Postdoc position in early life human virome

The Capital Region of Copenhagen is looking for Postdoc position in early life human virome

We are seeking a new colleague to join our clinical microbiome research team at Copenhagen Prospective Studies on Asthma in Childhood, COPSAC. We are looking for a postdoc with strong statistical data analysis skills to analyze our large early life human virome dataset in relation to our clinical endpoints. We hope to find a highly motivated candidate with a strong interest in deciphering how the virome could potentially interact with the maturing immune system in the development of childhood disorders.  

In recent years, we have begun to understand the important role of the human microbiome in protecting us from chronic disease. The vast majority of human microbiome research has focused on the bacterial communities inhabiting our bodies, and we have found that the compositions of both gut and airways in the first year of life are important determinants for later asthma and allergy development. However, viruses are at least as abundant as bacteria in the human organism and while only a fraction infect human cells, most, so called bacteriophages, infect bacteria. 

Copenhagen Prospective Studies on Asthma in Childhood (COPSAC), is an internationally renowned research group consisting of approx. 45 employees all dedicated to revealing the causes of childhood asthma, allergy and eczema, as well as other chronic diseases in children. We have extensive data from children on the many aspects of these diseases including symptoms, but also their general health, their genetics, epigenetics, metabolomics and immunological profiles. Our overall goal is that our research will lead to prevention of asthma, allergy and eczema and make a difference for the child.

COPSAC is part of GC-HSP in the Clinical Academic Group (CAG) entitled “Modulating the Infant Microbiome for Disease Prevention”. GCHSP is a new initiative to facilitate translational collaboration between basic scientists at University of Copenhagen and clinical researchers at the hospitals in Greater Copenhagen.

In the COPSAC clinical microbiome group, we work with microbial data from 700 mother-child pairs collected longitudinally from pregnancy up through childhood including samples from the gut, respiratory tract, skin, mothers’ vagina and infants’ bed dust. So far, we have about 7,000 samples characterized with 16S sequencing, and additionally with metagenomics for certain samples.

In the proposed project, the new virome dataset will allow you to evaluate whether the same holds true for viruses and compare these patterns over time to the development of health and disease in children. Interrelatedness between disease associated bacterial compositions and the virome composition will allow for mechanistic insight into whether the virome exerts a direct effect on disease development or only acts through bacterial manipulation, which will be an important part of the project to disentangle.

Your profile:

  • You have a PhD or equivalent research experience in a relevant field.
  • You have an educational background in e.g. biomedicine, human biology, medicine, microbiology, immunology, bioinformatics, biostatistics.
  • You have extensive experience in performing and interpreting statistical analyses in R or equivalent analysis language and have many scalable tools at your disposal, including for multivariate visualization and statistical analysis. You may also have experience with applied machine learning.
  • Experience with statistical analyses of microbiomes from eg. 16S data, metagenomes or even viromes will be an advantage.
  • You have a good understanding of why the early life is especially important for environmental exposures in development of immune mediated diseases.
  • You are curious and passionate and would like to be in the front line, where research makes a difference.
  • You work independently and are able to drive your projects from the idea phase, through data analysis to writing up the results as manuscripts.

As a Postdoc at COPSAC you’ll:

  • Join our clinical microbiome group and contribute with the analysis of our complex clinical and microbiological data
  • Get the opportunity to create your own research profile based on your experience and interests
  • Join a highly qualified team of clinical researchers, microbiologists, bioinformaticians, medical doctors and clinicians
  • Get the support of a large administrative team of data managers, IT support, and fundraising
  • Be part of a well-functioning and inspiring workplace with a sincere and fun atmosphere
  • Get loads of opportunities for bouncing ideas off colleagues and seeking advice

Help make a difference
You will play a crucial role as a postdoctoral fellow in a highly interdisciplinary research environment, which publishes scientific articles in the highest-ranking international journals. We have strong ambitions with plenty of space for sparring and professional development. You will work within a team of colleagues who are all passionate about their work and proud of their achievements. The research group is in the limelight, internationally, and the research topic enjoys great public interest. We have an amazing transnational and informal working environment, characterized by a pleasant atmosphere. 

Are you interested?
If you want to know more about the position, please contact associate professor Jakob Stokholm (+45 38677497) or Marianne Mikkelsen (+45 38673636) or read more about the research center at:

The position is a 2-year project position. Application deadline is December 4th, 2022. Salary and employment will be by agreement and according to current rules in the Capital Region of Denmark.

Click here to apply

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.


Application deadline: 04-12-2022
Working hours: Full time
Department/Location: Herlev Gentofte Hospital i Region Hovedstaden

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