PhD Scholarship in Identification of Breast Carcinogens

mandag 07 okt 19

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Frist 31. oktober 2019
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The National Food Institute (DTU Food) invites applications for a PhD position affiliated to the Research Group for Risk Benefit in the Division of Diet, Disease Prevention and Toxicology - a dynamic, sociable and highly ambitious research environment.


The PhD project is a collaboration between DTU Food and The National Research Centre for the Working Environment (NFA) in Copenhagen.


The PhD will focus on identifying potential breast cancer carcinogens based on the ability of chemicals and solvents to inhibit PPAR-gamma receptor, leading to increased sex hormone biosynthesis. The project will include planning and execution of 1) animal experiments, 2) prioritisation of chemicals in our QSAR computer model for PPAR-gamma 3) in vitro cell-based assays using human adrenocortical carcinoma (NCI-H295R) cells and transfected human embryonic kidney (HEK293) cells. You will work in close collaboration with other researchers in and outside the group, as well as experienced animal staff.


Responsibilities and tasks

The purpose of the PhD project will be to establish and validate a three-step screening of chemicals for breast cancer carcinogens based on modulation of PPAR-gamma activity.

The project will cover the following tasks:
  • Induction proof-of-principle animal experiment
  • Screening of potential breast cancer carcinogens for their PPAR-gamma activity with help from our QSAR computer staff.
  • in vitro testing of chemicals identified with QSAR, for their effects in PPAR-gamma reporter cell lines and for their effect on hormone production in vitro
Further tasks will be:
  • Disseminate results at conferences and through scientific articles
  • Supervision duties of bachelor or master students
  • A mandatory external research stay
  • Attend PhD courses (30 ECTS)

Candidates should have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree within life science.


Approval and Enrolment

The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see the DTU PhD Guide.


The successful candidate is expected to have knowledge and experience within molecular biology and biochemistry. The preferred candidate is ambitious, has a high motivation for research excellence and good command of written and spoken English.


Preference will be given to candidates with:

  • Experience in cell-based assays and mechanistic studies and/or
  • Knowledge in transient transfection and/or
  • Animal models

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.


Salary and appointment terms

The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union.

The period of employment is 3 years.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information

Supervisors include Gitte Ravn-Haren (DTU Food), Niels Hadrup (NFA) and Ulla Vogel (NFA).


Further information may be obtained from Senior Researcher, Gitte Ravn-Haren,

You can read more about DTU Food at 

Please submit your online application no later than 31 October 2019.


Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here)

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


Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered.

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


DTU Food (The National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark) works within six technical focus areas: Biotechnology, nutrition, food quality, food safety, food technology and environment & human health. Activities cover a wide range of food products throughout the entire food chain from farm to table, comprising both research activities and research-based consulting and teaching.

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 11,500 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. Our main campus is in Kgs. Lyngby north of Copenhagen and we have campuses in Roskilde and Ballerup.