Postdoc position in Protein Signalling

Updated: 18 days ago
Deadline: 01 Sep 2021

at Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

University of Copenhagen

We are looking for an excellent and highly motivated postdoctoral researcher to join the Nilsson lab. The position is fully funded for initially two years starting autumn 2021 with a potential extension. The exact starting date is flexible and can be negotiated.

Job description

 The Nilsson lab focuses on understanding how protein phosphatases achieve specificity and how this regulates signalling in cells. A key focus is on short linear motifs (SLiMs) that mediate specific interactions between substrates and protein phosphatases. We are looking for a post doc interested in exploring therapeutical aspects of SLiM mediated interactions to translate our basic scientific discoveries into tool compounds and reagents. The position will entail protein production and characterisation and establishment of screening approaches for small molecules and peptides followed by subsequent analysis in cellular assays. As a postdoctoral member you will be part of a vibrant international and interdisciplinary research environment with a collaborative spirit.

Our research

Protein phosphatases have been viewed as unspecific enzymes that merely act to counteract the specific kinases, but research in recent years has revealed that protein phosphatases are in fact tightly controlled and act precisely on specific substrates. The group has uncovered general principles of substrate selection for the PP2A-B56 phosphatase (Hertz et al, Mol Cell 2016) and PP4 (Ueki et al, Mol Cell 2019). This work has shown that SLiMs are key determinants of specificity for phosphatases and that these interactions are regulated by phosphorylation of the SLiMs. A careful characterization of SLiMs allows for a system wide understanding of pathways regulated by protein phosphatases. In addition to providing a full picture of pathways regulated by phosphatases SLiM mediated interactions are also ideal targets for small molecule inhibitors and can pave the way for the first inhibitors able to target a specific phosphatase. 

Qualifications of the candidate

The candidate should have a deep knowledge and practical experience with protein purification and biophysical assays to monitor protein mediated interactions. Prior experience in protein-peptide and protein-small molecule interactions is an advantage. We are looking for an excellent candidate with outstanding academic track-records, who have a strong desire to move our basic discoveries forward. It is anticipated that the candidate can work effectively in a team and also independently carry out research. Candidates for the postdoctoral positions must hold a PhD degree (or equivalent) and are expected to have demonstrated outstanding achievements in their field of research.

Place of employment

The employment is at CPR ( ), a Novo Nordisk Foundation center of excellence established in 2007 and embedded in the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, to promote basic and applied research on human proteins of medical relevance. Copenhagen is a beautiful, accessible and vibrant city, consistently ranked as one of the most desirable places to live in the world. The Center comprises modern laboratories, supercomputer resources and state-of-the-art technological platforms including advanced protein imaging. CPR is an interdisciplinary international environment with English as the main language. We are located in central Copenhagen, a city with one of the highest qualities of life in the world and a vibrant and highly interactive research environment. The University of Copenhagen has a strong focus on balancing professional life with a family-friendly working environment ( ). Furthermore, Denmark as a country is constantly at the absolute top of the World Happiness Report rankings year after year ( ).

Terms of employment
The employment as postdoc is a full time and fixed-term position for 2 years. Starting date is autumn 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 33,600 DKK/ approx. 4,480 Euro (April 2021-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 for the last 10 years.

The position is covered by the “Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff at the Universities” of June 28, 2013.

For further information please contact Professor Jakob Nilsson,

Foreign applicants may find this link useful: (International Staff Mobility).

Application procedure
Your online application must be submitted in English by clicking ‘Apply now’ below, or via this site . Furthermore, your application must include the following documents/attachments – all in PDF format:

  • Motivated letter of application.
  • CV incl. education, work/research experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position.
  • 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.
  • List of publications.
  • Application deadline:   1st of September 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. 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 week 39 and 40.

    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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