PhD fellowship in Section for Pathobiological Sciences

We are offering a PhD fellowship in cardiac organoids commencing 1 September 2022 or as soon as possible after.

Our group and research
The candidate will be part of the research group Excitable Cells and Biomechanics, IVH, UCPH led by main supervisor associate professor Kirstine Callø. The group is specialized in cardiac electrophysiology. Co-supervisor associate professor Kristine Freude is head of the Disease Stem Cell Models and Embryology research group, IVH, UCPH and in an expert in stem cell technology. Co-supervisor associate professor Johan Ulrik Lind, Tailored Materials and Tissues, Department of Health Technology and Biomimetics, Technical University of Denmark (DTU) has pioneered the use of multi-material 3D printing for generating complex cardiac tissue models.

Project description

The vast majority of stem cell-derived cardiac tissue models and organoids are based on human cell models. As the access to native human cardiac tissue is restricted, validation of hiPSC-CM is challenged and the predictive value of the hiPSC-CM based assays questionable. Pigs and dogs have served as the key large-animal test models for preclinical cardiac efficacy and toxicity for decades. We thus have access to a rich and varied data set that includes both safe and un-safe compounds. Matching whole-animal and ex vivo data against iPSC-based in vitro assays derived from the same species provides an appealing route toward validating organoid assays in general and thereby reduce and replace experimental animals.

Our core goal to establish 3D bio-printed porcine and canine cardiac organoids on gel-coated MEAs is broken down into three key objectives:

  1. Establish canine and porcine iPSCs and optimize a cardiomyocyte differentiation protocols.
  2. We will develop a procedure for 3D bio-printing anisotropic porcine and canine cardiac organoids directly onto gel-coated commercially available multiple electrode arrays (MEA) chips.
  3. We will apply MEA electrodes for electrically stimulating tissue contractions to accelerate maturation, and will optimize gel composition, mechanics and thickness for enabling long-term, contractile maturation.
  4. The MEAs are applied for quantitative assessment of tissue-level arrhythmic events in response to pharmaceutical treatments and results will be bench marked against results from native canine and porcine hearts.

Principal supervisor is associate professor Kirstine Callø, Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, UCPH E-mail, KirstineC@sund.ku.dk  Direct Phone: 61666402.

Start:                  1 September 2022 or as soon as possible after

Duration:            3 years as a PhD student

Job description
Your key tasks as a PhD student at SUND are:

  • Carrying through an independent research project under supervision.
  • Completing PhD courses or other equivalent education corresponding to approximately 30 ECTS points.
  • Participating in active research environments including a stay at another research team.
  • Obtaining experience with teaching or other types of dissemination related to your PhD project
  • Teaching and disseminating your knowledge.
  • Writing a PhD thesis on the grounds of your project

Key criteria for the assessment of applicants
Applicants must have qualifications corresponding to a master’s degree related to the subject area of the project, e.g. Biotechnology or Veterinarian science. Please note that your master’s degree must be equivalent to a Danish master’s degree (two years).

Other important criteria are:

  • The grade point average achieved
  • Professional qualifications relevant to the PhD project, including experience with generation of iPSC,  differentiation and cell culturing
  • Previous publications
  • Relevant work experience
  • Other professional activities
  • A curious mind-set with a strong interest in stem cell technology, bioprinting and electrophysiology
  • Language skills

Place of employment

The place of employment is at the Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen. We offer creative and stimulating working conditions in dynamic and international research environment. Our research facilities include modern laboratories and state-of-the-art equipment.

Terms of employment
The average weekly working hours are 37 hours per week.

The position is a fixed-term position limited to a period of 3 years. The start date is 01.06.2022 or as soon as possible after.

The employment is conditioned upon the applicant’s success­ful enrolment as a PhD student at the Graduate School at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen. This requires submission and acceptance of an application for the specific project formulated by the applicant.  

The PhD study must be completed in accordance with The Ministerial Order on the PhD programme (2013) and the Faculty’s rules on achieving the degree.

Salary, pension and terms of employment are in accordance with the agree­ment between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State. Depending on seniority, the monthly salary starts at approximately 27,800 DKK/Roughly 3,700 EUR (October 2021 level) plus pension.

Questions
For specific information about the PhD fellowship, please contact the principal supervisor.

General information about PhD studies at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences is available at the Graduate School’s website: https://healthsciences.ku.dk/phd/guidelines/

Application procedure
Your application must be submitted electronically by clicking ‘Apply now’ below. The application must include the following documents in PDF format: 

1. Motivated letter of application (max. one page)

2. CV incl. education, experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position

3. Certified copy of original Master of Science diploma and transcript of records in the original language, including an authorized English translation if issued in other language than English or Danish. If not completed, a certified/signed copy of a recent transcript of records or a written statement from the institution or supervisor is accepted. As a prerequisite for a PhD fellowship employment, your master’s degree must be equivalent to a Danish master’s degree. We encourage you to read more in the assessment database: https://ufm.dk/en/education/recognition-and-transparency/find-assessments/assessment-database. Please note that we might ask you to obtain an assessment of your education performed by the Ministry of Higher Education and Science

4. Publication list (if possible)

Application deadline:  Sunday 22 May 2022, 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.

The assessor makes a non-prioritized assessment of the academic qualifications and experience with respect to the above-mentioned area of research, techniques, skills and other requirements listed in the advertisement.

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 find information about the recruitment process at: https://employment.ku.dk/faculty/recruitment-process/

The applicants 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 25 and 26

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

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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.

Contact

Kirstine Callø

Info

Application deadline: 22-05-2022
Employment start: 01-09-2022
Working hours: Full time
Department/Location: Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences

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