Postdoc in the Interaction between the Global Inuit Gut Microbiome and Genome University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences Denmark

Postdoc in the Interaction between the Global Inuit Gut Microbiome and Genome

Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

University of Copenhagen


The University of Copenhagen is seeking a highly motivated and talented postdoctoral fellow to commence 1 October 2019 at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences.


The postdoctoral fellowship is part of the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research International Postdoctoral Program


The postdoctoral fellow will receive a competitive package including salary and running costs for three years, and be part of an international scientific collaboration at the Maersk Tower


Job description

The fellowship is aimed at early career researchers with a basic science background or clinicians who aspire to a career in academic medicine. We are particularly interested in candidates who are familiar with integrative research approaches within the broad area of basic metabolic research with an application towards human pathophysiology. The Center’s vision is to strengthen interdisciplinary research that transforms the basic understanding of mechanisms involved in metabolic health and disease, and to accelerate this knowledge toward new prevention and treatment strategies. Information about the Center may be found at


The postdoc position is in the Genomic Physiology and Translation Group headed by Professor Torben Hansen. The research group investigates the human genome and the human global microbiome to characterize the impact of these genomes on health and disease and to identify interactions between the host and the microbiome. The findings can lead to potent translational strategies for prevention and treatment of metabolic disease. You can read more about the Hansen Group at


Project description

The Inuit in Greenland are an indigenous population with extremely good information about the genetic selection, social transition and the disease pattern (including a high prevalence of obesity and diabetes). Inuit is ideal to study the consequences of recent life style transition on the changing disease pattern.


The power of performing studies in the small, historically isolated Greenlandic population has been demonstrated by our previous work including Diabetologia 2018, 61(9):2005-2015, Nat Genet. 2018, 50(2):172-174, PLoS Genet 2016, 12, 6:e1006119, Science 2015, 349, 6254:1343-7, Am. J. Hum. Genet. 2015, 96, 1:54-69 and Nature 2014, 512, 7513:190-3.


The gut microbiota is likely to have an essential role in the increasing incidence of cardio-metabolic disorders in the Inuit population. Thus, insights into the global gut microbiome composition in Inuit and the complex interaction with the host genome to understand changes in Inuit disease risk profile are urgently needed, but currently lacking.


The idea is to perform integrated systems modelling of host-microbial microbiome data and human genetic and physiology data using a novel and global gut microbiome angle, with the perspective to improve our understanding of early stages of the development of obesity and type 2 diabetes. The future perspective is to understand the functional impact of the global gut microbiome on metabolism and to develop diagnostic, prevention and treatment programs for metabolic disorders.


The specific objectives are to:  

  • Characterize the global gut microbiome (bacteria, virus and fungi) in Inuit  

  • Study the interaction between the global Inuit gut microbiome and the Inuit genome by studies of the microbiome among carriers and non-carriers of known disease associated variants and perform a genome wide association study to identify novel host genetic microbiome associations 


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

  • Experience in collecting and processing large-scale scientific data including experience with the Linux/UNIX environment, command lines, shell scripting and high-performance computing

  • Experience in applying statistical and mathematical methods to biological problems

  • Experience in Python, R or similar programming languages

  • Experience in genome-wide genotype data and/or next generation sequencing data

  • Demonstrated capacity for coordinating and supporting effective teamwork

  • Basic understanding of human disease biology and/or microbiology

  • Proven track record showing continuous scientific productivity in peer reviewed journals

  • Independent thinking and analytical aptitude for devising innovative scientific or technical solutions

  • Experience in experimental design, and planning of experiments

  • Experience in analysing human genetics data (NGS and/or GWAS) in relation to quantitative and/or disease traits

  • Experience in analysing metagenomics datasets from human gut microbiota

  • Experience in handling multi-omics data, including metabolomics and proteomics 


The applicant must hold a PhD within a relevant discipline such as medicine, biology, biochemistry, molecular biology, bioinformatics, pharmacy or medical engineering. The PhD degree must preferably be awarded from a university outside of Denmark. The program is also open for applicants with a Danish PhD degree who can document at least 12 months full-time research experience from outside Denmark.


You are not eligible to apply for the program if you have been employed in a postdoctoral position for more than one year at the University of Copenhagen prior to the commencement of the fellowship.



Selection of postdoctoral fellows is based on academic achievements, research experience and interviews. A mandatory interview visit for the shortlisted applicants comprises interviews with PI and co-PI and a tour of the Center facilities, and will take place in Copenhagen on 13 June 2019. The Center will pay for travel and accommodation for selected applicants in association with the interview visit.


The University of Copenhagen International Staff Mobility office offers support and assistance to all international researchers on all issues related to moving to and settling in Denmark. Read more at and


The applicant must fulfill the following criteria:

  • A strong CV, having published in high-impact journals and presented at international meetings

  • An enthusiastic interest in basic metabolic research

  • The ability to manage your own academic research and associated activities

  • The ability to contribute ideas for new research projects

  • Evidence of excellent interpersonal skills and leadership, with the ability to communicate research ideas and results in a clear and logical way and the ability to confidently and effectively interact with colleagues and the broader research community 

Terms of employment

The employment as postdoc is a full time position for 3 years. Starting date is 1 October 2019.


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). Depending on qualifications, a supplement may be negotiated.


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 about the position, please contact Professor Torben Hansen at Questions regarding the CBMR International Postdoctoral Program must be directed to For questions regarding the recruitment procedure, please contact SUND HR CBMR at 


Application procedure

Your online application must be submitted in English by clicking ‘Apply now’ below. Furthermore, your application must include the following documents/attachments – all in PDF format:  

  • Cover letter expressing the motivation and previous research experience of the applicant (max 1 page)

  • Curriculum vitae

  • Copy of the PhD degree certificate and the Master degree certificate. In case the PhD has not yet been completed, a written statement from the supervisor is acceptable

  • List of publications

  • References (name and contact details of at least two references) 

Application deadline: 22 April 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 authorized 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. 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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