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PhD scholarship: Strategies to diminish atherosclerossis

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The job offer is available for the following event:

A 3-year PhD position is available in the group of Professor Michael Davies (Department of Biomedical Sciences) with a starting date of  1 December 2015 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Department of Biomedical Sciences (BMI)
The Department of Biomedical Sciences (BMI) conducts research that seeks to explore and understand organ systems, pathology, pathophysiology and pharmacology. The Department is an important centre for research into basic and clinical science with the aim of improving diagnostics and patient therapies. Department research is carried out in cooperation with researchers in multiple departments.

The “Oxidative Biology of Proteins” Group led by Professor Michael Davies (recently appointed to the BMI with the support of a Novo Nordisk Laureate grant), carries out research focused on understanding and characterizing the mechanisms and consequences of protein modification, a process known to be of major importance in cardiovascular disease as well as other human diseases associated with inflammation. We use a range of biochemical, molecular, cellular and animal studies to examine these processes, with an overall aim of understanding how we can prevent protein modification and tissue damage (e.g. through the development of new inhibitors of key enzymes).

Job/Study Description: Quantification of protein damage and inflammation in models of atherosclerosis

Cardiovascular disease causes over 1.9 million deaths (~40% of all mortality) in the European Union each year. There is considerable evidence that a major cause of cardiovascular disease – atherosclerosis (which is characterized by lipid and cholesterol accumulation) is driven by chronic low-grade inflammation of the artery wall. Disease development is associated with changes to both cellular proteins and the extracellular matrix (ECM) that surrounds and supports cells, and lipid deposition at sites of ECM damage. The resulting atherosclerotic lesions can be stable (asymptomatic), or unstable and undergo rupture to give heart attacks and strokes. Lesion instability is associated with a thin and weak fibrous cap of the lesion, a low ECM content, high macrophage numbers and ongoing inflammation. Inflammation, and the damage that it induces therefore appears to be an early and necessary event in lesion development, and critical in lesion rupture. In recent studies we have examined the potential biological effects of a number of compounds that can act as inhibitors of enzymes associated with damage to proteins, and have shown that these agents can modulate both the disease process and the quality of the atherosclerotic lesion. Although these species have proved efficacious considerable further development and second-generation compounds are being investigated. The candidate will take a lead role in the testing of these novel agents in well-established cellular, tissue and animal model systems.

Education:
•A relevant MSc degree in biomedical science or qualifications at a similar level.

Essential qualifications:
•Experience with cell culture, preferably with cells of relevance to atherosclerosis (e.g. endothelial, smooth muscle, neutrophils, monocytes, macrophages)
•Experience in protein handling, extraction, analysis and quantification (e.g. SDS-PAGE, Western blotting, immunoprecipitation, ELISA, UPLC, size exclusion chromatography)

Desirable qualifications:
•Experience with animal models of disease, particularly atherosclerosis
•Experience in cell/tissue fixation, slide preparation (include sectioning of paraffin-embedded and frozen tissues) and analysis using histology and immunohistology
•Experience in microscopy (bright field, fluorescence and confocal) for analysis of fixed and frozen tissue samples
•Experience or knowledge of oxidation processes
•Experience in writing animal ethics applications

Application Procedure:

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

Applications - in English - must include:
•Cover letter detailing your motivation and background for applying for this specific PhD project.
•CV
•Diploma and transcripts of records (including grades)
•Other information for consideration, e.g. list of publications, presentations, awards (if any),

The closing date for applications is 23.59pm,  30 October  2015. Applications received after this date will not be considered.

By November 17th, 2015, all applicants will have received information regarding the evaluation of their application.

The applicant will be assessed according to the Ministry of Science Technology and Innovation Executive Order no 284 of 25 April 2008.

Terms of employment:
The position is offered for a period of three years and employment is governed by the Protocol on PhD Research Fellows signed by the Danish Ministry of Finance and AC (the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations).

Questions:
For specific information position, please contact Professor Michael Davies, (e-mail: davies@sund.ku.dk ).
Any questions regarding the application process or administrative queries of any kind should be directed to Anders Sondrup, e-mail: ason@adm.ku.dk .

For more information on working and living in Denmark: http://ism.ku.dk/, and www.workingconditions.ku.dk

The Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences comprises approximately 7500 students, 1500 PhD students and 3200 employees. The Faculty advances the field of health sciences through its core activities: research, teaching, knowledge sharing and communication. With basic research fields ranging from molecular studies to studies of society, the Faculty contributes to a healthy future through its graduates, research findings and inventions benefitting patients and the community. The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the surrounding community and invites all regardless of personal background to apply for the position.

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