PhD Position in Bioinformatics and Toxicology, Technical University of Denmark

A PhD position that integrates the fields of toxicology and bioinformatics is available at DTU, Technical University of Denmark. The project is a collaboration project between the ‘Alternative & QSAR’ group at the National Food Institute and the Integrative Systems Biology group at the Center for Biological Sequence Analysis (CBS).

The mission of Division of Toxicology and Risk Assessment at the National Food Institute is to promote human health and prevent human illness by conducting research and consultancy on effects of chemicals in foods, environment and consumer products. A unique expertise within the field of endocrine disrupting effects is gathered here. The Center for Biological Sequence Analysis conducts basic research in the field of bioinformatics, chemoinformatics, and integrative systems biology and represents one of the largest bioinformatics centers in academia in Europe.

Project
This PhD project will be part of a major initiative to generate knowledge on mixture effects of food contaminants. The current paradigm within risk assessment and regulation of chemicals in for instance foods is to evaluate the risk for one chemical at a time, even if we know that humans are exposed to more chemicals simultaneously. However, tools to handle this challenge by the authorities are lacking. The vision of the initiative is to contribute to a paradigm shift within risk assessment of chemicals and the aim is to develop tools that can be applied by the authorities when assessing the risk of endocrine disrupting effects.

The PhD project is focussed partly on performance of toxicological studies to gather mixture data and partly on using bioinformatics to classify chemicals and to elucidate their mechanisms of action. In addition, computational biology approaches will be applied to develop models for identifying potential common effects of chemicals.

Concerning the toxicological studies this project will take advantage of and build upon on-going projects on mixture effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals. These in vivo and in vitro studies will be extended with further end-points of varying molecular complexicity that are applicable for modelling purposes. Among the applied technologies will be a metabolomics platform to identify changes in metabolic networks and transcriptomics data.

The successful candidate will be based at the Technical University of Denmark partly in Lyngby and partly in Søborg.

Qualifications

  • MSc degree in life science
  • Biological understanding – especially knowledge on mechanisms of action of chemicals
  • Experience with bioinformatics
  • Skills in a programming language is an advantage
  • Experience in working on UNIX platforms is preferred
  • Able to work independently and to plan and carry out complicated tasks, while also being part of a large and dynamic group.
  • Good communication skills in English, both written and spoken.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarships for the PhD degree are subject to academic approval, and the candidates will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes of DTU.

Salary and appointment terms
The salary and appointment terms are consistent with the current rules for PhD degree students. The period of employment is 3 years.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Head of Research Group Anne Marie Vinggaard (+ 45 3588 7549) or Head of Division Christine Nellemann (+45 3588 7538).

Application
We must have your online application by 21 August 2011.

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter – max. 1 page)
  • Curriculum vitae including a list of publications and reference contacts
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system

Please DO NOT include reprints of already published papers in your application.

Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their master’s degree, but cannot begin before having received it.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

For more information, please visit official website: www.dtu.dk

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