Available Postdoc position on Progression of Prediabetes at the Section for Metabolic Genetics, University of Copenhagen

Available Postdoc position on Progression of Prediabetes at the Section for Metabolic Genetics, University of Copenhagen -

Danish Diabetes Academy (DDA) and University of Copenhagen call for applications to a 3-year research project in Progression of Prediabetes to Type 2 Diabetes and/ or Diabetes Complications. The project is expected to start September 1, 2018 or after agreement. 

Project “Progression of Prediabetes to Type 2 Diabetes and/ or Diabetes Complications

Progressive loss of pancreatic ß-cell function is central in the development and progression of type 2 diabetes (T2D). The Finnish study, DPP, STOP-NIDDM and TRIPOD trials have shown that reducing ß-cell demand can preserve ß-cell function and prevent or delay the onset of diabetes. Current guidelines for diagnosing T2D, principally based on abnormal circulating glucose levels, occur late in the natural history of the disease a stage after which it is conceivably too late to rescue the ß-cell function and reverse the disease. Numerous diabetes risk predictors have been developed but few, if any, attempts have mined EMRs/patient databases using fasting insulin/C-peptide relative to fasting glucose levels.

The hypothesis is that measures of hyperinsulinism and/ or insulin resistance, at normoglycemia, combined with known risk factors will provide greater predictive power for earlier prediabetes detection. Furthermore, this research may provide pathogenic insight into T2D progression and/or diabetes complications as a function of prediabetes duration and, if possible, therapeutic interventions.

Finally, it is quite possible that this study could make significant contributions to improving the diagnosis of (pre)diabetes by incorporating fasting insulin/C-peptide measures relative to glucose levels in that analysis, and thereby enabling more appropriate therapeutic strategies earlier on to prevent disease progression.

Key Questions

  1. Do elevated fasting insulin/ C-peptide circulating levels, but normal fasting glucose levels, indicate prediabetes? Establish a T2D progression risk algorithm that utilizes longitudinal fasting insulin and/or C-peptide measures relative to fasting glucose levels.
  2. Does the above indication of prediabetes eventually progress to diagnosed T2D and/or diabetes complications? Determine the impact on the duration of prediabetes converting T2D and/or diabetic nephropathy, cardiovascular disease, diabetic retinopathy or microvascular diabetic complications.
  3. Do T2D treatments, or other therapeutic interventions, affect disease progression in prediabetes? If possible, determine if treatment(s) of prediabetes contributes to changes in BMI, lipidemia, pancreatic ß-cell function, etc. related to slowing the progression toward T2D and/or its complications.

The research must be carried out in the research group of Professor Torben Hansen under the Section for Metabolic Genetics, Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research (CBMR,) and in close collaboration with MedImmune.  The project will be affiliated to an Academic Supervisor at CBMR and an Industrial Supervisor at MedImmune.

Moreover, the candidate is expected to sign up for DDA membership and to be engaged in DDA educational activities.

Required qualifications

Your educational background is MSc in Natural Sciencea, IT, Bioinformatics or equivalent, combined with a PhD degree and experience in data management and/ or project management.

You possess excellent coordination skills and the ability to see the big picture, as well as strong communication skills, in order to be able understand the needs of collaborators with different scientific backgrounds.

You have the ability to work in a complex environment with many stakeholders and parallel projects without compromising the quality of your work.

In addition we expect you to:

  • Have experience with pipelines for handling large amounts of biological data
  • Have published scientific papers in the field of metabolic physiology, genetic epidemiology, bioinformatics or biological data analysis
  • Have excellent statistics skills
  • Be fluent in spoken and written English
  • Have experience with teaching and supervision of students

How to apply

The application, in English, must be submitted in one document to Danish Diabetes Academy per email: ouh.dda@rsyd.dk marked “Postdoc application_Progression of Prediabetes to Type 2 Diabetes and/ or Diabetes Complication”

Application deadline: August 10, 2018 at 23.59 (12:00 midnight)

Please include:

  • Motivated letter of application (max. one page)
  • Curriculum vita
  • Diplomas (Master and PhD degree or equivalent)
  • If available, description and documentation of teaching and supervision experience and qualifications – please describe and document: 
    • Experience with supervision of BSc and MSc students 
    • Teaching experience 
    • Formal pedagogical training
  • Complete publication list
  • Separate copies of 5 particularly relevant papers

Further information

Inquiries about the position can be made to 
Head of Section, Professor Torben Hansentorben.hansen@sund.ku.dk

For information about DDA and the collaboration with Medimmune, please contact
DDA Managing Director Tore Christiansen  tore.christiansen@rsyd.dk