PhD fellowship in Molecular Metabolism University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences Denmark

PhD fellowship in Molecular Metabolism


Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

University of Copenhagen


We are offering a PhD scholarship in Molecular Metabolism commencing on 1 April 2019.


Our group and research

The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research (CBMR) was established in 2010 to conduct fundamental research on metabolism. It is part of the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen. The Center has around 200 employees from all over the world. We moved into new laboratories, offices and meeting rooms in the Maersk Tower in summer 2017. You can read more about us at  


The position available is in the Molecular Metabolism Group headed by Associate Professor Jonas T. Treebak. The research aim in the group is to define the molecular and physiological mechanisms by which dietary compounds, weight loss and physical activity improve insulin sensitivity to prevent and treat T2D. We focus on interrogating the signalling pathways controlling cellular and whole body glucose and lipid homeostasis in cell-based and animal models. Functional genomics, metabolomics, and epigenetics-related methodologies are used to define the physiological role of novel and previously identified candidate genes/proteins linked to T2D and obesity. Detailed metabolic studies are performed to determine the genotype/phenotype interactions and to identify diabetes risk factors as well as mechanisms underlying development of insulin resistance.


Project description

SIRT6 is an NAD+-dependent enzyme involved in a wide range of physiological processes including glucose homeostasis, aging and circadian rhythm. Mice with whole-body knockout of SIRT6 show increased glucose uptake and enhanced insulin signalling. Moreover, it has been demonstrated that SIRT6 regulates glucose homeostasis by suppressing the expression of glucose transporters and multiple glycolytic enzymes. Based on its role in glucose metabolism, SIRT6 can be considered an appealing target for the development of new, effective antidiabetic drugs. However, until very recently, the lack of small-molecule SIRT6 inhibitors has hampered the conduct of in vivo studies to assess the viability of this strategy. The first selective, small-molecule SIRT6 inhibitors were identified using an in silico compound screen, and unpublished observations showed that short-term administration of one specific compound improved glucose tolerance, increased the expression of glucose transporters, and enhanced the glycolytic capacity of skeletal muscle in mice. Moreover, SIRT6 inhibition reduced insulin, triglyceride, and cholesterol levels in plasma. Thus, targeting SIRT6 may be a viable strategy for improving glycaemic control in insulin resistant conditions. The main objective of the present project is to determine the therapeutic potential and the underlying molecular mechanisms of targeting SIRT6 for ameliorating peripheral insulin resistance.


Principal supervisor is Associate Professor Jonas T. Treebak, Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research, email


Start: 1 April 2019

Duration: 3 years as a PhD Fellow


Job description

Your key tasks as a PhD Fellow at SUND are:  

  • Carry through an independent research project under supervision

  • Complete PhD courses or other equivalent education corresponding to approx. 30 ECTS points

  • Participate in active research environments including a stay at another research team

  • Obtain experience with teaching or other types of dissemination related to your PhD project

  • Teach and disseminate your research

  • Write a PhD thesis on the grounds of your project 

Key criteria for the assessment of candidates

Applicants must have qualifications corresponding to a master’s degree related to the subject area of the project e.g., molecular biomedicine, biochemistry, molecular biology etc.


Other important criteria are:

  • The grade point average achieved

  • Professional qualifications relevant to the PhD programme

  • Knowledge on rodent physiology; particularly concerning in vivo and ex vivo metabolic studies using transgenic and knockout mouse models

  • Previous publications

  • Relevant work experience

  • Knowledge in proper experimental planning, power calculations, and statistical evaluation of experimental data

  • Excellent English communication skills, both written and oral 

Place of employment

The place of employment is at Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at University of Copenhagen. We offer creative and stimulating working conditions in a dynamic and international research environment. Our research facilities include modern laboratories, bioinformatics and statistic guidance, and access to big data from multiple cohorts.


Terms of employment

The employment as PhD Fellow is full time and for 3 years. Starting date is 1 April 2019, or after agreement.


The employment as PhD Fellow is conditioned upon the candidate’s successful enrolment in 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 candidate.


The PhD study must be completed in accordance with The Ministerial Order on the PhD programme (2013) and the University’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 begins around 26.886 DKK /approx. 3.584 EUR (October 2018-level) plus pension.



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


International applicants may find the following links useful (International Staff Mobility) and


General information about the PhD programs at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences is available at the Graduate School’s website:


Application procedure

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

  • Motivated letter of application (max. one page)

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

  • A certified/signed copy of Master of Science certificate. If not completed, a certified/signed copy of a recent transcript of records or a written statement from the institution or supervisor will do

  • Publication list (if possible) 

Application deadline: 24 January 2019 at 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 an unbiased assessor has passed their application for assessment.


The assessor makes a non-prioritised 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 can read about the recruitment process at  


The applicant will be assessed according to the Ministerial Order no. 242 of 13 March 2012 on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities.


The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the diversity of society and welcome applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Medicinoxy


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