Postdoctoral Fellowship on Phase Separation in Amyloid Protein Systems

Website University of Copenhagen

Department of Pharmacy – Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences -University of Copenhagen

A two-year postdoctoral fellowship on liquid-liquid phase separation in amyloid systems is available from December 1st, 2021 at the Department of Pharmacy at the University of Copenhagen (UCPH) in Denmark.

The Department of Pharmacy at the University of Copenhagen is devoted to research and research-based teaching in drug formulation and manufacturing, drug-related analytical and physical chemistry, drug metabolism, chemical toxicology and medicines use. The Department plays a key role in advancing the pharmaceutical sciences in Denmark and internationally. The scientific and teaching objectives of the Department encompass the areas of Pharmaceutical Technology and Engineering; Advanced Drug Analysis; Pharmaceutical Design and Drug Delivery; Biologics; and Clinical and Social Pharmacy. Read more about Department of Pharmacy at http://pharmacy.ku.dk/

Project overview and job description

Biomolecular self-assembly is a key process in physics and chemistry and rules the correct functioning of living systems. In addition, many of the most prevalent human neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimers and Parkinsons, are characterised by the presence of so-called amyloid aggregates in the brain, which are the result of protein self-assembly. Several of the proteins identified in amyloid aggregates have been shown to undergo a process called liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS). The project aims to study intra and inter protein interactions that initiate LLPS in intrinsically disordered protein (IDP) systems using small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and neutron scattering (NS), combined with microscopy and fluorescence techniques. The project is funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation and is a collaboration between Associate Professor Vito Foderà (Department of Pharmacy) and Associate Professor Annette Eva Langkilde (Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology).

The Postdoc´s duties will primarily include research, including obligations with regard to publication/scientific communication, grant writing, PhD and MSc students co-supervisions within the area of protein biophysics, and research-based teaching.

The successful applicant will specifically work on 1) developing robust experimental protocols for the analysis of IDP systems in conditions initiating LLPS at different length and time scales and 2) realizing in-house software for the advanced analysis of the generated data. Together with researchers in our international team, the successful applicant will report novel insights on the physical laws regulating the complex phenomenon of LLPS. He/she will work closely with another Postdoc focusing on the development of advanced microscopy approaches to study liquid-to-solid transition in IDP systems. We strive for excellence, and in this interdisciplinary field both out-of-the-box ideas and collaborative skills are important.

Required Qualifications

In connection with the appointment special importance will be attached to the applicant having the professional and personal qualifications stated below:

  • Documented scientific qualifications such as a Ph.D. or equivalent in physics, chemistry, biology, nanotechnology, (bio)physics, (bio)chemistry or related areas.
  • At least one first-author publication in respectable peer-review international journals.
  • Excellent English speaking, reading and writing skills.
  • Creativity and ability to be both team-oriented and independent
  • Capability of working at the interface between different disciplines
  • Embrace of an international research environment

Preferred Qualifications

We are looking for a highly motivated, academic-oriented scientist with the attitude towards quantitative analysis of the experimental data. The ideal candidate should also have a strong background in/hands-on research experience within one or several of the fields mentioned below:

  • Protein science and biophysical characterization of protein samples
  • Small angle X-ray and neutron scattering (experiments and advanced data analysis)
  • Microscopy-based techniques
  • Protein expression and purification
  • Coding (e.g. Python)

Highly motivated and ambitious candidates are encouraged to apply. Solid experience and an excellent track record gained in the field of protein science and X-ray and neutron sciences will be considered a distinct advantage. We encourage all the qualified individuals- regardless of their personal background and status – to apply.

Questions

For further information, please contact Associate Professor Vito Foderà (vito.fodera@sund.ku.dk, tel. +45 35336131).

Foreign applicants may find this link useful: www.ism.ku.dk (International Staff Mobility).

Terms of employment

Salary, pension and terms of employment will be in accordance with the agreement between the Danish Ministry of Finance and AC (Danish Confederation of Professional Associations). Currently, the monthly salary starts at 34,900 DKK/ approx. 4,690 Euro (April 2021-level). Depending on qualifications, a supplement may be negotiated. The employer will pay an additional 17.1 % to your pension fund.

Non-Danish and Danish applicants may be eligible for tax reductions, if they hold a PhD degree and have not lived in Denmark the last 10 years.

The position is covered by the “Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff at the Universities” of June 28, 2013.

As an equal opportunities employer, the University of Copenhagen encourages all qualified applicants to apply, regardless of gender, age, religion and ethnic origin. The period of employment as postdoc will be limited to 2 years.

Application

Applications should include the following parts:

1) Application in the form of a cover letter indicating the motivation, interest in and qualifications for the project (max. 2 pages).

2) Curriculum vitae, including the names, e-mails, telephone numbers and addresses of at least 2 referees.

3) Recommendation letters (max. 2).

4) Copies of relevant diplomas (e.g. education, teaching and additional research qualifications)

5) A complete list of publications indicating articles relevant to the position, including copies of these articles (max. 5)

The parts must be clearly labeled with the above-mentioned numbers. Send your application with the above mentioned appendices electronically by clicking the ´Apply online´ below. We only accept electronic applications.

Deadline for application is September 5th 2021 at 11:59 PM CET. Applications received after the deadline, not using the online application form, or not including the required documents will not be considered.

Application procedure

After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Appointments Committee. All applicants are then immediately notified whether their application has been passed for assessment by an expert assessment committee. Selected applicants are notified of the composition of the committee and each applicant has the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that relates to the applicant him/herself. You can read about the recruitment process at http://employment.ku.dk

Selected candidates will be called for interviews that will be held by the end of September/beginning of October 2021. An answer as to the granting of the fellowship can be expected soon after the interviews.

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