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    Opportunity: Postdoc position in virome analysis @ Copenhagen Prospective Studies on Asthma in Childhood -- Copenhagen, Denmark
    Submitted by Shiraz Ali Shah; posted on Monday, February 25, 2019

    If you have experience with comparative microbial genomics, annotation of viral genomes, classification of proteins and genes or analysis of metagenome data, then you could be exactly what we're looking for.


    In recent years we have begun to understand the important role of the human microbiome in protecting is from chronic disease. In this project, we want to figure out whether the same holds true for viruses. Are most viruses good viruses that protect us from disease instead of causing it?

    Copenhagen Prospective Studies on Asthma in Childhood (COPSAC) is an internationally renowned research group consisting of approx. 40 employees all dedicated to revealing the causes of childhood asthma, allergy and eczema, as well as other chronic diseases in children. We have extensive data from the children on the many aspects of these diseases, like their symptoms, but also their general health, their genetics, epigenetics, metabolomics and immunological profiles.

    Viromes have been deeply sequenced from 700 children. We have 4 GB of virus data per child. We need to gain an overview of all of the different viruses in that data so we can compare them to the symptoms of the children, and figure out which viruses are good and bad. Most of the viruses are bacteriophages which infect the bacteria on the bodies of the children. We already have microbiome data for the same children and we need to find out which bacteriophages infect which bacteria.

    A major challenge in viromics is that most viruses are unknown and there's no marker gene like 16S rDNA which can reveal their presence or which family they belong to. So we need some way of distinguishing random DNA from viral DNA in our data, and we would like to officially classify any unknown viruses into new viral families so they can become known to science.


    As a Postdoc at COPSAC you'll:
    • Join the microbiome group and contribute with the analysis of our complex clinical and microbiological data.
    • Get the opportunity to create your own research profile based on your experience and interests.
    • Join a highly qualified team of postdocs, research assistants and clinicians.
    • Get the comprehensive support of a large administrative team of data managers, IT support, and fundraising.
    • Be part of a well-functioning and inspiring workplace with a sincere and fun atmosphere.
    • Get loads of opportunities for bouncing ideas off colleagues and seeking advice.


    • You have a PhD or equivalent experience, preferably within microbiology or bioinformatics.
    • You master coding and are used to data analysis on the linux command line, or in R.
    • You have experience within metagenomics, comparative genomics, virus bioinformatics or protein clustering.
    • You have a good understanding of how microbiological systems work and evolve.
    • You are curious and passionate and would like to be in the front line, where research makes a difference.
    • You'd like to join a team and help support the group, but are also comfortable working independently, exploring own ideas.


    Initial employment is for a 1 year trial period which will then be extended to the total funded 2.5 years given satisfactory performance. There are good chances for extension, or applying for a permanent researcher position afterwards.


    COPSAC is located in Copenhagen, Denmark, a charming city with great infrastructure, renowned cuisine, and everything you can expect from a European capital.


    The Danish postdoc salary is internationally competitive.


    You will play a crucial role as a postdoc in a highly interdisciplinary research environment, which publishes scientific articles in the highest ranking international journals. We have strong ambitions with plenty of space for sparring and professional development. You will work within a team of colleagues who are all passionate about their work and proud of their achievements. The research group is in the limelight, internationally, and the research topic enjoys great public interest. We have an amazing transnational and informal working environment, characterised by a pleasant atmosphere.


    Please visit[...]16912

    If you want to know more about the position, please contact Shiraz Shah (shiraz.shah {at}, +45 38 67 36 32, mobile +45 26 17 16 50) or read more about the research centre at


    Application deadline is March 31st 2019

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