Postdoc in Molecular Pharmacology and In Vivo Target Validation Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research University of Copenhagen

The University of Copenhagen is seeking a highly motivated and talented postdoc fellow to commence on January 1, 2024, in the Computational Chemistry Unit at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research (CBMR), University of Copenhagen.

The Postdoc fellowship is part of the  CBMR International PhD & Postdoc Program.

About Us
The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research’s vision is to strengthen interdisciplinary research that transforms our basic understanding of the mechanisms that underlie cardiometabolic health and disease, and to accelerate this knowledge toward new prevention and treatment strategies. We were established in 2010, and in 2017, we moved into new laboratories and offices in the Maersk Tower.

The Center has around 260 employees who work in an international, highly collaborative research environment across a range of biomedical disciplines. For more information, visit

Our Research
The focus of the Computational Chemistry Unit (CCU), is related to translational research and design of next generation drugs. We use structure-based design technologies to develop pharmacological tool compounds and novel drug leads, which are used to characterize the physiological role of metabolic target proteins.

As a postdoc in CCU, you will work in close collaboration with researchers at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Research. You will be part of an ambitious interdisciplinary team developing drug candidates, while you will be working on in vivo proof of concept studies using in-house developed pharmacological tool compounds and drug leads. These are used to characterize and validate the physiological role of the G protein-coupled receptor 39 (GPR39) in diabetes, Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) and alcoholic liver disease (ALD).

Job Description

A major challenge in academia and in the pharmaceutical industry is to transform early-stage projects into valuable assets through effective target validation studies. As a postdoctoral researcher, you will be the expert in validating the physiological role and pharmacological potential of GPR39 in prevention and treatment of metabolic disorders.

To achieve this, you will utilize agonist leads developed in-house in ex vivo and in vivo target validation studies. The prototype agonist leads have already been scaled up in amounts suitable for long term chronic in vivo studies in rodents, enabling a series of unique target validations studies of increasing complexity. To ensure that your research has maximum impact, you will establish collaborations with other research groups at the Center, enabling you to take full advantage of the state-of-the-art technologies available, especially at the Rodent Metabolic Phenotyping Platform. Your primary responsibilities will involve characterizing the mechanism of action of the agonist leads and build a strong efficacy package, with the ultimate goal of validating the physiological role of GPR39 in regulating, type-2 diabetes, NAFLD and ALD.

As a highly motivated candidate, you should have a documented ability to independently design and conduct in vitro and in vivo research projects. You are expected to continue previous collaborations and establish new ones independently. Excellent communication skills in spoken and written English are essential.  


The postdoc fellowship is aimed at early-career researchers with a basic science background or clinicians who aspire to a career in academic medicine. We are particularly interested in candidates who are familiar with integrative research approaches within the broad area of basic cardiometabolic research with an application toward human pathophysiology.

Required qualifications:

  • PhD in Pharmacology, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology or a related field.
  • Excellent scientific track record in relation to career stage.
  • Strong knowhow and expertise in independently designing and conducting basic biochemical assays, in vitro cellular and ex and in vivo studies, especially mouse models of ALD/NASH and diabetes including experience with maintenance and breeding of mouse lines
  • Ability to design experiments, work and analyze results independently.
  • Strong knowledge of metabolic diseases, especially diabetes and insulin resistance, and liver biology and cellular mechanisms underlying liver function and its interactions with other organs.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.

Previous post-doctoral experience in the field is considered an advantage.


The Postdoc fellowships within the CBMR International PhD & Postdoc Program are open for applicants that hold a PhD degree awarded from a university outside of Denmark. The program is also open for applicants with a Danish PhD degree who can document at least 12 months of full-time research experience from outside Denmark. The PhD degree has to be obtained before January 1, 2024. You are not eligible to apply for the program if you have been employed in a postdoctoral position for more than one year at the University of Copenhagen prior to the commencement of the fellowship.

Terms of Employment

The employment as postdoc is a full-time position for 3 years. Starting date is January 1, 2024.

Salary, pension and terms of employment will be in accordance with the agreement between the Danish Ministry of Finance and AC (Danish Confederation of Professional Associations). Depending on qualifications, a supplement may be negotiated.

Non-Danish and Danish applicants may be eligible for tax reductions if they hold a PhD degree and have not lived in Denmark for the last 10 years.

The position is covered by the Job Structure for Academic Staff at Universities 2020.


For further information about the position, please contact Associate Professor Thomas Frimurer at For questions regarding the recruitment procedure, please contact HR at

The University of Copenhagen International Staff Mobility office offers support and assistance to all international researchers on all issues related to moving to and settling in Denmark.

Application Procedure

Your online application must be submitted in English via the ‘Apply now’ link below. Furthermore, your application must include the following documents/attachments – all in PDF format:

  • Cover letter expressing the motivation and previous research experience of the applicant (max. one page)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Copy of the PhD degree certificate and the Master’s degree certificate. In case the PhD has not yet been completed, a written statement from the supervisor is acceptable, confirming it will be obtained before January 1, 2024.
  • List of publications
  • References (name and contact details of at least two references)

Application Deadline: June 18, 2023, 23.59pm CET

We reserve the right not to consider material received after the deadline and not to consider applications that do not live up to the abovementioned requirements.

The Further Process
After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the hiring committee. All applicants are then immediately notified whether their application has been passed for assessment by an unbiased assessor. Once the assessment work has been completed, 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

The applicant will be assessed according to Ministerial Order No. 242 of March 13, 2012, on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities.

The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the diversity of society and welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of their personal backgrounds.


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.


Thomas Michael Frimurer


Application deadline: 18-06-2023
Employment start: 01-01-2024
Working hours: Full time
Department/Location: Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research

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