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Inhibition of Candida-induced complement lectin pathway activation in a porcine model

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

About This PhD Project

Project Description

The group of professor Mollnes has worked with a combined inhibition of complement (at the level of C3 and C5), and the Toll like receptors (TLRs) targeting CD14, a key co-receptor for TLR4, TLR2 and others, based on an hypothesis to attenuating the upstream innate immune activation when it is over- or dys-activated. This occurs in conditions like sepsis, trauma and ischemia reperfusion injury. It is of utmost importance to study the lectin pathway in life-threatening opportunistic infections in vivo. NO1 will be engaged in the therapy of sepsis using a well-established life porcine model. The innovative idea is to apply this model to bacteria and Candida sepsis and thus study another systemic infection with a clinically relevant opportunist and explore whether the combined blockage or the specific inhibition of the lectin pathway will be superior to block complement activation downstream. Specific lectin inhibitors produced by Garred (e.g. MAP-1) will be tested in the pig sepsis model. These inhibitors will be compared with a C5 inhibitor (Ra) and the combined Ra/CD14 inhibition to investigate the effect of the specific upstream lectin pathway in comparison to a broad-spectrum innate immunity blockade. In Copenhagen (DK), NO1 will study in vitro phagocytosis and downstream inflammatory mechanisms related to lectin pathway proteins. The one-month entrepreneurship at SVAR will be timed accordingly so that NO1 can, in addition, help NO2 in her/his project allowing an even more practical insight into industrial approaches to research.

General description of your individual PhD-schedule:

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


Please visit 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.


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 to see all the benefits that you will have as CORVOS PhDstudent.

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