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PhD Position in Long Noncoding RNA and Metabolic Diseases in an ERC and DDA Funded Research Group

The position:
A PhD scholarship (financed by the Danish Diabetes Academy DDA) for three years is available at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Southern Denmark, Odense. Employment is possible from 1 May 2020 or soon thereafter. Application deadline: 10 April 2020. 

The research group:
Metabolic derangements like obesity and type 2 diabetes (T2D) arise as consequence of disease-permissive genetic variation and altered transcriptional regulation in key metabolic organs like liver and adipose tissue. The group of Professor Jan-Wilhelm Kornfeld’s European Research Council (ERC) and DDA funded research group is interested in studying the function impact of genetic heterogeneity, and changes in ncRNAs and specific chromatin (histone PTM) states for organism-, cell- and tissue-level energy homeostasis, inter-organ crosstalk and pathophysiology. We bring together strong molecular techniques with a sound understanding of metabolic regulation in vivo.  

In our team we particularly employ systems -OMICS approaches like mRNA / miRNA-Seq, nanopore-Seq and ChIP-Seq, computational approaches and generation of transgenic mice to identify and molecularly characterize metabolic disease-associated ncRNAs and chromatin signatures (Kornfeld 2013 Nature, Oliverio 2016 Nat Cell Biol, Schmidt 2018 Nat Commun and Pradas-Juni 2020 Nat Commun). 

The Functional Genomics and Metabolism (FGM) Research Unit:
The Kornfeld group is immersed within international ADIPOSIGN consortium and the FGM Research Unit. FGM houses seven independent research groups with ≥60 scientists focussing on various aspects of functional genomics with a dedicated focus on gene regulation controlling cell differentiation and dysfunction during metabolic diseases like obesity, and T2D. The Research Unit constitutes an international, ambitious, highly dynamic, and well-equipped working environment. The Kornfeld group closely collaborates with groups in the FGM Unit and the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB) for access to enabling facilities in next generation RNA / DNA sequencing (NGS), single-cell sequencing, mass spectrometry, metabolomics, bioimaging and transgenic mouse work. 

We offer:
• A three-year fully financed PhD position in a stimulating and supportive, international research environment. 
• Possibility for faculty membership in the Danish Diabetes Academy.
• Access to state-of-the art equipment, facilities and infrastructure (see below).
• A competitive salary and social benefits (eg. health coverage, parental leave, social security etc.).
• Dedicated assistance and support with various practical, social, and legal aspects (housing, visa, administration, tax etc.), especially for international candidates through out International Staff Department and department.
• Interaction with researchers from the Center for Adipocyte Signaling (ADIPOSIGN) and Center for Functional Genomics and Tissue Plasticity (ATLAS).

Your profile:
We are seeking an ambitious employee with a life science background who is interested in carrying out research projects on the epigenomic control of liver and hepatocyte physiology in an international team of scientists. The ideal candidate will be:

• Performing characterization of recently identified obesity- and T2D associated long noncoding RNAs (Pradas-Juni 2020 Nat Commun) using CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene activation / inactivation approaches in vitro / vivo.

• Analysing and obtaining novel datasets from Next-Generation Sequencing experiments (RNA-Seq, ChiP-Seq).
• Handling and phenotyping knockout mice for obesity- and T2D-associated long noncoding RNAs and primary hepatocyte cell culture.

• Contributing to teaching activities in English in the group and for the department. 

The ideal candidate should fulfil as many of the following requirements as possible:

• An MSc degree in life sciences (biologist, biochemist or related degree).

• Practical background in noncoding RNA biology, metabolism and / or chromatin regulation.

• Willingness to work with transgenic mice and certification in Laboratory Animal Science (EU function ABD or former FELASA B).
• Solid background in bioimaging (ISH, single-molecule FISH).

• Experience and / or genuine interest in learning scripting languages (R, Python) to analyse - OMICS datasets.

• Good collaborative skills, a positive attitude towards science and its contribution to society.

• Diligence and intellectual flexibility.

• An open and positive mind that actively contributes to the infrastructure and the success of the research team and the department. 

Further information can be obtained from Professor Jan-Wilhelm Kornfeld:, or by phone +45 9350 7481.

Application, salary etc.
Appointment as a PhD Research Fellow is for three years. Employment stops automatically at the end of the period. The holder of the scholarship is not allowed to have other paid employment during the three-year period.

The successful applicant will be employed in accordance with the agreement on salaried PhD scholars between the Ministry of Finance and AC (the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations). Please check links for more information on salary and taxation.

The successful candidate will be enrolled at this university in accordance with faculty regulations and the Danish Ministerial Order on the PhD Programme at the Universities (PhD order).

The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

Application must be made in the form of a Declaration of Interest including the following:
• A research proposal/description of your approach to the above project (max one page excluding references)
• A letter stating your specific interest, motivation and qualifications for the project in question (max. two pages) (please attach this under box "Application form")
• Detailed CV, including personal contact information
• Copies of diplomas, Bachelor as well as Master’s degree, including transcript of notes/grades
• At least two signed reference letters. Should your referees wish to send their letters directly to us, please have them use e-mail: mentioning your name and the title of the position in the subject line. And please note that these also need to reach us before deadline.

Shortlisting may be used in the assessment process.

Further information about the PhD-study can be found at the homepage of the University.

Applications must be submitted electronically using the link "Apply online". Attached files must be in Adobe PDF or Word format. Each box can only contain a single file of max. 10 Mb. We strongly recommend that you read How to apply before you apply.

Incomplete applications and applications received after the deadline will neither be considered nor evaluated. This also applies to reference letters.

Further information for international applicants about entering and working in Denmark.

Send application
Deadline 2020-Apr-10

You can apply for the job at Faculty of Science by completing the application form