Postdoc in virome analysis University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen Studies of Asthma in Childhood (Gentofte Hospital) Denmark

Postdoc in virome analysis


If you have experience with comparative microbial genomics, annotation of viral genomes, classification of proteins and genes or analysis of metagenome data, then you could be exactly what we’re looking for.  


In recent years we have begun to understand the important role of the human microbiome in protecting us from chronic disease. In this project, we want to understand whether the same holds true for viruses. Are most viruses good viruses that protect us from disease instead of causing it?  


Copenhagen Prospective Studies on Asthma in Childhood (COPSAC) is an internationally renowned research group consisting of approx. 40 employees all dedicated to revealing the causes of childhood asthma, allergy and eczema, as well as other chronic diseases in children. We have extensive data from the children on the many aspects of these diseases including symptoms, but also their general health, their genetics, epigenetics, metabolomics and immunological profiles. 


Viromes have been deeply sequenced from 700 children. We have 4 GB of virus data per child. We need to gain an overview of all of the different viruses in that data so we can compare them to the symptoms of the children, and figure out which viruses are good and bad. Most of the viruses are bacteriophages which infect the bacteria on the bodies of the children. We already have microbiome data for the same children and we need to find out which bacteriophages infect which bacteria. 


A major challenge in viromics is that most viruses are unknown and there’s no marker gene like 16S rDNA which can reveal their presence or which family they belong to. We need some way of distinguishing random DNA from viral DNA in our data, and we would like to officially classify any unknown viruses into new viral families so they can become known to science.  


As a Postdoc at COPSAC you will:  

  • Join the microbiome group and contribute with the analysis of our complex clinical and microbiological data  

  • Get the opportunity to create your own research profile based on your experience and interests  

  • Join a highly qualified team of postdocs, research assistants and clinicians  

  • Get the comprehensive support of a large administrative team of data managers, IT support, and fundraising 

  • Be part of a well-functioning and inspiring workplace with a sincere and fun atmosphere  

  • Get loads of opportunities for bouncing ideas off colleagues and seeking advice  


Your profile:  

  • You have a PhD or equivalent experience, preferably within microbiology or bioinformatics  

  • You master coding and are used to data analysis on the Linux command line, or in R  

  • You have experience within metagenomics, comparative genomics, virus bioinformatics or protein clustering  

  • You have a good understanding of how microbiological systems work and evolve  

  • You are curious and passionate and would like to be in the front line, where research makes a difference  

  • You’d like to join a team and help support the group, but are also comfortable working independently, exploring own ideas. 


COPSAC is part of GCHSP and Professor Hans Bisgaard leads the Clinical Academic Group (CAG) entitled “Modulating the Infant Microbiome for Disease Prevention”. GCHSP is a new initiative to facilitate translational collaboration between basic scientists at University of Copenhagen and clinical researchers at the hospitals in Greater Copenhagen. 


Help make a difference 

You will play a crucial role as a postdoc in a highly interdisciplinary research environment, which publishes scientific articles in the highest-ranking international journals. We have strong ambitions with plenty of space for sparring and professional development. You will work within a team of colleagues who are all passionate about their work and proud of their achievements. The research group is in the limelight, internationally, and the research topic enjoys great public interest. We have an amazing transnational and informal working environment, characterized by a pleasant atmosphere.  


Are you interested?

 If you want to know more about the position, please contact Shiraz Shah (Tel no. +45 38 67 36 32, mobile +45 26 17 16 50) or Marianne Mikkelsen (+45 38 67 41 63), or read more about the research centre

Application deadline is 31st of March, 2019. Salary and employment will be by agreement and according to current rules in the Capital Region of Denmark. 

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


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