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Postdoc: Lactate receptor GPR81 in tumor growth, metastasis and anticancer immunity

    University of Copenhagen
    Biological sciencesOther
    Computer scienceInformatics
    Medical sciencesMedicine
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    01/11/2020 12:00 - Europe/Brussels
    Denmark › Copenhagen


A three-year postdoc position is available from 1 Jan 2021 in an interdisciplinary project entitled “Targeting the lactate receptor GPR81 to reduce tumor growth and metastasis and restore anticancer immunity”. Lactate produced by tumors, long considered just a waste product, is now known to function as a signaling molecule acting through the specific G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) GPR81, also known as HCAR1. GPR81 is highly upregulated in many tumor types, and GPR81 depletion limits cancer cell growth, invasiveness, and chemotherapy resistance. Based on extensive pilot data, this project will use state-of-the-art methodologies to test the hypothesis that GPR81 blockade is an attractive means to reduce tumor growth and metastasis formation and restore anticancer immunity.

Research environment
The project is a collaboration between Prof. Stine F. Pedersen, Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen (UCPH) and the groups of Prof. Albin Sandelin, BRIC, Assoc. Prof. Marie Kveiborg, BRIC, UCPH, and Prof. Thue Schwartz, Novo Nordisk Center for Basic Metabolic Research, UCPH. The candidate will be based in the Pedersen group and will interact closely with the other groups. All the groups are located within 10 minutes walking distance in the Northern Campus of the University of Copenhagen. The Pedersen group is a dynamic international research environment, comprising postdocs, PhD students, research assistants, technician, and undergraduate students. Collectively, the four groups comprise a very strong team with all the necessary skills and state-of-the-art techniques.

Project and specific qualifications
The candidate will be the main coordinator of the project and will be responsible for cell biological models, patient tissue analyses, and mouse in vivo experiments. The former will include analyses of transcriptional control of GPR81, as well as its downstream signaling pathways in cancer cells. The latter will include a series of syngeneic and transgenic mouse tumor models of relevant cancer types. In addition to the impact of GPR81 on tumor growth and metabolism, a key question will be which cell types in the tumor microenvironment express particularly high GPR81 levels, and whether, and if so how, these cell types contribute to disease development.
The ideal candidate has strong hands-on experience with mouse cancer models. Furthermore, he/she must have robust knowledge of mammalian cell culture and molecular biology approaches. A broad background knowledge in cancer research and interest in bioinformatics and/or cancer metabolism or GPCRs is an advantage. Finally, he/she is independent and driven, and has a passion for interdisciplinary work.

The candidate must have a PhD in a life science field, with a documented track record of excellent scientific publications. Excellent written and spoken English is a strong requirement. The candidate must have the ability to work autonomously as well as in a team.

Further information on the Department is linked at https://www.science.ku.dk/english/about-the-faculty/organisation/. Inquiries about the position can be made to Prof. Stine F. Pedersen (sfpedersen@bio.ku.dk).

The position is open from 1 Jan 2020 or as soon as possible thereafter.

The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

Terms of employment
The position is covered by the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff.

Terms of appointment and payment accord to the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State.

The starting salary is currently up to DKK 437,843 including annual supplement (+ pension up to DKK 74,871).

The application, in English, must be submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.

Please include, as one single file:  

  • Letter of motivation, explaining your interest and suitability for the position
  • Curriculum vita 
  • Diplomas (Master and PhD degree or equivalent)  
  • Complete publication list 
  • Separate reprints of 3 particularly relevant papers
  • 2-3 letters of recommendation 

The deadline for applications is 1 November 2020, 23:59 GMT +1. 

After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Interview Committee.
You can read about the recruitment process at https://employment.ku.dk/faculty/recruitment-process/.


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.

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