PhD research fellow in chronic inflammatory diseases

A position as PhD research fellow is available in the Department of Molecular Medicine, University of Southern Denmark, Odense and at the University Hospital of Southern Jutland, Aaabenraa, within the following PhD project: “Prognostic factors and personalized medicine in chronic inflammatory diseases (CID); a prospective cohort study on factors predicting treatment response (BELIEVE)“. The position is to be filled by September 1, 2019 or soon thereafter. Application deadline: July 29, 2019.

PhD enrolment at the Faculty of Health Sciences, SDU, is a prerequisite for the employment.

You will be the principle person for coordinating the activities between the hospital departments for the recruitment and planning the research activities. You will be affiliated to the Department of Molecular Medicine and the University Hospital of Southern Jutland experiencing both a hospital research as well as a university research environment. You will be part of a small, ambitious, research team with various backgrounds (molecular biology, doctor, nurse, health research). You will be in close contact with other PhD students.


Chronic inflammatory diseases (CID) are frequently treated with biologic medications, specifically TNF inhibitors ). These medications inhibit the pro-inflammatory molecule tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α, which has been strongly implicated in the aetiology of these diseases. Up to one-third of patients do not, however, respond to biologics, and lifestyle factors are assumed to effect treatment outcomes. The aim of this PhD project is to identify lifestyle factors and biomarkers that may help improving treatment outcome.

Methods and analysis:

This prospective cohort study will enrol 320 CID patients who are prescribed a TNFi between June 2017 and March 2021. Included among the CID patients will be patients with inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis), rheumatic disorders (rheumatoid arthritis, axial spondyloarthritis, psoriatic arthritis), and inflammatory skin diseases (psoriasis, hidradenitis suppurativa). Patients will be investigated at baseline (pre-treatment) and 2, 6, and 14-16 weeks after treatment initiation. Clinical information includes patient-reported outcome measures, clinical assessments of disease activity, quality of life, and lifestyle, in addition to registry data on comorbidity and concomitant medication(s). Biological sample include blood, urine, faeces, intestinal biopsies. For each disease, evaluation of successful treatment response will be based on established primary and secondary endpoints, including disease-specific core outcome sets. Investigated covariates are: diet, including meat and fibre intake, and selected inflammatory biomarkers.


We will explore whether any of the covariates help the clinicians to predict who will respond to therapy by using logistic regression.

Ethics and dissemination:

The study is approved by the Ethics Committee (S-20160124) and the Danish Data Protecting Agency (2008-58-035). Study findings will be disseminated through peer-reviewed journals, patient associations, and presentations at international conferences.

Grant number for the SYSCID project is 733100.

Trial Registration details: identifier: NCT03173144.

Further information:

Signe Bek Sørensen, postdoc,, +45 2938 5683 (study coordinator).
Vibeke Andersen, professor, Focused Research Unit for Molecular Diagnostics and Clinical Research, University Hospital of Southern Jutland, Aabenraa, Department of Molecular Medicine (IMM), University of Southern Denmark (SDU), Odense +45 2115 7790, (main supervisor). Jens Kjeldsen, Professor, Medical Gastroenterological Department, Odense University Hospital,
Uffe Holmskov, Professor, Head of Department of Molecular Medicine, SDU,

Practical information

The applicant chosen for this position:

-Must have an interest for clinical study coordination, contact with patients and biomedical research.
-will be required to speak Danish fluently .
-Will have to apply for enrolment at the PhD school at the Faculty of Health Science, University of Southern Denmark. Enrolment is a prerequisite for the employment. Read more at

The PhD programme will be carried out in accordance with Faculty regulations and the Danish Ministerial Order on the PhD Programme at the Universities (PhD order). The terms of employment as a salaried PhD Research Fellow are stated in the Agreement between the Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC).

The first year’s salary will be covered by a Horizon 2020 project ( Since this project only covers one year’s salary as PhD student, an applicant who can provide coverage of the additionally two years’ salary will be preferred.

The study will be performed at the University Hospital of Southern Denmark, Aabenraa, in close contact with University of Southern Denmark and Odense University Hospital.

Applications must include:

• A letter stating the interest, motivation and qualifications for the project (max. 2 pages)
• Detailed CV, including personal contact information and documentation for at least one published study
• Certified copy of diploma (Master’s degree in a relevant field)

Additional information may be requested, and the application process may include an interview before final decision is made. Incomplete applications and applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

All interested and qualified persons are encouraged to apply, regardless of age, gender, religious affiliation or ethnic background.


Deadline: 2 July 2019
Unit: Faculty of Health Sciences
Campus: Flere tjenestesteder
Read the job description and apply online

Post expires on Tuesday July 2nd, 2019