PhD in Glaucoma Stem Cell Models Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences University of Copenhagen

A fully-funded PhD fellowship in medical sciences is available at University of Copenhagen. This position is available for 3 years. Applications should be sent before May 10, 2020.

We are looking for a highly motivated and dynamic researcher for a 3-year PhD position in Stem Cell Biology to start in Kristine Freude's group "Stem cells models for studies of neurodegenerative diseases" in September 2020. Preference will be given to candidates with expertise in induced pluripotent cell culture models and organoid cultures, as well as the ability to participate in patient recruitment. The purpose of the PhD is to investigate the role of metabolic deficits and transcriptomic alterations in strictly phenotyped glaucoma patients and controls. Analyses will be performed on induced pluripotent retinal cell lines.

Information on the department can be found at:

Our research

The aim of this research projects is to understand the cascade reactions leading to blinding neurodegenerative eye diseases. In particular, we focus on in vitro stem cell models to study the interaction between the most inner retinal neurons, the retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) and their surrounding Mller glia. In this context, we elucidate how various forms of stress affect the ability of Mller glia to protect RGCs, with a special focus on energy metabolism and mitochondrial activity.

Your PhD project

We are looking for an outstanding and passionate individual who has a strong interest in cell biology. This PhD project aims to understand how metabolic and transcriptional changes affect RGCs, and how those can be linked to progressive neurodegeneration, as observed in Glaucoma. Your task will involve the establishment of patient primary fibroblast lines, reprogramming of such into hiPSC, subsequent differentiation into iPSC-retinal cell lines and functional analyses of both. The project is funded by the Velux Foundation and involves collaboration and co-supervision by Miriam Kolko at the Department Drug Design and Pharmacology (fully funded Pharmacology scholarships) as well as a stay abroad in Pete William's group at Karolinska Institute, Sweden.


We are looking for a highly motivated and enthusiastic individual with the following competencies and experience: Place of employment

The employment as PhD fellow is full time and for 3 years. It 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 formulated by the applicant prior to employment.

The PhD study must be completed in accordance with The Ministerial Order on the PhD programme (2019) and the Faculty'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 27.362,94 DKK /approx. 3.650 EUR (April 2019-level) plus pension.


For further information please contact Kristine Freude email: Tel. 25572261 General information about PhD study at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences (Medical Sciences scholarships) is available at the Graduate School's website:

Submit your application via the link below no later than 10 May 2020. Applications submitted after this date will not be considered.

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.

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.

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.

You can read about the recruitment process at

The applicant will be assessed as described in the Ministerial Order on the Job Structure of Academic Staff at Universities of 2020.

Interviews are expected to be held in week 24 and 25.

The Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences comprises approximately 7500 students, 1500 PhD students and 3200 employees. The Faculty advances the field of health sciences through its core activities: research, teaching, knowledge sharing and communication. With basic research fields ranging from molecular studies to studies of society, the Faculty contributes to a healthy future through its graduates, research findings and inventions benefitting patients and the community. The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the surrounding community and invites all regardless of personal background to apply for the position.


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