PhD Position in UCPH University of Copenhagen Denmark

Ph.D. Vacancy in Structural and functional studies of eukaryotic membrane proteins at Uni of Copenhagen, Denmark 2022


Ph.D. Vacancy in Structural and functional studies of eukaryotic membrane proteins is available for master’s degree candidates in structural biology, biophysics, molecular biology, biochemistry, cell biology at the Autzen Lab, Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark 2022

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General Info

Position: PhD
No. of Positions: 1
Research Field: , , , ,
Deadline to Apply: Expired
Joining Date: ASAP
Contract Period: Subject to Norms
Salary: According to standard norms

Autzen Lab, Department of Biology

University of Copenhagen (UCPH), Denmark


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Qualification Details

The formal requirements of the successful applicant are:

  • Academic qualifications equivalent to a Danish MSc degree in structural biology, biophysics, molecular biology, biochemistry, cell biology with good results.
  • Having completed courses in protein structure and function, biochemistry, physical chemistry, and biophysics.
  • Demonstrated ability to quickly grasp and employ new methods and tools.
  • An ability to work independently and thrive working as part of a team.
  • Proficiency in spoken and written English, with good interpersonal communication skills.
  • High level of motivation, responsibility, and ability to work in a structured manner.

As criteria for the assessment of your qualifications, emphasis will also be laid on publications, relevant work or research experience and references. In addition to the formal requirements above, we are looking for a candidate that has experience within or strong qualifications for several of the following areas:

  • Recombinant DNA techniques and cloning.
  • Protein expression and purification.
  • Protein-ligand binding assays.
  • Working with Linux operating systems.
  • Basic programming (MatLab and/or Python).
  • Data management and reporting.

Responsibilities/Job Description

The Autzen Lab at the Department of Biology invites applications for a three-year PhD fellowship in membrane protein biochemistry and structural biology at the PhD School at Faculty of SCIENCE, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. The successful candidate will apply single-particle cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) in combination with biochemical, pharmacological, and cellular techniques to characterize eukaryotic membrane proteins from selected, cellular pathways.

The fellowship is set to begin August 1st, 2022, or as soon as possible thereafter.

University of Copenhagen is an international work and study environment commemorating democracy, openness, and equal opportunities. We wish our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus, the Autzen Lab welcomes applicants of any race, religion, national origin, gender identity, caregiver and family commitments, political affiliation, sexual orientation, and eligible age or ability.

The project is funded by a grant from the Novo Nordisk Foundation.

Research area and project description

Integral membrane proteins are important drug targets, however, their isolation and characterization remain a major bottleneck due to difficulties in extraction, while maintaining their structural and functional integrity. Extracting integral membrane proteins with amphipathic copolymers, preserves cofactors by extracting the proteins in discs with lipids from the native membrane. This approach coined the “native nanodisc approach” avoids detergents, allows a shorter total preparation time, and is closer to the “native” conditions. However, as current copolymers are inefficient and harsh for most mammalian membrane proteins, the approach is still in its infancy and warrants the development of new copolymers.

The successful applicant will work on a selection of membrane protein targets to develop and test new copolymers, and elucidate how the membrane proteins, and their lipid environments behave in the native nanodisc system.

Research environment: The Autzen Lab at University of Copenhagen

The successful applicant will become a member of the Autzen Lab, a young and vibrant research group part of the Linderstrøm-Lang Centre for Protein Science within the Section for Biomolecular Sciences, at the Department of Biology. Home to 11 labs specializing in cellular and protein biology, protein design or structural biology, the Section for Biomolecular Sciences is an international and multidisciplinary workplace, offering a creative and stimulating work environment.

Your key tasks as a PhD student in the Autzen Lab at University of Copenhagen, SCIENCE is:

  • To manage and carry out your research project under supervision.
  • To disseminate your research through scientific manuscripts and presentations at national and international meetings.
  • To teach undergraduate or graduate courses offered by the Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen.
  • To attend, and complete PhD courses corresponding to approximately 30 ECTS points.
  • To participate in maintaining the Autzen lab facilities and infrastructure.
  • To stay at an external research institution for 3 months abroad.
  • To conclude your PhD studies by writing and defending your PhD thesis.


How to Apply?

Application Method: Online Application
Ref. No.: -

Application Procedure

Your application must be written in English and submitted electronically by clicking the ‘APPLY NOW’ button below. This will prompt you to create a profile on the internal HR application system. In addition to details on your degree and formal qualifications, the application must include the following:

  1. Cover letter detailing your background and motivation for applying (max. one page).
  2. Curriculum vitae describing your education, experience, language skills and other relevant skills (max. two pages).
  3. Original diplomas for Bachelor of Science or Master of Science and transcript of records in the original language, including an authorized English translation if issued in another language than English or Danish. If not completed, a certified/signed copy of a recent transcript of records or a written statement from the institution or supervisor is accepted.
  4. Publication list (if possible) including papers submitted or accepted for publication.
  5. Reference letters (if available)
  6. Other relevant material.

About the Department/Section/Group

The Autzen Lab is focused on characterizing the activation and modulation of eukaryotic membrane proteins involved in selected, cellular pathways to delineate their basic function and therapeutic potential. In extension, the lab is focused on developing tools for detergent-free membrane protein purification to conserve native protein-lipid interactions. The lab houses state-of-the-art facilities for mammalian protein production, purification, biochemical and biophysical characterizations, and data processing and has access to state-of-the-art cryo-EM facilities at the Core Facility for Integrated Microscopy on campus and at the iNANO Cryo-EM facility at Aarhus University.

The Autzen Lab is built on community, trust, openness, honesty, and solidarity and strives to embody the scientific method, objectivity, and reproducibility. We value open science, knowledge and data sharing and science communication to a wider audience, ultimately bridging the gap between society and research.

You can read more about the Autzen Lab and our core values on our website.

About the Employer:

Note or Other details

we offer

  • An exciting and stimulating research project set in a creative, scientifically strong, and international academic environment.
  • An open and inclusive work environment with dedicated colleagues.
  • Room for personal and professional development.

The interview procedure

Once the application deadline is passed, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of an Interview Committee. Afterwards an Assessment Committee will be appointed to evaluate the selected applications. Applicants will be notified whether their application was passed for assessment and the composition of the committees.

The main criterion for selection will be the research potential of the applicant and an assessment of the academic qualifications and experiences of the applicant in accordance with the area of research, techniques, skills, and other requirements listed above. Once the assessment is completed, the applicant can comment on the part of the assessment that relates to the applicant themselves.

Interviews are expected to take place in late June or early July 2022.

The successful candidate will then be requested to formally apply for enrolment as a PhD student at the PhD School of SCIENCE.

You can read more about the recruitment process at University of Copenhagen here and more about the PhD School of SCIENCE here.

Terms of employment

Employment as PhD fellow is full time and for maximum 3 years.

Employment is conditional upon your successful enrolment as a PhD student at the PhD School at the Faculty of SCIENCE, University of Copenhagen. This requires submission and acceptance of an application for the specific project formulated by the applicant.

Terms of appointment and payment accord to the agreement between the Danish Ministry of Taxation and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State. The position is covered by the Protocol on Job Structure.

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Contact details

Associate Professor Henriette E. Autzen, welcomes informal inquiries on the position on email: [email protected].

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