3-Year Postdoc in Chemical Biology of Non-Enzymatic Post-Translational Modifications in Aging

Department of Forensic Medicine at Faculty of Health at Aarhus University
Aarhus, Midtjylland (DK)
June 25 2021
Position Type
Organization Type

The Department of Forensic Medicine at Faculty of Health at Aarhus University invites applications for a three-year postdoctoral position in the field of chemical and molecular biology of aging at the Bioanalytical Unit. The position is fixed-term full-time position with an intended start date September 1st, 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Department of Forensic Medicine and the Bioanalytical Unit
The department employs 70 employees, of which 35 have an academic background, while 10 are tenured academic staff. Our mission is to contribute to the prevention of crime, accidents, premature deaths and suicides through research, education and forensic investigations. The department comprises of two sections providing commissioned work for the Danish National Police as well as basic research. The Section of Forensic Chemistry conducts quantitative and screening analysis for illegal and legal drugs and their metabolites in human biological samples as well as non-biological samples (police seizures). The section moreover houses the Bioanalytical Unit, which focus on research and development within basic and applied science related to human health. The section and unit has a well-developed infrastructure with modern bioanalytical laboratories equipped with a range of advanced LC-MS instruments, as well as new facilities for conducting cell and molecular biology based studies. The department is situated in conjunction with the Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus N. You can read more about the department here and about the faculty here.

About the research project
Biological aging is the largest risk factor for most chronical diseases. Biological aging and energy metabolism are strongly intertwined and recent evidence suggest that one of the main links are rooted in non-enzymatic modifications of key sensory proteins. Therefore, understanding how energy metabolism mechanistically impact on cellular signaling is fundamental to advance the understanding of biological aging. To address these questions we will use our in-house developed chemical probes to map the main sensory proteins using chemoproteomic techniques. Secondly, we will experimentally test the functional impact of main targets on relevant aging parameters in cell-based assays and potentially animal models. This will allow us to gain detailed insight into how energy metabolism regulate biological aging.

Your job responsibilities
As postdoc in chemical and molecular biology your position is primarily research-based but may also involve teaching assignments. Your main tasks will consist of independent research of high international quality, this includes:

  • Perform chemoproteomic experiments in cell culture.
  • Experimentally test functional impact on key sensory proteins e.g. using isolated proteins, cell-based assays and potentially tissue from animal models.
  • Write articles and applications.

In your daily work, you will work closely with colleagues on your project, where you will receive supervision and guidance.

Your competences
You have academic qualifications at PhD level, preferably within chemical or molecular biology or equivalent. Experience with (chemo-)proteomics, cell-based assays and models, protein purification as well organic chemistry will be an advantage.

You should have solid analytical thinking, creativity, and a visible publication record. We offer an interdisciplinary, ambitious, and supportive environment for a young scientist, and a good platform for a future career in academia or the private sector.

Recent publications from the group:

  1. R. Kold-Christensen, M. Johannsen. Methylglyoxal Metabolism and Aging-Related Diseases – Moving from Correlation toward Causation. Trends Endocrinol Metab, 2020, 31, 81-92
  2. C. Sibbersen et al. Profiling of Methylglyoxal Blood Metabolism and Advanced Glycation End-Product Proteome using a Chemical Probe. ACS Chem. Biol. 2018, 13, 3294–3305.
  3. T. Salomon et al. Ketone Body Acetoacetate Buffers Methylglyoxal via a Non-enzymatic Conversion during Diabetic and Dietary Ketosis. Cell Chem. Biol. 2017, 24, 935-943.

As a person, you are ambitious, take ownership and possess good communication and interpersonal skills. We expect you to be fluent in oral and written English. In order to be assessed as qualified for a Postdoc position, you must meet these academic criteria. Shortlisting will be used.

Questions about the position
If you have any questions about the position, please contact professor Mogens Johannsen, e-mail: mj@forens.au.dk, tel.: (+45) 87168332.

Your place of work will be the Department of Forensic Medicine, Palle Juul-Jensens Boulevard 99, DK-8200 Aarhus N, Denmark.

Terms of employment

  • Appointment as a postdoc requires academic qualifications at PhD level.
  • Further information on the appointment procedure can be found in the Ministerial Order on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities.
  • The appointment is in accordance with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (Akademikerne).
  • Remuneration is in accordance with the above, and the Salary agreement catalogue for staff at Health.
  • The yearly base salary for a fulltime postdoc position with minimum 3 years of working experience after achieved MSc degree is DKK 486,969.17 or DKK 512,713.62 with minimum 4 years of working experience after achieved MSc degree. The base salary includes a position related supplement and pension (17.1 %). Additional supplement(s) for special qualifications can be negotiated. Authorisation supplemement(s) will be granted, if relevant for the position. Your local eligible trade union representative at Aarhus University negotiates your salary on your behalf.
  • Researchers recruited from abroad are offered a special researcher tax scheme with a lower tax rate.
  • Further information on qualification requirements and job description can be found in the.Ministerial Order on Job Structure for Academic Staff

Your application must include the following:

  • Motivated application
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Diploma
  • A list of publications
  • A teaching portfolio. We refer to Guideline on the use of teaching portfolios
  • A maximum of five of the publications of greatest relevance to the job may be submitted
  • Template for applicant - postdoc must be completed and uploaded under ‘Extra documents’
  • Strategic research plan can be uploaded
  • Coauthor statement(s) can be uploaded
  • References/recommendations can be uploaded separately in the e-recruitment system

We refer to the faculty’s Guidelines for applicants.

The assessment committee may decide to include non-submitted material in its statement. In such cases, you will be informed and obliged to submit material, unless your application is withdrawn.

All interested candidates are encouraged to apply, regardless of their personal background.

Letter of reference
If you want a referee to upload a letter of reference on your behalf, please state the referee’s contact information when you submit your application. We strongly recommend that you make an agreement with the person in question before you enter the referee’s contact information, and that you ensure that the referee has enough time to write the letter of reference before the application deadline.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to ensure that letters of reference received after the application deadline will be taken into consideration.

International applicant?
Aarhus University offers a broad variety of services for international researchers and accompanying families, including relocation service and career counselling to expat partners. Please find more information about entering and working in Denmark here. Aarhus University also has a Junior Researcher Development Programme. You can read more about it here.

The application must be submitted via Aarhus University’s recruitment system, which can be accessed under the job advertisement on Aarhus University's website.
25 July 2021


Aarhus University
Aarhus University is an academically diverse and research-intensive university with a strong commitment to high-quality research and education and the development of society nationally and globally. The university offers an inspiring research and teaching environment to its 38,000 students (FTEs) and 8,000 employees, and has an annual revenues of EUR 885 million. Learn more at www.international.au.dk/