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Post-doctoral researcher: Characterization and consequences of extracellular matrix protein modification

A 2-year post-doctoral research position funded by the DFF is available in the group of Professor Michael Davies (Department of Biomedical Sciences) with a starting date of September 1st 2017 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 carries out research focused on understanding and characterizing the mechanisms and consequences of protein modification, a process known to be of major importance in human diseases as well as the deterioration of foods and pharmaceutical materials. We use a range of spectroscopic, molecular and cellular approaches to examine these processes, with an overall aim of understanding how we can prevent these reactions and hence oxidative damage (e.g. through the development of new antioxidants).  
 
Project Description: Inflammation-induced oxidation and extracellular matrix damage  
 
Increasing literature data indicates that chronic low-grade inflammation is a major risk factor for a significant number of human pathologies including some forms of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis, rheumatism, asthma, cystic fibrosis, some cancers, and multiple neurodegenerative conditions amongst others. These diseases are associated with increasing age and are associated with high levels of morbidity and mortality. These diseases are major public health priorities and have significant impacts on budgetary resources due to the increasing longevity and exposure to environmental and lifestyle risk factors such as the metabolic syndrome and obesity within the EU population. Chronic low-grade inflammatory disease is associated with increased numbers of stimulated leukocytes (e.g. neutrophils, monocytes and macrophages), at sites of inflammation. These cells can release potent reactive oxidants and proteases that may inflict damage and post-translational modifications to biological targets. Proteins have been shown to be major sites of damage due to their abundance and high rates of reactions with many oxidants, and increasing emphasis is being placed on understanding the nature of these reactions, the products that can be formed, the potential use of stable products as disease biomarkers, and the consequences of these reactions for cellular, tissue and organism function and viability.  
 
Extracellular matrix (ECM) and other long-lived proteins have considerable potential as biomarkers for inflammatory diseases and potential surrogates for examining the efficacy of novel therapeutic interventions. However, the detailed molecular structures of these modified proteins are poorly characterized, which is hindering a greater understanding of disease development.  
 
Using state-of-the-art analytical (LC-MS, UPLC) and protein biochemical methods (gels, Western blotting), extracellular matrix proteins exposed to inflammatory oxidants and activated leukocytes will be analyzed to determine the extent and sites of modifications and the structural and functional consequences of these events. Studies will be carried out on isolated proteins, cell-culture materials, and tissue specimens to confirm that presence of identified modifications both in vitro and in vivo, and that these correlate with disease presence and development.  
 
Education:  
• A relevant PhD degree in biochemistry or biomedical science or qualifications at a similar level.  
 
Desired qualifications:  
• Extensive experience with state-of-the-art mass spectroscopic and chromatographic techniques and particularly LC-MS  
• Experience in protein handling, extraction, purification and analysis  
• Experience with gel electrophoresis  
• Knowledge of extracellular matrix materials  
• Experience in protein / peptide sequencing and post-translational modifications (including oxidative modifications and glycosylation)  
• Experience with data analysis software relevant to protein mass spectroscopy  
• Experience in protein oxidation processes and redox regulation  
 
Application Procedure:   
Apply by clicking "Apply online" below. Please note that only online applications will be accepted.  
 
Applications - in English - must include:  
• Cover letter detailing your motivation for applying for this specific project.  
• CV  
• Diploma and transcripts of records (including grades)  
• Other information for consideration, e.g. list of publications, presentations, awards  
 
The closing date for applications is 23.59pm, 1 August 2017. Applications received after this date will not be considered.  
 
The further process: 
Shortlist: After expiry of the application deadline, the superior with power to appoint selects a number of applicants for assessment on the advice of the Appointments Committee. All applicants are immediately notified whether their application has been passed for assessment. Applicants who were not passed for assessment should not expect further with regard to their application unless the shortlist is revised.  
 
Assessment: The selected applications will be assessed according to the Ministry Order on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities 2012 and the University of Copenhagen’s guidelines 2013. The Assessment Committee makes a non-prioritized assessment of the academic qualifications and experience with respect to the above mentioned area of research, techniques, skills and other requirements listed in the advertisement.  
 
You can read about the recruitment process at http://employment.ku.dk/faculty/recruitment-process/  
  
Terms of employment:  
The position is offered for a period of two 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 about the 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 Ragnhild Mostert, rmostert@sund.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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Part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and among Europe’s top-ranking universities, the University of Copenhagen promotes research and teaching of the highest international standard. Rich in tradition and modern in outlook, the University gives students and staff the opportunity to cultivate their talent in an ambitious and informal environment. An effective organisation – with good working conditions and a collaborative work culture – creates the ideal framework for a successful academic career.

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Ragnhild Helene Mostert

Info

Application deadline: 01-08-2017
Employment start: 01-09-2017
Working hours: Full time
Department/Location: Biomedicinsk Institut

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