PhD fellowship in Uncovering mechanisms of cachexia and insulin resistance in patients with lung cancer at the Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Copenhagen

A PhD position is available in the group Molecular Metabolism in Cancer and Ageing at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. The position is available from March 1st 2023, or a mutually agreed date. Very motivated and committed candidates with a medical degree (Lægevidenskabelig Embedseksamen) with working experience (but not yet board certified specialist) in endocrinology, oncology or any other relevant subspecialty are invited to apply.

The employment as Ph.D. fellow is full time and for 3 years. The position is fully funded and is conditioned upon the applicant’s successful enrollment 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 project

While often overlooked, metabolic dysfunction is a comorbidity of many types of cancer. Disruption of glucose metabolism and insulin resistance in cancer is concerning as they are strongly associated with reduced survival and a higher cancer recurrence rate. Furthermore, cancer patients with loss of muscle mass (cachexia) have an increased risk of multiple adverse outcomes, including decreased survival.

For this PhD fellowship we are looking for a candidate that will engage in three research studies that as a whole will bring new insight to the metabolic and endocrine dysfunction in patients with cancer cachexia, all being patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treated with palliative and life-prolonging intend at the Department of Oncology at Rigshospitalet. This population has a median age of 71 years, some with pronounced comorbidity, but all with a performance status that allows for anticancer treatment (PS0-2).

Supervision                                                                                                                    

Principal supervisor is Associate Professor Lykke Sylow and you will work closely together with Jonas Sørensen, who has great clinical experience with the patients and their treatment plans.

Start                                                                                                                                         

March 1st 2023 or soon thereafter

Job description                                                                                                                       

Your key tasks as a PhD student at are:

  • Plan, execute and evaluate independent research under supervision
  • Complete PhD courses or equivalent education corresponding to 30 ECTS points
  • Teach pre-graduate students
  • Disseminate your research orally and written
  • Write a PhD thesis on the grounds of your project

Criteria for the assessment of candidates

We evaluate the candidates primarily based on the following criteria.

We are looking for an exceptional candidate who

  • is driven by curiosity and desire to know more about the biomedical aspects and molecular changes that is believed to drive the pathophysiology in cancer cachexia
  • will learn and perform hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamp, including taking muscle and fat biopsies, in the Human Lab at the Panum Institute
  • can show a great ability to collaborate, and contribute to a dynamic, strong, and inclusive working environment
  • will be comfortable to work with patients with incurable cancer, to engage and follow them through their treatment trajectory and encourage them to spend precious time in a research study
  • has a positive and empathic attitude and enjoy direct contact with patients

Place of employment                                                                                                               

The place of employment is at Department of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen. We offer creative and stimulating working conditions in a dynamic and international research environment. Our research facilities include state-of-the-art laboratories supported by several core facilities.

Terms of employment

Employment as PhD fellow is full time and for maximum 3 years. Employment is conditional upon your successful enrolment as a PhD student at the PhD 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 terms of employment and salary are in accordance to the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State (AC).

Contact

Lykke Sylow

E-mail: Lykkesylow@sund.ku.dk

Jonas Sørensen

E-mail: Jonas.soerensen@sund.ku.dk

The team

We are an interdisciplinary and dynamic team of ambitious and friendly scientists at the pre- and post-doctoral level. Currently the team includes 4 PhD students, 4 postdocs, and 1 lab tech. We have a large collaborative international and national network that helps nurture the group’s talent and the impact of our research.

Our research

Our research in the Molecular Metabolism in Cancer and Ageing Group strives to identify mechanisms that, at the molecular level, regulate muscle mass, function, and metabolism. With muscle wasting and insulin resistance being central features of cancer, ageing, and diabetes, we are uncovering the etiology of these conditions at the molecular level by studying cells, mice, and humans. In particular, we focus on how muscle wasting and metabolic abnormalities can be improved or even reversed by exercise training. We are highly engaged in interdisciplinary research, linking clinical research in aging and cancer with molecular biology, biochemistry, and physiology.

Our vision

is to improve the quality of life of the elderly and patients suffering from cancer.

In the Molecular Metabolism in Cancer and Ageing Group, we strive for excellence, equity, diversity and inclusion. We welcome any background, race, gender, age, religion, and identity. We celebrate multiple approaches and points of view. Inclusion is how we unleash the power of diversity. Diversity is a prerequisite for innovation and excellence. We are committed to fostering belonging and empowerment at work for all.

Questions                                                                                                                                 

For specific questions relating to the PhD project, please contact the principal supervisor Associate Professor Lykke Sylow Lykkesylow@sund.ku.dk and MD Jonas Sørensen jonas.soerensen@sund.ku.dk. General information about PhD programs at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences is available at the Graduate School’s website https://healthsciences.ku.dk/phd/

Application and Assessment Procedure                                                                               

Your online application including all attachments must be in English and submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.

Please include:

  • Motivated letter of application (max. one page)
  • Curriculum vitae focused on the assessment criterias outlines above. Include information about your education, laboratory experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position. Please include a photo.
  • 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.
  • Publication list (if possible)
  • Contact information on two-three references

Application deadline

Application deadline is December 10th 2022.We will not consider material received after the deadline, and will not to consider applications that do not live up to the abovementioned requirements.

After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the 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.

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 January 2023.

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.

 

APPLY NOW

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

Lykke Sylow

Info

Application deadline: 10-12-2022
Employment start: Start as soon as possible
Working hours: Full time
Department/Location: Department of Biomedical Sciences

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