Postdoc in gut microbial regulation of peripheral serotonin

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 Microbiome Systems Biology research group led by Associate Professor Mani Arumugam investigates how health and diseases are influenced by our gut microbiome, how the gut microbiome interacts with the host and environmental factors, and how we can therapeutically modulate the gut microbiome to improve metabolic health. The group takes an interdisciplinary approach combining multi-omics microbiome data to study host-microbial cross-talk. The group also investigates therapeutic approaches to modulate the gut microbiome towards improving metabolic health.

Our research group is international (representing 6 countries), mobile (studied/worked on average in 2.5 countries), interdisciplinary (molecular biologists, MDs, bioinformaticians, computer scientists), gender-balanced (50:50) and emphasizes teamwork. We also have a strong international collaborative network of world-leading microbiome researchers.

More information about the group can be found at

Job Description

In this post-doctoral project, we aim to elucidate gut bacterial regulation of peripheral serotonin production in the gut, and thereby regulation of host metabolism. This cross-disciplinary project brings together three research groups in the Center with expertise in microbiome research (Arumugam group), cellular metabolism (Schwartz group) and metabolomics (Moritz group) to answer a key question in regulation of peripheral serotonin biosynthesis. We strive to identify specific gut bacteria and their metabolites that regulate peripheral serotonin biosynthesis as therapeutic targets for metabolic disorders.

Your tasks will be to:

  • Perform in vitro cultures of individual gut microbial strains as well as complex communities
  • Characterize mouse intestinal enterochromaffin cells and their serotonin production (in collaboration with Schwartz group)
  • Characterize exometabolites produced by microbial mono- and complex cultures (in collaboration with Moritz group)
  • Communicate results in peer-reviewed journals and international conferences

We also expect you to manage the active collaboration with members of the three research groups.


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.

Required qualifications:

  • PhD in Biology, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Molecular Biomedicine, or related sciences
  • Hands-on experience in culturing microbes, preferably anaerobic microorganisms
  • Excellent scientific track record in relation to career stage
  • Strong track record working in a collaborative environment
  • Excellent English communication skills, both written and oral

Preferred qualifications:

  • Experience with animal cell cultures is highly desirable
  • Profound knowledge of metabolomic analysis and metabolomic data processing is highly desirable


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 Associate Professor Mani Arumugam 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.


Mani Arumugam


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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