Postdoc in newborn infectious diseases and therapeutics

We seek to appoint a highly motivated and dynamic postdoctoral researcher interested in immunology and the development of novel therapeutics for infected newborns (both infants and animals). The candidate should have a strong background in immunology or biomedicine, and research experience in animal models of infectious/inflammatory diseases and cellular/molecular analyses. The successful candidate will be employed at the research group in Cellular and Molecular Pediatrics, section for Comparative Pediatrics and Nutrition, Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences. This is a fixed 27 months position (with possibility of extension) to commence on 1 September 2023 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Information on the research group can be found at:

Information on the section can be found at:

Our research

The research group in Cellular and Molecular Pediatrics (CMP) is one among the three interconnected research groups in the Section of Comparative Pediatrics and Nutrition. The section is a highly international, diverse and interdisciplinary environment, performing translational research and teaching related to physiology, immunology, microbiology, nutrition and diseases in both laboratory animals and human infants and children. The work extends from basic in vitro studies in cells and tissues (gut cell lines, primary blood and immune cells, and tissues with various analytical techniques and omics technologies), to animal model studies (mainly in piglets) and intervention and cohort studies in infants at hospitals (exploring growth, gut, brain, immunity and microbiome).

In the specific CMP research group, we focus on 1) impact of perinatal complications (preterm birth, pre- and post-natal infection and inflammation) on immune development in early life, 2)  Host, nutritional status and microbe interactions to determine health in early life, 3) Immune and metabolic mechanisms in neonatal infectious diseases (i.e., neonatal sepsis, necrotizing enterocolitis-NEC) and novel therapeutic approaches. Our research platforms and tools are based on 1) preterm pig model of neonatal sepsis and NEC, 2) observational studies in human preterm infant cohorts, 3) multi-omic analyses (transcriptomics, proteomics, gut microbiome), 4) External collaborations with Danish and international hospitals/research centers working with newborn infants, neonatal mice and preterm lambs.

Project description and Your job

This postdoctoral position will be a part of the project grant in clinical and translational medicine, funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation. The overall aim of the project is to explore novel nutritional and pharmacological interventions (including vaccines) as therapies for neonatal sepsis. Every year, millions of newborn infants, especially those born prematurely, die due to infection during the first month of life. Our group has previously found that there is an interplay between immunity and systemic metabolism to determine the immune response and clinical outcomes (sepsis with organ dysfunctions) in infected newborns ( We also found that the standard nutritional practice in neonatal intensive care units may predispose to high risks of life-threatening sepsis in infants with suspected infection. Using a well-established animal model of neonatal sepsis in infected preterm pigs, the project will explore novel interventions that can prevent infected newborns from sepsis. A part of the project will be a clinical trial in preterm infants. The project will be a close collaboration with Prof. Søren Skov (University of Copenhagen), Prof. Tobias Kollmann (Telethon Kids Institute), and M.D. Assoc. Prof. Lise Aunsholt (Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen University Hospital).

The current position will mainly focus on animal studies and laboratory analyses within this project, including animal study execution, various tissues analyses (FACS, qPCR, transcriptomics and metabolomics). Omics analysis will get support from bioinformaticians and commercial services. Depending on the interest and ambition, the candidate can also be involved in immunometabolic analyses using in vitro immune cell studies and a clinical trial in preterm infants.

Beside the fixed tasks within the project, the candidate is also expected to be involved in teaching, supervision of PhD/master students, as well as laboratory support to other activities of the section.

We are looking for highly motivated and enthusiastic scientists with the following essential experience and skills:

Essential experience and skills:

  • You have a PhD degree within Medicine, Biomedicine, Human Biology, Immunology, Infectious diseases, or related area
  • You are experienced in working with in vivo animal models, preferably models of infectious/inflammatory diseases
  • You have strong laboratory-based skills related to molecular biology, microbiology, immunology and metabolism.
  • You have experience with laboratory supervision
  • You have a strong international publication record within the field
  • Experience with omics analyses (transcriptomics, metabolomics), handling big data analysis and bioinformatics is a plus

General desirable experience and skills:

  • Curious mindset with a strong interest in neonatal health
  • You are well-organized, self-motivated, result-oriented and capable of working independently in a collaborative setting
  • You have strong analytical communication and computer skills
  • Proficiency in spoken and written English, communication skills and ability to work in teams
  • You have experience in coordination of research projects and scientific interaction
  • You have experience with project management
  • Experience in working with infected human patients is a plus
  • Experience in working with neonatal animal models is a plus
  • Experience with national/international grant applications is a plus

Place of employment

The place of employment is at Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, University of Copenhagen. You should be willing to work time at the labs of collaborating research partners nationally and/or internationally.  We offer creative and stimulating working conditions in dynamic and international research environment. Our research facilities include modern laboratories and animal facilities and a close connection to national and international hospitals.

Terms of employment

The employment as postdoc is a full time (37 hours per week) and fixed-term position for 27 months (with possibility of extension). Starting date is 1 September 2023 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 33,600 DKK/ approx. 4,480 Euro (April 2018-level). Depending on qualifications, a supplement may be negotiated. The employer will pay an additional 17.1 % to your pension fund.

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 position is covered by the “Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff at the Universities” of 2020.

For further information please contact Associate Professor Duc Ninh Nguyen;

Foreign 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:

  1. Motivated letter of application (max. one page).
  2. CV incl. education, work/research experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position.
  3. A certified/signed copy of a) PhD certificate and b) Master of Science certificate. If the PhD is not completed, a written statement from the supervisor will do.
  4. List of publications.

Application deadline:  Sunday 16 April 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 the Ministerial Order no. 242 of 13 March 2012 on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities.

Interviews are expected to be held in week 21 and 22.

The University of Copenhagen wish to reflect the diversity of society and encourage all qualified candidates to apply 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.


Duc Ninh Nguyen


Application deadline: 16-04-2023
Employment start: 01-09-2023
Working hours: Full time
Department/Location: Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences

Search all vacancies