PhD fellowship in Development of Theranostics Targeting the Neuropeptide Y1 Receptor (stipend no 5/6)

Center for Medicinal Chemistry, University of Copenhagen offers six three-year PhD fellowships in medicinal chemistry commencing 1 March 2023 or as soon as possible thereafter. Three of the PhD fellowships are announced at the Faculty of Health and Medicinal Sciences, Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology and three are announced at the Faculty of Science, Department of Chemistry. This call is for one of the positions at the Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology.

Our center and research

The Center for Medicinal Chemistry brings together scientists at UCPH in a dynamic, collaborative-oriented, integrated research and educational environment across the Faculty of Science, the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, other academic institutions as well as the biotech and pharmaceutical industry.

The Center promotes a working culture where the exploration of conceptual ideas goes hand-in-hand with innovation and attention to circularity and sustainability. In an international landscape, the Center pioneers new strategies and search for solutions to urgent medicinal chemistry challenges in society, and address fundamental questions with long-term perspectives. The Center works to strengthen the Medicon Valley region in an international setting.

PhD project: Development of theranostics targeting the neuropeptide Y1 receptor

The neuropeptide (NPY) is a highly abundant peptide ligand in the brain, that can activate all four subtypes of the NPY receptor and is involved in various physiological processes such as food intake, stress response, anxiety, and memory retention. Furthermore, NPY signaling is involved in human diseases such as obesity, mood disorders, and cancers. In this project, we aim to develop a PET tracer that can image the NPY1 receptor (Y1R). Currently, there is not PET tracer available that can image this important target within the brain. When established, we will use this tracer to study its in vivo function and its connection to obesity, mood disorders, and brain cancers. Beside the involvement of Y1R in brain functions, Y1R is also highly overexpressed in gliomas. As such, it makes sense to additionally develop a therapeutic agent at the same time. This project aims as such to study brain related diseased and physiological conditions with new tracers and radioligands.

Supervisors: Associate Professor Matthias Herth, Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology and Professor Knud J. Jensen, Department of Chemistry.

Start
1 March 2023, or soon thereafter

Our department

Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology is committed to research-based teaching and interdisciplinary research that supports the development and understanding of chemical and pharmacological properties of drugs and drug targets. We work as part of a dynamic academic community of research, education and innovation within the Pharmaceutical Sciences bridging Health Sciences and Life Sciences.

Information about the Department can be found at https://drug.ku.dk/

Job description
Your key tasks as a PhD student at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences 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 taking active part in research- and educational organizational initiatives under Center for Medicinal Chemistry
  • A stay at another research environment
  • Obtaining experience with teaching or other types of dissemination related to your PhD project
  • Teaching of undergraduate students in pharmaceutical sciences
  • 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. medicinal chemistry, organic chemistry or peptide chemistry. Please note that your master’s degree must be equivalent to a Danish master’s degree (180 ECTS/3 FTE BSc + 120 ECTS/2 FTE MSc).

Other important criteria are:

  • Professional qualifications relevant to the PhD project
  • Relevant work experience
  • Previous publications
  • The grade point average achieved
  • Other professional activities
  • A curious mind-set with a strong interest in drug discovery and development from bench-to-bedside
  • Language skills

Place of employment

The place of employment is at the Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology, 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 medicinal chemistry and radiopharmaceutical chemistry laboratories as well as imaging facilities.

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 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 to the Graduate School of Health and Medical Sciences.

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.

The PhD student is expected to be affiliated to the graduate programme in pharmaceutical sciences, Drug Research Academy.

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 28,400 DKK/roughly 3,800 EUR (October 2022 level) plus pension.

The PhD fellowship is financed by the Center for Medicinal Chemistry, the Lundbeck Foundation, and TetraKit Technologies.

Application procedure

Your application, in English, must be submitted electronically by clicking “Apply now” below and 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. Applicants with a Master´s degree from abroad should also enclose a short description of the grading scale used

4. Publication list (if possible)

5. Other information to consider: References and recommendations (if possible)

The deadline for applications is Sunday 1 January 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 authorised 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 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 beginning to mid February 2023.

You can read about the recruitment process at https://employment.ku.dk/faculty/recruitment-process/

Questions

For further information, applicants may contact the principal supervisor Matthias Herth, e-mail:  matthias.herth@sund.ku.dk, or PhD coordinator Marianne W. Jørgensen, e-mail: marianne.joergensen@sund.ku.dk, phone: +45 3533 6449.

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/

For more information on working and living in Denmark visit http://ism.ku.dk (International staff mobility) and https://www.workindenmark.dk

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.

Info

Application deadline: 01-01-2023
Employment start: 01-03-2023
Working hours: Full time
Department/Location: Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology
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