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PhD fellowship concerning regenerative medicine for treatment of severe urogenital malformations

Region Hovedstaden

The Department of Pediatric Surgery, Surgical Clinic C, Rigshospitalet is offering a three-year PhD fellowship. The PhD fellowship is within the field of pediatric surgery and tissue engineering and is available from August 1, 2020 or as soon as possible thereafter. The Novo Nordisk Foundation finances the PhD fellowship.

Aim of PhD project
To develop tissue engineering for clinical use in reconstructive malformation surgery for vaginal atresia.

Project description
At highly specialized centers of Pediatric Surgery and Urology, children with different disorders related to malformations are being treated.Congenital malformations such as bladder exstrophy, cloaca exstrophy, severe hypospadias, vaginal atresia, spina bifida, diaphragmatic hernia and defects of the abdominal wall (omphalocele and gastroschisis) are examples of conditions where lack of urogenital- or soft tissue can give rise to severe malfunction with sickness and need for repeated surgical interventions. In most cases surgery is straightforward and function as well as physical properties are well restored. In rare cases, lack of tissue can be significant and the surgical reconstruction impaired. This can lead to high morbidity and in some cases even mortality of the child.

The project aims at developing new methods for regenerative medicine in severe malformation surgery in order to reduce morbidity and increase quality of life. The scientific novelty includes the use of the body itself as a bioreactor in order to develop so called guided tissue engineering with advantages such as: not needing specially equipped cell culture laboratories, easiness and cost-efficiency. We would then be able to reach out to a larger group of patients that could be treated at a standard surgical unit. If successful, a clinical implementation could be started by creating i.e. autologous vaginal tissue for the neovagina.

Our findings and results will be useful also for other groups of patients, such as adult patients needing reconstructive surgery after treatment for malignancies, or after severe trauma.

The PhD program will include in vitro studies as well as in vivo animal studies to evaluate tissue engineered constructs with biomaterials and autologous tissues.

Principal supervisor
Professor Magdalena Fossum, Department of Pediatric Surgery, Surgical Clinic C, Copenhagen University Hospital, Rigshospitalet

E-mail: maria.magdalena.elisabeth.fossum@regionh.dk

Clara I Chamorro, MSc PhD, Lab. manager at Laboratory for Tissue Engineering, Surgical Clinic C, Copenhagen and Bioclinicum J10:20, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden Email: clara.chamorro.jimenez@ki.se.

Fatemeh Ajalloueian, PhD, The Danish National Research Foundation and Villum Foundation's Center for Intelligent Drug Delivery and Sensing Using Microcontainers and Nanomechanics (IDUN), Department of Health Technology, Technical University of Denmark, Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby, Email: faaj@dtu.dk

Required qualifications
As an applicant you must have:

Obtained a Master´s degree in medicine prior to the starting date, fluency in English and excellent communication skills, the ability to work in an interdisciplinary environment, experience with biomaterials for tissue regeneration, knowledge in laboratory techniques related to cryopreservation, histological evaluations, cell culture and the ability to travel for performing experiments abroad.

Preferred qualifications
We are looking for a highly motivated candidate with a strong background in medicine.

Job description
Your key tasks as a PhD fellow at the Faculty are to:

  • Carry through an independent research project under supervision,
  • Write scientific articles and the PhD thesis on the grounds of your research project,
  • Complete PhD courses or other equivalent education corresponding to approx. 30 ECTS points,
  • Obtain experience with teaching or other types of dissemination related to your PhD project,
  • Participate in the undergraduate teaching of students in medicine,
  • Participate in national and international congresses and scientific meetings,
  • Stay at an external research institution, preferably abroad.

Key criteria for the assessment of applicants

  • Professional qualifications relevant to the PhD program
  • The grade point average achieved
  • Other professional activities
  • Authorship of peer reviewed publications within the subject of the PhD project
  • Language skills
  • The successful applicant is also required to be enterprising and to possess good interpersonal skills

Formal requirements
The successful applicant will be requested to formally apply for enrolment as a PhD student at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen according to the rules stipulated in the Ministerial order on the PhD program at the universities (PhD order) from the Ministry of Science, Innovation, and Higher Education and the guidelines for the PhD program at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences.

Terms of employment
The position as a PhD fellow is available for a 3-year period.

Salary and other terms and conditions of appointment are set in accordance with the Agreement between the Ministry of Finance and “Yngre Læger” of Danish Medical Association. The position is covered by the Protocol on Job Structure.

Salary in accordance to the current agreement with YL (trade union for younger doctors).

Application procedure
The application, in English, must be submitted electronically.

Your application must include:

  • Cover letter: Letter stating the interest in and qualifications for the project (max. one page),
  • Full CV,
  • Diploma and transcripts of records: Master´s degree diploma (including grade transcripts for bachelor´s and master´s degrees). Applicants with a Master´s degree from abroad should also enclose a short description of the grading scale used,
  • Publication list if applicable,
  • Other information to consider: Possible references and recommendations.

The University of Copenhagen wishes to encourage everyone interested in this post to apply, regardless of personal background.

Deadline for applications
31 May 2020. Please note that only online applications will be accepted. Applications received later than this date will not be considered.

Post application procedure
After the application deadline, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Appointments Committee.

All applicants are then immediately notified whether an expert assessment committee has passed their application for assessment.

Selected applicants are notified of the composition of the committee and each applicant has the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that relates to the applicant him/herself.

The Appointments Committee consists of the supervision group and the Head of Department who is the authorized recruitment manager. The Expert Assessment Committee consists of the principal supervisor.

An answer as to the granting of the fellowship can be expected approximately two weeks after the application deadline.

For further information, applicants may contact the principal supervisor, Professor Magdalena Fossum, e-mail: maria.magdalena.elisabeth.fossum@regionh.dk

For more information on working and living in Denmark visit ism.ku.dk(International staff mobility) and www.workindenmark.dk.

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Ph.d. & forskning
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Det handler om liv. Om at bringe liv til verden og skabe livskvalitet. Om at redde liv og forbedre liv. I Region Hovedstaden træder du ind i en verden af muligheder og mangfoldighed med plads til dine ambitioner. Du bliver en del af noget større – et stærkt fagligt miljø, hvor vi har fingeren på pulsen og gør hinanden bedre. Du får et arbejde, der giver mening, fordi det handler om liv. Vil du være med til at gøre en forskel?​

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