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PhD fellowship in Chemical Biology

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The Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen is pleased to announce that a PhD fellowship will be available from January 1 2016 or as soon as possible thereafter. The application deadline is October 25 2015.

Applications are invited for the three-year fellowship from applicants who hold or expect to hold a master´s degree in a field relevant to the following PhD project: Protein-protein interactions at the cell membrane.

Project description
Protein-protein interactions are vital for most cellular and biochemical processes and constitute novel and promising targets for the treatment of a variety of diseases. The most abundant protein in the post-synaptic density (PSD) of excitatory neurons is PSD-95, which is essential for sustaining the molecular organization of the PSD by binding to key constituents such as glutamate receptors and their auxiliary subunits. The interactions of PSD-95 with NMDA receptors, AMPA auxiliary subunits, K+ channels and other proteins are essential for synaptic strength and plasticity. PSD-95 is emerging as a new and exciting target for indications such as ischemia, pain and depression.

It is well established that interactions of PSD-95 is regulated by post-translational modifications, in particular phosphorylations, but also by palmitoylation, which is important for adhesion of PSD-95 to the cell membrane. In general very little is known about how membrane adhesion affects the structure and function of PSD-95. Thus, in the current project we will use of quantitative confocal fluorescence microscopy on cell membrane sheets to characterize multivalent binding kinetics and dynamics of fluorescently labeled PSD95 to the exposed intracellular C-termini of NMDA receptors and AMPA auxiliary subunits. We will furthermore investigate how these processes are regulated by palmitoylation and phosphorylation as well as by novel peptides inhibitors, with promising therapeutic potential.

The PhD fellowship is financed by Center for Biopharmaceuticals.

Required qualifications
The applicant must have:
•obtained a Master´s degree in a relevant subject area prior to the starting date
•fluency in English and excellent communication skills

Preferred qualifications
We are looking for a highly motivated individual with a background in peptide synthesis and/or protein expression.

Supervisors
Supervisor: Professor Kristian Strømgaard, kristian.stromgaard@sund.ku.dk, Center for Biopharmaceuticals, Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen. Co-supervisor: Associate Professor, Kenneth Lindegaard Madsen, kennethma@sund.ku.dk, Molecular Neuropharmacology and Genetics lab, Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen.

General job description
Your key tasks as a PhD fellow at the Faculty are to:

•manage and carry through your research project
•take PhD courses
•write scientific articles and your PhD thesis
•participate in national and international congresses and scientific meetings
•stay at an external research institution, preferably abroad
•teach and disseminate your research
•participate in the undergraduate teaching of students in pharmaceutical sciences

Key criteria for the assessment of applicants
•Professional qualifications relevant to the PhD programme
•Relevant work experience
•Previous publications
•The grade point average achieved
•Other professional activities
•Language skills
•The successful applicant is also required to be enterprising and to possess good interpersonal skills

Formal requirements
The position is available for a three-year period for applicants holding a relevant master´s degree.

The successful applicant will be requested to formally apply for enrolment as a PhD student at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences according to the rules stipulated in the Ministerial order on the PhD programme at the universities (PhD order) from the Ministry of Science, Innovation, and Higher Education and the guidelines for the PhD programme at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences.

The PhD student is expected to be affiliated to the graduate programme in pharmaceutical sciences, Drug Research Academy.

Terms of employment
Salary and other terms of employment are stated in the Protocol on PhD Research Fellows signed by the Danish Ministry of Finance and AC (the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations).

Questions
For further information, applicants may contact the supervisor or Administrator Marianne W. Jørgensen, email: marianne.joergensen@sund.ku.dk, direct phone: +45 35 33 64 49.

For more information on working and living in Denmark visit www.ism.ku.dk (International staff mobility) and www.workingconditions.ku.dk.

How to apply
Applicants are requested to submit their application electronically below including (in word or pdf):
•Cover letter: Letter stating the interest in and qualifications for the project (max. one page)
•Full CV
•Diploma and transcripts of records: Master´s degree diploma (including grade transcripts for bachelor´s and master´s degrees). Applicants with a Master´s degree from abroad should also enclose a short description of the grading scale used
•Possible publication list
•Other information to consider: Possible references and recommendations

Deadline for applications: October 25 2015. Please note that only online applications will be accepted.

After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Appointments Committee. All applicants are then immediately notified whether their application has been passed for assessment by an expert assessment committee. Selected applicants are notified of the composition of the committee and 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 http://employment.ku.dk

The Appointments Committee consists of the supervision group and the Head of Department who is the authorized recruitment manager. The expert assessment committee consists of the principal supervisor.

An answer as to the granting of the fellowship can be expected approx. 4 weeks after application deadline.

The University of Copenhagen wishes to encourage everyone interested in this post to apply, regardless of personal background.