Postdoc Position in Cellular Processes That Modulate Skeletal Muscle Mass and Insulin Sensitivity in Health and Disease

University of Copenhagen Department of Biomedical Sciences


Postdoc in cellular processes that modulate skeletal muscle mass and insulin sensitivity in health and disease at the Department of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen

We are looking for a highly motivated and dynamic researcher for a 2-3-year position to commence October 1 2022 or as soon as possible hereafter to work on the project entitled: Determining the molecular regulatory control of Rho GTPases and their mechanisms of action on skeletal muscle mass and insulin sensitivity.

Our research

Our research in the Molecular Metabolism in Cancer and Ageing Group strives to identify mechanisms that, at the molecular level, regulate muscle mass, function, and metabolism. With muscle wasting and insulin resistance being central features of cancer cachexia, ageing, and diabetes, we are uncovering the etiology of these conditions at the molecular level by studying cells, mice, and humans. In particular, we focus on how muscle wasting and metabolic abnormalities can be improved or even reversed by exercise training.

For more information about the activity of the group, please visit the Molecular Metabolism in Cancer and Ageing group here

The project

The decline in muscle mass and function represents one of the most dramatic and significant changes during the ageing process and is accelerated in age-related conditions such as diabetes and cancer. Skeletal muscle is a key organ for movement, respiration, and mastication and is critically implicated in organismal metabolic control. We and others have discovered that small Rho GTPases regulate muscle mass and insulin sensitivity, however, little is known about their regulation. Addressing that knowledge gap could facilitate development of therapeutic approaches to treat conditions associated with loss of muscle mass and insulin resistance, incl. sarcopenia, diabetes and/or cancer cachexia.

Information on the department can be found at

Your job

As a postdoctoral candidate, you will have the opportunity to work on an interesting and challenging project that will profit from your enthusiasm, creativity and willingness to implement new methodology. We have identified multiple skeletal muscle Rho GTPase-regulating proteins (GEFs and GAPs) that are posttranslationally modified by exercise, insulin, or type 2 diabetes. You will have the opportunity to work with muscle cell culture, transgenic mouse models or rAAV-induced genetic modifications, as well as human sample material from patients to undercover Rho GTPases and their regulation in skeletal muscle function and pathophysiology.

Essential experience and skills:

  • PhD in Molecular Biology or related sciences
  • Excellent scientific track record relative to career stage
  • Experience in a wide range of molecular biology techniques like RT-qPCR, cloning, western blotting etc.
  • Experience with mouse work with accreditation to conduct research in animals (EU Function ABD/FELASA C or similar)
  • Capacity to work in a multidisciplinary, inclusive, and ambitious team to reach common goals
  • Efficient time-management skills and capacity for effective and realistic planning
  • Excellent English communication skills, both written and oral

Desirable experience and skills:

  • Experience with muscle cell culture incl. primary human cells, muscle fiber isolation incl. genetic modifications (siRNA, shRNA, rAAV e.g.)
  • Knowledge of Rho GTPase signalling
  • Skills in confocal microscopy
  • Skills in proximity labelling or biosensor assays, FRET, PLA or similar
  • Knowledge within system biology in relation to proteomic or RNAseq datasets

Place of employment

The place of employment is at the Department of Biomedical Sciences, Panum Institute, University of Copenhagen.

We offer creative and stimulating working conditions in a dynamic and international research environment with local and international collaborators. Our research facilities include modern human, animal, and cell laboratories, and access to multiple core facilities incl. a cutting-edge microscopy core facility and the Copenhagen Proteomics Research Infrastructure

Terms of employment

The employment as a postdoc is a full time position for 2-3 years. Starting date is 1 October 2022 or after agreement. Salary, pension and terms of employment will be in accordance with the agreement between the 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.

The position is covered by the “Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff at the Universities” of January 2020.

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


For further questions about the job description and qualifications, please contact associate professor Lykke Sylow, 20955250, E-mail:

For questions regarding the recruitment procedure, please contact

Application procedure

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

  1. Motivated letter of application (max. one page).
  2. CV incl. education, work/research experience, list of laboratory skills, language skills, contact details for at least three references, and other skills relevant for the position.
  3. A certified/signed copy of a) PhD certificate and b) Master of Science certificate. If the PhD is not completed, a written statement from the supervisor will suffice.
  4. List of publications.

Application deadline: 15 August 2022, 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 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 September 1st-10th 2022.

The University of Copenhagen wish to reflect the diversity of society and encourage all qualified candidates to apply regardless of personal background.


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: 15-08-2022
Employment start: 01-10-2022
Working hours: Full time
Department/Location: Department of Biomedical Sciences
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