Department of Biology, Faculty of Science at
University of Copenhagen is offering
3 PhD scholarships (commencing 1. September
in Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Innovative
Training Networks on
pH and Ion Transport
in Pancreatic Cancer (pHIoniC)
This pHIonic training network is financed by
the European Commission Horizon 2020. The project is a collaboration between 10
academic and 3 industrial partners from 7 European countries. The consortium
brings together highly synergistic expertise in the field of ion transport and
is on pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), which is rising in incidence and
is so far incurable. The programme’s central idea is that the unique pancreatic
microenvironment contributes to disease development and progression. The
programme has a strong grounding in the physiology of acid/base transport in
the exocrine pancreas and it develops new concepts and tools in the cancer
field and beyond. Jointly, pHioniC will map pH landscape in normal and diseased pancreas, characterize the impact
of the acidic microenvironment on PDAC development, and apply
drug/nanocarrier/antibody designs for targeting of tumors. For further details
of the network, please visit https://www.medizin.uni-muenster.de/phionic/home/.
pHioniC will provide training and collaborative
network and structured PhD programme. The training will cover the fields of ion
transport, oncology, imaging, bioinformatics and antibody technology, extensive
transferable skills and personalized training elements. The Department of
Biology team will host 3 PhD students. The three research groups at the
Department of Biology have close collaborations and competencies ranging from
cell-/physiology, in vitro and in vivo model systems to genetics and
bioinformatics. For more information and our homepages start on https://www1.bio.ku.dk/english/staff/.
Project 1 Role of pH and ATP signaling in
normal pancreas and PDAC
function of exocrine pancreas is to secrete bicarbonate-rich fluid necessary
for digestion. Our objective is to test the hypothesis that this process leads
to acidification of extracellular pH, and together with ATP/purinergic
signaling, favors micro-inflammation, epithelial transportome reorganization
and PDAC development. Our aim is to resolve the dynamics and spacial resolution
of pH changes and find the key proteins that are involved in intra- and
intercellular signaling leading to tissue remodellng. Key candidates explored
and pharmacologically tested include proton pumps, potassium channels and ATP
sensitive purinergic receptors. Techniques employed will include
live-cell/organ imaging, cell- and biochemical assays, multicellular organoids
and orthotopic cancer models in mice.
Principal supervisor is Prof. Ivana Novak, Section for Cell Biology and Physiology, email@example.com
, Phone: +45 353-30275
Project 2 Interactions
between microenvironmental acidity and PDAC driver mutations studied in 3D
of the project is to analyze the interplay between acidic conditions and
central PDAC mutations in driving PDAC development. The strategy will include: Organoid cultures of mouse normal
pancreatic ductal cells will be exposed to (a) environmental acidic stress of
varying duration and magnitude and (b) central PDAC driver mutations (inducible
KRAS expression, CRISPR/Cas9 KO and mutation of TP53), alone and in
combination, followed by in-depth phenotype analyses. Together with the PhD
student responsible for Project 3, the student will analyse genotype-phenotype
interactions to understand how acidity and mutations interact in PDAC.
Principal supervisor is Prof. Stine F. Pedersen, Section for Cell Biology and Physiology,
, Phone: +45 353-21546
Project 3 Relation and causality between pH homeostasis
and driver mutation generation in PDAC development
hypothesize that acidic conditions synergize with PDAC mutations to drive PDAC
development. An outstanding question is the causality between the two: are PDAC
driver mutations more easily generated in an acidic environment, or is their
ability to drive PDAC development increased due to the acidity. The experiments
will be based on exposing organoid cultures that carry one, two or none of the
typical PDAC driver mutations to acid conditions, and then assess changes in
RNA response (RNA-seq) and generation of new mutations. This is a collaboration
with project 2 above, which will also assess phenotypes in parallel. The
position is primarily computational, requiring experience in programming,
statistics and bioinformatics.
Principal supervisor is Prof. Albin Sandelin, Section for Computational and RNA Biology, firstname.lastname@example.org
, Phone: +45
we looking for?
Training Networks offer a unique opportunity to get cutting-edge training in a
multidisciplinary environment with a focus on academic and personal development
of the PhD fellows. The supervisors in the network each provide specific
competences and as part of the network you develop your skills and carry out
research both independently and as part of a network of 15 PhD fellows. The
consortium ensures exchange of ideas through network-wide training events,
summer schools and intersectoral secondments. As a PhD fellow in the pHIoniC network, you need to have good
social skills, be innovative and goal-oriented and be willing to conduct the
Applicants should hold, or be close to
completing, an MSc degree in Biology, Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, Biotechnology,
Bioinformatics or related fields, with relevant preparative training. Excellent
command of spoken and written English is required. As criteria for the assessment of your qualifications, emphasis will
also be laid on previous publications (if any) and relevant work experience.
The PhD student will be appointed under a
3-year employment contract with a competitive salary and mobility allowance at
the host institution. The fellow is expected to start on 1. September 2019. The
PhD student will be enrolled in the PhD program of the Faculty of Science,
University of Copenhagen, with the specific intent that it results in a PhD
degree and scientific publications.
The position is available for a 3-year period.
Your key tasks as a PhD student at SCIENCE/pHIoniC network are.
manage and carry through your research project
- Attend PhD courses both within and outside the
- Write scientific articles and your PhD thesis
- Participate in international congresses and pHIoniC network meetings
- Stay at the research institutions abroad for
- Teach and disseminate your research
eligibility criteria for candidates
The applicant may be of any nationality but in order to be eligible for
the positions the following criteria applies to all applicants:
The applicant shall at the time of recruitment be
eligible as an Early Stage Researcher (ESR) by being in the first four years of
his/her research career and not have been awarded a doctoral degree.
The applicant must not have resided or carried out
his/her main activity in the country of the host institute for more than 12
months in the 3 years immediately prior to the recruitment.
recruiting 15 PhD students simultaneously and interested candidates are
encouraged to apply for multiple projects within the network. Read more about
the 15 individual PhD projects on:
Terms of employment
The position is covered by the Memorandum on
Job Structure for Academic Staff.
appointment and payment accord to the agreement between the Ministry of
Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics
in the State.
starting salary is currently at a minimum DKK 322,642 including annual supplement
(+ pension up to DKK 44,567). Negotiation for salary supplement is possible.
application, in English, must be submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW
We consider you to submit your application also to the Network
Coordinator Prof. Albrecht Schwab on email@example.com
. This will
allow you to be considered also for other PhD positions in the network.
Letter, stating which PhD project you are applying for and detailing your
motivation and background for applying for the specific PhD project (max. 2
(max. 2 pages) including a list of publications (if any)
of last degree thesis (1 page)
and transcripts of records (BSc and MSc)
references and full contact details (name, address, telephone & email) of
University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus
welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal
The deadline for applications is 20. February
2019, 23:59 GMT +1.
Applications received after the deadline for applications
will not be considered.
After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized
recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the
Interview Committee. Afterwards an assessment committee will be appointed to evaluate the selected applications.
The applicants will be notified of the composition of the committee and the
final selection of a successful candidate will be made by the Head of
Department, based on the recommendations of the assessment committee and the
The main criterion for selection will be the
research potential of the applicant and the above mentioned skills. The
successful candidate will then be requested to formally apply for enrolment as
a PhD student at the PhD school of Science. You can read more about the recruitment process at http://employment.ku.dk/faculty/recruitment-process/
. General information
about PhD programmes at SCIENCE is available at http://www.science.ku.dk/phd.