Postdoc in Energy/metabolic sensing, AMPK signaling

Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research
Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
University of Copenhagen

The University of Copenhagen is seeking a highly motivated and talented postdoctoral fellow to commence October 1, 2021 at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research (CBMR), 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 240 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
We investigate key molecular signaling mechanisms that control energy metabolism and glucose homeostasis associated with exercise, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. We take state of the art and integrated biochemical, genetic, and physiological approaches in collaboration with internationally renowned institutes/investigators all over the world. The research performed by my laboratory during the past years has had a major impact on our molecular understanding of glucose and energy metabolism. See our group page and explore our recent key discoveries:

Project & Job Description
Cellular adaption to nutrient and metabolic stresses such as starvation and exercise are critical for the maintenance of organismal homeostasis. Cells have evolved tightly controlled “intra-cellular signaling systems” capable of sensing, transducing, and interpreting information such that the regulatory machinery can enact a coordinated and timely physiological response. AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is an evolutionarily conserved regulator of energy homeostasis and a promising drug target for treatment of metabolic disorders. We previously identified that a tumour suppressor protein kinase, LKB1, is an upstream regulator for AMPK and demonstrated that the LKB1-AMPK pathway plays a key role in mediating “insulin-independent (energy stress-dependent)” glucose uptake and energy homeostasis in skeletal muscle. We also identified key/novel mechanism of action of small-molecule AMPK activators and provided molecular and physiological insights into their potential utility as tool compounds and future therapeutic applications. The main goal of the project is to investigate the molecular and physiological roles for recently identified post-translational modifications (phosphorylation) within the regulatory subunit of AMPK. We will undertake both in vitro and in vivo approaches (e.g. using originally generated phospho-deficient knock-in mouse models) in collaboration with world-leading groups in the AMPK field.

Your key tasks include:

  • Detailed biochemical analysis of purified AMPK trimeric complex (wild-type and mutants) in the presence or absence of various agonists.
  • General and specific metabolic characterizations/phenotyping of the novel AMPK genetic mouse models (as well as drug intervention studies).
  • Contributions to high-standard organization of data, sample and material management

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 Biology, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Molecular Biomedicine, or related sciences
  • Excellent scientific track record in relation to career stage (at least one first authored publication in an internationally recognised peer-reviewed journal)
  • Profound knowledge on energy metabolism, protein kinase regulation/signalling, enzymology and biochemical assays
  • Experience with preclinical studies is a plus 
  • Capable of working in a team, but able to plan and drive work independently
  • 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 PhD degree has to be obtained before October 1, 2021. 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, 2021.
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 Kei Sakamoto 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 confirming it will be obtained before October 1, 2021 is acceptable.
  • List of publications
  • References (name and contact details of at least two references)

Application Deadline: April 19, 2021, 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.


Kei Sakamoto


Application deadline: 19-04-2021
Employment start: 01-10-2021
Working hours: Full time
Department/Location: Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research
Content not available due to cookie preferences

You cannot see the content of this field because of your cookie preferences.

Click here to change your cookie settings.

Category: Marketing

Search all vacancies