Postdoc position the metabolic dynamics of glucose-stimulated insulin secretion in pancreatic β-cells, Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
University of Copenhagen

We are looking for a highly motivated and dynamic postdoc with interest in metabolic research of pancreatic β-cells to start 1 June 2020 or after agreement.

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 Novo Nordisk Foundation has financed the Center through two generous grants. The latest, in 2018, has allowed the Center to develop and expand its five enabling biology and technology platforms. The Center has around 200 employees from all over the world who work in a highly collaborative research environment across a range of biomedical disciplines. You can read more about us here:

Our group and research
The position available is in the Moritz Group, headed by Professor Thomas Moritz, which  uses metabolomics approaches to understand the role of metabolites in controlling different aspects of metabolism in humans

Project Description
The overall aim for the postdoctoral fellow is to dynamic model the metabolome in pancreatic β-cells during glucose-stimulated insulin secretion.

The background to the project is the following. The task of fully functional β-cells is to sense the circulating levels of nutrients, mainly postprandial glucose, and release the correct amount of insulin to control whole body metabolism. However, the exact mechanism underlying this sensing, a.k.a metabolic coupling, is not fully understood. This is an impediment to understand β-cell dysfunction in T2D-subjects. It has been shown that the triggering of insulin secretion is largely driven by mitochondria-derived ATP. An increased ATP/ADP-ratio, as a result of oxidative metabolism, will close ATP-sensitive K+-channels, which leads to a depolarization of the plasma membrane, and consequently opening of voltage-gated Ca2+-channels. The subsequent influx of Ca2+ triggers secretion of insulin. However, other metabolic coupling factors (MCFs) have also been suggested to be part of the triggering and amplification of insulin secretion. In current project we will identify those metabolic coupling factors. The objectives for the postdoctoral fellow are the following:

  1. set up methodology for studying the metabolic dynamics of glucose-stimulated insulin secretion in pancreatic β-cells 
  2. identify metabolic pathways and metabolites responsible for triggering and amplification of glucose-stimulated insulin secretion
  3. validate the importance of the novel metabolic coupling factors.

We are looking for a highly motivated and enthusiastic scientist with the following competencies and qualifications:

The ideal candidate combines:

  • PhD in cell biology, biochemistry or other subject related areas
  • Research experience in cell culture of pancreatic β-cell models 
  • Research experience in studying metabolic control of pancreatic β-cells
  • Scientific thinking outside the normal “box”
  • Ability to collaborate in a cross-disciplinary environment and to communicate with scientists of various scientific backgrounds
  • Highly motivated and prepared to drive its own research
  • Shown outstanding scientific research record in related field
  • Experience in writing and applying for research grants
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English                                                                                       

Terms of employment
The postdoc position is a full-time position for 3 years. Starting date is June 1, 2020 or after agreement.

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). ). Currently, the monthly salary starts at 34,360 DKK/ approx. 4,590 Euro (October 2019-level). 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.

The positions are covered by the “Memorandum the Job Structure of Academic Staff at Universities" of 11 December 2019.

For further information about the position, please contact Professor Thomas Moritz at For questions regarding the recruitment procedure, please contact SUND HR CBMR at

International applicants may find this link useful:  (International Staff Mobility).

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

  • Motivated letter of application (max. one page)
  • Curriculum vitae (maximum of 2 pages; your ORCID must be included)
  • Full list of publications (journal impact factors at publication date must be included)
  • References (name and contact details of at least two references)       

Application deadline: 19 February 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 applicants will be assessed according to the Ministerial Order no. 242 of 13 March 2012 on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities.

The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the diversity of society and welcome applications from all qualified candidates regardless of 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.


Thomas Moritz


Application deadline: 19-02-2020
Employment start: 01-06-2020
Working hours: Full time
Department/Location: Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research

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