Vacant: Postdoctoral Fellow in molecular genetics at Marie Krogh Center for Metabolic Research


Marie Krogh Center for Metabolic Research is recruiting a post doctoral fellow for a time-limited 2-year project to work on Gene-diet interactions in obesity. The position as postdoc fellow is in the section for Metabolic Genetics Research headed by Professor Oluf Borbye Pedersen. The starting date is preferable April 1. or as soon as possible thereafter.                   


Marie Krogh Center for Metabolic Research has been established at the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen, to conduct research into basic metabolic functions. The center which consists of five scientific sections and a number of international research satellites was established through a grant from the Novo Nordisk Foundation.


Read more about the Marie Krogh Center for Metabolic Research on:


Job Description

The GENDINOB project is based on a grant from the Danish Strategic Research Council (Programme Committee for Health, Food and Welfare). The project may be summarised as follows: The current knowledge about gene loci and obesity, and diet and obesity, respectively, indicates that further progress in our understanding requires studies in which both gene loci and the dietary factors are included. The recently discovered 30+ gene loci associated with obesity contribute very modestly to explain the heritability of obesity-related traits. The evidence for a role of dietary factors in development of obesity is not convincing. One important reason for the difficulties could be that the interaction between genes and diet is important but the phenotype has not been precisely enough defined and measured. The GENDINOB project aims at profoundly improving our knowledge about the role of genes and dietary intake and their interplay in the pathogenesis of human obesity. This goal will be targeted combining a multitude of relevant genotypes with anthropometrics changes over time and with information about health behaviour with focus on food patterns and intake of specified nutrients. The studies will include several existing cohorts of both women and men, ranging from adolescence through middle age, and dietary intervention studies of weight loss and weight maintenance in obese adults. The project will require cross-disciplinary efforts based on expertise in nutrition, general and clinical epidemiology, molecular genetics, bioinformatics and advanced statistical analysis. Assuming that diets helping genetically predisposed to avoid or diminish risk of obesity do not harm the non-predisposed, the results of the project will contribute to identification and development of healthier food for all. Personalised nutrition based on genetic profiling is another possible outcome although its feasibility may be limited.


The collaborating institutions

The GENDINOB project is part of the activities in The Danish Obesity Research Centre (DanORC,, and includes research activities at the following institutions:

  • Department of Cardiology, Aalborg Hospital, Aarhus University Hospital and Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Aarhus University, lead by Professor Kim Overvad (KO)
  • Department of Diet, Cancer and Health, The Danish Cancer Society, lead by Head of Department, Anne Tjønneland (AT)
  • Center for Biological Sequence Analysis, Technical University of Denmark, lead by Professor Søren Brunak (SB)
  • Marie Krogh Center for Metabolic Research, Faculty of Health Science, University of Copenhagen, lead by Professor Oluf Borbye Pedersen (OP)
  • The Institute of Preventive Medicine, Copenhagen University Hospital, lead by Professor Thorkild IA Sørensen (TS), who is also coordinating the project, and Adj. Professor Berit L Heitmann (BH)

The project is also linked to the new research programme at University of Copenhagen entitled “Food, Fitness and Pharma” (, and GENDINOB is an extension of a series of corresponding subprojects in this programme.


Primary responsibilities


The post doc will be part of an integrated GENDINOB group, and will interact and share responsibilities with other researchers in this group. Those referring to KO, AT, BH and TS are primarily responsible for the nutritional epidemiology parts, the one based at Marie Krogh Center for Metabolic Research will be responsible for the molecular genetics aspects of the program, and the one based at the Center for Biological Sequence Analyses will be responsible for the systems biology and bioinformatics analyses. A statistician based at the Institute of Preventive Medicine is associated with the research group.


The appointee should preferable have qualifications within the following areas:


  • A strong molecular biological knowledge within the patho-physiology of human obesity
  • An understanding of human genetics and disease prediction
  • An applied statistical knowledge within the generalized linear models


Qualification requirements

In connection with the appointment to the post special importance will be attached to the applicant having the professional and personal qualifications stated below:


  • Documented scientific qualifications such as a PhD or equivalent in relation to the above subject areas
  • Expertise in genetics, physiology, and molecular biology
  • Knowledge in statistics and bioinformatics is to be considered a distinct advantage
  • Excellent computing skills related to the processing of sequencing data
  • Excellent communication skills, both  written and oral
  • An analytical attitude of devising innovative scientific or technical solutions
  • An enthusiastic, dedicated and collaborative attitude to the project is prerequisite
  • Interaction with staff at all levels, both internally and externally, regarding relevant research topics


Highly motivated and ambitious candidates are encouraged to apply. Solid experience and an excellent track record gained in leading laboratories in the research field will be considered a distinct advantage. In all cases, ability to perform the job will be the primary consideration, and thus we encourage all – regardless of their personal background and status – to apply.


Terms of Employment

The post will be filled according to the agreement between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The post is covered by the Protocol on Job Structure.



For further information, please contact Professor Oluf Borbye Pedersen, via Personal Assistant Grete Lademann; email: or HR Officer Louise Paulsen, email:



The application must be submitted by e-mail. The application must be sent as one document including following appendices:

  • a letter of motivation
  • a cv
  • a complete list of publications
  • documentation of research and teaching qualifications
  • 2 references


In addition to the material the applicant wishes to be included in the assessment, the Assessment Committee may include further material in their assessment of the applicant. In such circumstances, it is the responsibility of the applicant, on request, to send the material to the Committee.


Receipts of the applications will be acknowledged, and the applicant will be kept continuously informed of the progress of the application.


The applicant will be assessed according to the Ministry of Science Technology and Innovation Executive Order no. 284 of 25. April 2008.


Application procedure

The application marked “211-0005/11-3860 Gene-diet interactions in obesity (GENDINOB)”, must be sent as one document to Marie Krogh Center for Metabolic Research before March 1. 2011. Your application should be sent by e-mail to


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Københavns Universitet er Danmarks ældste universitet, grundlagt 1479. KU er med ca. 37.000 studerende og 7.500 medarbejdere det største universitet i Norden og det eneste nordiske universitet på verdens top-100.

To overview
DANORC is supported by the
The Danish Council for Strategic Research
Institute of Preventive Medicine
Frederiksberg Hospital
Nordre Fasanvej 57
2000 Frederiksberg
Tel.: +45 38163025