3 years Postdoc position at Lerdrup Group, University of Copenhagen: "Genome-wide identification of causes for replication stress in infertility"

University of Copenhagen
Center for Chromosome Stability, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
Denmark Copenhagen


A fully funded Postdoc position (3 years) is available in the Center for Chromosome Stability (CCS; www.ccs.ku.dk) in a research group headed by Assoc. Prof. Mads Lerdrup. The post is available from 1 January 2024 or after agreement. Highly motivated and committed candidates with interest within the areas of mammalian embryo development, epigenetics, genomics, computational biology, DNA damage repair and infertility are encouraged to apply.

Our group and research
The CCS is a Center of Excellence funded by the Danish National Research Foundation (DNRF) and its mission is to advance our understanding of how chromosomal instability causes human disease. The CCS is embedded at the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine (www.icmm.ku.dk). The working language of the CCS is English. In addition, the group is a part of the Norwegian Centre for Embryology and Healthy Development (CRESCO www.cresco.uio.no/).

The Lerdrup group seeks to understand of how inbuilt genomic conflicts of interests are handled by mammalian organisms. In particular, the role of regulatory and epigenetic mechanisms in successful transition from gamete to embryo, and how divergent uses of the same DNA-template are coordinated. Our research is multidisciplinary and collaborative, and centers on computational studies of functional, structural, comparative genomics, and transcriptomics.

The research in the Lerdrup group is generously supported by a Novo Nordisk Foundation Biomedical project grant, the DNRF, and the Norwegian Research Council.

Your project
Infertility is a widespread psychological and medical burden in Denmark and worldwide. During the first cell division in the zygote (i.e. the newly fertilized egg), the DNA-replication is surprisingly challenged, leading to DNA damage, arrested development, and pregnancy loss.

The causes for this ‘zygotic replication stress’ are unknown, and your goal is to employ new genome-wide methods to map the remarkably high level of zygotic replication stress throughout the genome of mouse and human zygotes. These maps will reveal whether e.g. specific elements in the genome, chromatin structure, histone modifications, conflicting gene regulation, and recombination hot spots cause the zygotic replication stress.

We have previously shown that aberrant histone modifications can cause chromosome breakage and failed embryo development, and the proposed project will investigate whether this is reflected in elevated replication stress, and if so, identify which parts of the genome are affected.

Your project will explore whether both the maternal, and paternal genomes are equally susceptible to replication stress, or if the DNA inherited from one of the parents is the main source for the zygotic replication stress. Your work will be carried out in collaboration with groups within CCS and CRESCO, and will primarily consist of computational biology, but the balance between a computational and experimental focus will be adjusted to your interests and experience. Your project will provide better means to assay replication stress, pave the way for potential improvements of in vitro fertilization, shed light on events leading to de novo mutations, and be applicable in other fields such as cancer genome instability.

Start: 1 January 2024 or after agreement.

Duration: 3 years as a Postdoc.

Job description
Your key tasks as a Postdoc at SUND are:

Carry through an independent computational research project under supervision.
Participate in active research environments.
Obtain experience with teaching or other types of dissemination related to your project.
Supervise junior group members.

Place of employment
The place of employment is at Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Panum Institute, University of Copenhagen. We offer creative and stimulating working conditions in a dynamic, collaborative and international research environment. Our research facilities include modern laboratories and access to state-of-the-art equipment.

Terms of employment and employment
The employment as a Postdoc fellow is full time (weekly working hours is 37 hours on average) and for 3 years. Starting date is 1 January 2024 or after agreement.

Salary, pension and other conditions of employment are set in accordance with the Agreement between the Ministry of Taxation and AC (Danish Confederation of Professional Associations) or other relevant organisation. Currently, the monthly salary starts at DKK 36,412 / approx. EUR 4,854 (October 2023 level). Depending on qualifications, a supplement may be negotiated. The employer will pay an additional 17.1 % to your pension fund.

Foreign and Danish applicants may be eligible for tax reductions if they hold a PhD degree and have not lived in Denmark the last 10 years.

The position is covered by the Job Structure for Academic Staff at Universities 2020.

For specific information about the position, please contact Mads Lerdrup (mlerdrup@sund.ku.dk).

Application procedure
Your application must be submitted electronically by clicking "Apply now". The application must include the following documents in PDF format:

Letter of motivation (max. one page).
CV incl. education, experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position.
A certified/signed copy of Master of Science and PhD certificates. If not completed, a certified/signed copy of a recent transcript of records or a written statement from the institution or supervisor will do.
Publication list (if possible).

Application deadline: Wednesday 25 October 2023, 23.59 pm CET.

We reserve the right not to consider material received after the deadline, and not to consider applications that do not live up to the abovementioned requirements.

The further process:
After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the hiring committee. All applicants are then immediately notified whether their application has been passed for assessment by an unbiased assessor.

The assessor makes a non-prioritized assessment of the academic qualifications and experience with respect to the above-mentioned area of research, techniques, skills and other requirements listed in the advertisement.

Once the assessment work has been completed each applicant has the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that relates to the applicant him/herself.

You can read about the recruitment process at employment.ku.dk/faculty/recruitment-process/.

The Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences comprises approximately 7,815 students, 2,113 researchers and 3,793 employees. The faculty advances the field of health sciences through its core activities: research, teaching, knowledge sharing and communication. With basic research fields ranging from molecular studies to studies of society, the faculty contributes to a healthy future through its graduates, research findings and inventions benefitting patients and the community.

The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the surrounding community and invites all regardless of personal background to apply for the position.


We are looking for a highly motivated and enthusiastic person with the following competences and experience:

Essential experience and skills:
You have a PhD degree (or equivalent) in bioinformatics, biology, medicine, biochemistry, molecular biology, or related areas.
You can provide evidence of publication-standard experimental or computational research, preferable within the areas of bioinformatics, functional genomics, or developmental cell biology.
You have strong communication and collaboration skills, including the ability to work well in an international academic setting.
You can work in a team of multidisciplinary scientists and have the potential to work autonomously.
You have excellent written and oral communication skills in English.
Other assessed criteria are:

Curious mind-set with a strong interest in functional genomics and bioinformatics.
Personal drive and commitment to science.
Relevant work experience e.g. in bioinformatics, molecular biology, cell biology, DNA replication or repair.
Previous publications.
Professional qualifications relevant to the position.

Start date

January 01, 2024

How to Apply

Apply at: