Post Doc in Outer Membrane Vesicles, Host Defense Peptides and Host-Pathogen Interactions
University of Copenhagen Department of Pharmacy

Postdoc Position in Outer Membrane Vesicles, Host Defense Peptides and Host-Pathogen Interactions

The Department of Pharmacy is offering a two-year postdoctoral fellowship to investigate the interplay between antimicrobial host defence peptides and bacterial or human outer membrane vesicles, and to investigate their potential for targeted drug delivery. The project will be carried out within the recently established LEO Foundation Center for Cutaneous Drug Delivery (LFCCDD), which integrates several disciplines, including molecular biology, immunology, microbiology, physical chemistry, peptidomics and pharmaceutics, to perform state-of-the-art research and to create innovative solutions within cutaneous drug delivery of both small and large molecules.

The successful applicant will be a member of the Novel Biological Models group and will have the opportunity for cross-disciplinary research in collaboration with the other sections of the Center as well as external collaborators.

The fellowship is available from the 1st of April 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Project description

Antibiotic resistance development in bacteria has become an increasing issue in human medicine, animal husbandry and agriculture. As more antibiotics have become ineffective, focus has shifted towards alternative antimicrobial therapies such as host defence peptides (HDPs), which may not only kill a broad spectrum of microbes, including multi-resistant strains, but also modulate host inflammatory responses.

Bacterial and host membrane vesicles (MVs) play important roles during infection. Whereas host MVs are released in response to bacteria and may bind and neutralise bacterial toxins, bacterial MVs may counteract detrimental host responses, bind and disable various antibiotics, and may play a role in antibiotic resistance. However, the interaction between MVs and HDPs is unknown. Therefore, in this project we will focus on understanding the interplay between HDPs and MVs during infection. Additionally, we will study specificity of MVs, to explore their potential for targeted delivery of antimicrobials.

The successful candidate will be a member of the Novel Biological Models group within the LEO Foundation Center for Cutaneous Drug Delivery and will work in close collaboration with a PhD student, who will be hired at the same time. This project, which is funded by the Carlsberg Foundation, will be divided into two subprojects: HDP interactions with 1) human MVs or 2) bacterial MVs. Depending on previous experience, the postdoc will be in charge of one of these parts while the PhD student will work on the other.

Your job

Your key tasks as a postdoc at the Faculty are to:

  • Develop, optimise and evaluate methods to study MV release and MV-HDP interactions 
  • Write scientific manuscripts on the grounds of your research results
  • Participate in Center activities
  • Participate in national and international conferences and scientific meetings
  • Participate in teaching activities at the department
  • Co-supervise PhD and MSc students 


We are looking for a highly motivated and enthusiastic scientist with the following competencies and experience:

Essential experience and skills:

  • You have obtained a relevant PhD degree prior to the starting date
  • You are highly experienced in in vitro techniques within microbiology/immunology, and molecular biology
  • You are experienced in fluorescence, confocal and/or electron microscopy and image analysis software.
  • Proficient communication skills and ability to work in teams
  • Excellent English skills, written and spoken

Preferred qualifications

The ideal candidate for this project has hands-on experience with research on outer membrane vesicles and a strong background in microbiology and/or immunology. Furthermore, experience within host defence peptides, host-pathogen interaction studies, physical chemistry of nanoparticles/drug delivery systems, electron microscopy, and mass-spectrometry data interpretation is an advantage.

Place of employment

The place of employment is at the department of Pharmacy, University of Copenhagen. We offer creative and stimulating working conditions in dynamic and international research environment.

Terms of employment

The employment as postdoc is a full time position for 2 years with a possible extension of 1 year. Starting date is April 1st 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter

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 34,600 DKK/ approx. 4,650 Euro (April 2020-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.


For further information you may contact project leader associate professor Mariena J.A. van der Plas;;

Foreign applicants may find this link useful: (International Staff Mobility).

Application procedure

Your online application, in English, must be submitted electronically by clicking ‘Apply now’.           

Your application must include the following documents/attachments – all in PDF format:

  • Cover letter (approx. one page) describing your background, qualifications, interest and motivation for applying for this position
  • CV, incl. education, work/research experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position
  • A certified/signed copy of a) PhD certificate and b) Master of Science certificate. If the PhD is not completed, a written statement with defence date from the supervisor will do.
  • Other information for consideration, e.g. list of publications and relevant certificates
  • Names and contact details of references and/or recommendation letters

Deadline for application

31 January 2021, 23:59 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. 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.

Interviews are expected to be held in the end of February

University of Copenhagen wish to reflect the diversity of society and welcome applications from all qualified candidates regardless of age, disability, gender, nationality, race, religion or sexual orientation. Appointment will be based on merit alone.


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.


Application deadline: 31-01-2021
Employment start: 01-04-2021
Working hours: Full time
Department/Location: Department of Pharmacy

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


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