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Ph.D. position in Basic Metabolic Research

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The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research (CBMR),Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen

 Ph.D. position in Basic Metabolic Research
(Keywords: circadian rhythm and obesity/diabetes)

The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research is recruiting a Ph.D. student for a time-limited 3-year project to work on mitochondrial transport mechanisms. The Ph.D. student position is in the group of Assistant Professor Zach Gerhart-Hines in the Section of Metabolic Receptology, headed by Scientific Director, Professor Thue W. Schwartz. The starting date is December 15th, 2015 or as soon as possible thereafter.


The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research (CBMR) has been established at the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen to conduct basic research on metabolism ( The Center, which consists of six scientific sections and a number of international research satellites, was established through a DKK 885 million unrestricted grant from the Novo Nordisk Foundation. We are a center of excellence where talented researchers and experienced laboratory technicians is bringing scientific discoveries from the laboratory to the society in an effort to tackle some of today’s biggest challenges – diabetes and obesity. We are proud of the outstanding discoveries made by the Center, and we are committed to the translation of this knowledge into novel approaches to patient care. You can read more about the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research on:

Research Focus:

Mitochondrial metabolite transport represents one of the most critical bioenergetic exchanges in the cell. Moreover, mitochondrial dysfunction has been implicated in nearly every disease state from neurodegenerative disorders to cardiovascular failure to obesity and diabetes. The Gerhart-Hines lab recently discovered a novel mitochondrial transporter that appears to play a role in a number of different tissue specific mitochondrial functions. This specific project investigates the role of this transporter in skeletal muscle metabolism and circadian biology.

We are seeking a Ph.D. student to investigate the molecular mechanisms and physiological consequences of circadian regulation of mitochondrial function

Project Description:

We employ a wide array of in vitro and in vivo approaches that provide students with the opportunity to dissect the molecular mechanisms of newly-discovered factors in mitochondrial biology and then assess the physiological consequences in a whole animal context. On a regular basis, Dr. Gerhart-Hines will also be working at the bench and, therefore, will be readily available for hands-on training and mentorship in experimental design and scientific approach. This is a chance for students to explore research topics, such as circadian rhythm and obesity and diabetes, which are currently of the highest international interest.         

The holder of the position will report to Assistant Professor Zach Gerhart-Hines and will have the opportunity to interact with staff at all levels within the five sections of the Center and the University of Copenhagen regarding relevant research topics.

Qualifications and requirements:

Highly motivated and ambitious candidates regardless of their personal background and status are encouraged to apply. Increased consideration will be given to candidates having any of the following professional qualifications stated below:

  • A Master’s degree in Molecular Biomedicine, Human Biology, Biochemistry, or a similarly-related field
  • Research experience in mitochondrial biology, metabolism, or obesity and diabetes
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • An enthusiastic, dedicated, and collaborative attitude to the project
  • Experience with cell culture (e.g., differentiation, transfection of plasmids, siRNA/shRNA knock-down of target genes)
  • Experience with measuring gene expression (e.g. real-time PCR) and measuring protein levels (e.g. western blotting)
  • Knowledge/experience on how to assay enzyme activity
  • Knowledge in proper experimental planning and statistical evaluation of experimental data
  • Documented experience in handling small rodents for research experiments

Terms of Employment:

The position is offered for a period of three years and employment is governed by the Protocol on Ph.D. Research Fellows signed by the Danish Ministry of Finance and AC (the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations). The starting salary for candidates with a M.Sc. degree will be a minimum of DKK 305,291 per year (April 2014 level) plus pension contributions and with the possibility to negotiate a qualification supplement.

For more information on working and living in Denmark: and


For further information, please contact Dr. Gerhart-Hines, email, or HR Officer Ditte Maria Bohn, email:

Application Procedure:

Apply by clicking "Apply online" below. Please note that only online applications will be accepted.

Applications must be written in English and must include:
Cover letter detailing your background and motivation for applying for this particular Ph.D. project
Curriculum vitae including list of publications (maximum of 2 pages)
Diploma and transcripts of records (including grades)
One letter of recommendation


The deadline for applications is November 8, 2015, 23:59 CET. Any applications received after this time will not be considered. Applicants failing to submit the online application form will not be considered either.

Application procedure:

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