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Inflammatory mechanisms in opportunistic fungal infections and complement diagnostics and monitoring

  • Full or part time
    Prof P Garred
    Prof T Mollnes
  • Application Deadline
    Sunday, May 10, 2020
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Fungal infections represent an increasing health problem. Patients undergoing high dose chemotherapy or stem cell/organ transplantation are at high risk of being infected with opportunistic fungal pathogens. Omnipresent, airborne fungal spores can reach the lungs and cause an invasive infection. Despite prophylactic antifungal treatment, fungal infections still constitute a severe clinical problem associated with high mortality rates (30-90%). The problem is aggravated by the fact that drug-resistant strains of one of the dominating pathogens, Aspergillus fumigatus, appear more and more frequently. The complement system is involved in the pathophysiology of Aspergillus fumigatus infections, but the interaction is complex and only partly understood. The present project will elucidate the role of the so-called anaphylatoxins C3a and C5a and their receptors as well as the downstream cellular processes in the pathophysiology of Aspergillus fumigatus infection using an ex vivo human whole blood 3D model.

The second objective will be to develop an assay that will be suitable for monitoring the complement system.

General description of your individual PhD-schedule:

• Your main university will be University of Copenhagen with Prof. Garred as supervisor.
• You will have a 7-month research secondment at University of Oslo (Norway) with Prof. Mollnes as supervisor, where you continue to scientifically work on your thesis project.
• You will have a 1-month clinical training at Tirol Kliniken Innsbruck (Austria).
• You will have a 1-month entrepreneur training at SVAR (Malmö, Sweden).
• You will have a 6-month industrial research secondment at SVAR.
• You will finally receive a PhD issued by University of Copenhagen and University of Oslo, if you fulfil the respective requirements.


Please go to for application and more information on the PhD program. You have to submit: Application Form (see, CV, Master/MD/Diploma document (or ToR if not finished yet), Abstract of Master/MD/Diploma thesis. Selected candidates will be invited for a personal interview to Copenhagen on 30thJun/01stJul Jan2020.


We are looking for highly qualified and motivated aspiring PhD students from any nationality with an open-minded and very enterprising personality, capable of working in collaborative and integrated research groups. Ideal candidates should possess a good scientific drive and a strong motivation to succeed.

•You have a full study completing degree (Master, Magister, Diploma, MD) in medicine, natural sciences or related disciplines until September 2020
•You are an Early Stage Researcher (ESR) – you either just finished your studies, or you have worked less than 4 years as an employee in the biomedical sector after obtaining your degree
•You have to show academic excellence, scientific potential, flexibility, motivation and suitability for the research project
•You have the willingness to stay abroad for 3 years from your current residence and willingness to travel through Europe
•You comply with the mobility rule for Marie Sklodowska Curie ITN fellows – Researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of the recruiting university for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date. This will be thoroughly checked.

Funding Notes

The Marie Sklodowska-Curie project CORVOS, for COmplement Regulation and Variations in Opportunistic infectionS, is funded as an Innovative Training Network (ITN) – European Joint Doctorate (EJD). Its focus lies on education of young scientists in the field of complement in opportunistic infections. This interdisciplinary doctoral program is supported by 10 European universities, 2 research institutes, 3 biomedical companies and 3 hospitals. The PhD students will have enhanced career perspectives in the academic and non-academic sectors through international, interdisciplinary and inter-sectoral mobility combined with an innovation-oriented mind-set. Visit View Website to see all the benefits that you will have as CORVOS PhDstudent.

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