Postdoc in "GenoChild: Gene-based optimization of diagnosis, treatment and prevention of childhood obesity"

at Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research

University of Copenhagen


The University of Copenhagen seeks a highly motivated and talented postdoctoral fellow to commence October 1, 2020 at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research, University of Copenhagen.

The postdoctoral fellowship is part of the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research International Postdoctoral 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 metabolic 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, offices and meeting rooms in the Maersk Tower

The Center has around 200 employees who work in an international, highly collaborative research environment across a range of biomedical disciplines. You can read more about us here:

Our Research
The postdoc position is in the Genomic Physiology and Translation Group headed by Professor Torben Hansen. The research group investigates the human genome and the human global microbiome to characterize the impact of these genomes on health and disease. The findings can lead to potent translational strategies for prevention and treatment of metabolic disease. You can read more about the Hansen Group at

The projects in the Hansen Group are interdisciplinary and often in close collaboration with both national and international partners.

Job Description

Childhood obesity is a major health challenge associated with several comorbidities (e.g. dyslipidemia, hypertension, insulin resistance, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and type 2 diabetes (T2D)), which often tracks into adulthood, resulting in severe long-term consequences. Childhood obesity is a multifactorial disorder with a strong genetic component. Estimates of the heritability of BMI (the proportion of phenotypic variance of BMI, which is attributable to genetic factors) range between 47-90%. The precipitation of cardiometabolic comorbidities among obese children is likely due to the combined genetic effect of obesity and tissue and cell type specific other risk variants, i.e. risk variants for T2D or NAFLD. Recent studies suggest that polygenic risk scores (PRS) that integrate effects of a very large number of variants, including many that lack significant genomewide associations, can identify individuals with extreme levels of risk for disease, including obesity and T2D. Our ambition is to define tissue and cell type specific PRS to identify the subset of obese children who are i) at highest risk of progression to type 2 diabetes and ii) at highest risk of developing NAFLD. Furthermore, we will examine whether these children respond satisfactorily to a structured lifestyle intervention. The project focus on translation of information from tissue specific single cell RNA profiling and single cell ATAC seq to generate cell type specific PRS. The generated PRS will be examined in more than 6,000 deep phenotyped and genotyped children followed at the Pediatric Department of Holbæk University Hospital. Co-mentors will be Associate Professor and Group Leader at CBMR, Tune Pers and Chief Physician, Jens-Christian Holm, Holbæk University Hospital.


The 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 metabolic research with an application towards human pathophysiology.

Required qualifications:

  • PhD in Bioinformatics, Biology, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Molecular Biomedicine, or related sciences
  • Excellent scientific track record in relation to career stage
  • Profound knowledge of bioinformatics, biostatistics and/or computer science
  • Knowledge of metabolic disease, especially cardiometabolic traits related to obesity
  • Excellent English communication skills, both written and oral


The CBMR International Postdoctoral Program is 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 full-time research experience from outside Denmark. 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 October 1, 2020.

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 the last 10 years.


For further information about the position, please contact Professor Torben Hansen at Questions regarding the CBMR International Postdoctoral Program must be directed to 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. Read more at

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 1 page)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Copy of the PhD degree certificate and the Master degree certificate. In case the PhD has not yet been completed, a written statement from the supervisor is acceptable.
  • List of publications
  • References (name and contact details of at least two references)

Application Deadline: March 22, 2020, 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 the 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 background.


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.


Torben Hansen


Application deadline: 22-03-2020
Employment start: 01-10-2020
Working hours: Full time
Department/Location: Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research

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