerial Order on the PhD Programme at the Universities (PhD order).

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

Application must be made in the form of a Declaration of Interest including the following:
• A research proposal/description of your approach to the above project (max one page excluding references)
• A letter stating your specific interest, motivation and qualifications for the project in question (max. two pages) (please attach this under box "Application form")
• Detailed CV, including personal contact information
• Copies of diplomas, Bachelor as well as Master’s degree, including transcript of notes/grades
• At least two signed reference letters. Should your referees wish to send their letters directly to us, please have them use e-mail: mentioning your name and the title of the position in the subject line. And please note that these also need to reach us before deadline.

Shortlisting may be used in the assessment process.

Further information about the PhD-study can be found at the homepage of the University .

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. We strongly recommend that you read How to apply before you apply.

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

Further information for international applicants about entering and working in Denmark.

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