PhD Position in Biochemistry, Brain Metabolism with Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy – DTU Health Tech

    PhD Position in Biochemistry, Brain Metabolism with Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy - DTU Health Tech

    PhD scholarship for Graduates in Biochemistry – Brain Metabolism with Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy is available at DTU Health Tech, Technical University of Denmark, Denmark

    Deadline to Apply

    May 30, 2021 (23: 59 GMT +1)


    PositionPhD Position
    No. of Position(s)1
    Research Area– Biochemistry
    – Molecular biology and pharmacology
    Scholarship“According to standard norms”
    WorkplaceSection for magnetic resonance
    DTU Health Tech
    Technical University of Denmark,
    Contract Period3 Years
    Starting dateSept 01, 2021 or ASAP


    • Two-year master’s degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master’s degree.
      These contributions require a combination of interests and skills, and we are specifically looking for a person who has
    • Experience with data analysis and modelling
    • Interest in experimental work, including biochemical laboratory work
    • Solid understanding of magnetic resonance spectroscopy
    • Experience with matlab/python programming, or other relevant software for hardware control and data modelling
    • It is necessary for an applicant for this interdisciplinary project to be naturally interested in, and take active participation in, the connected scientific research fields: metabolism, biochemistry, molecular biology and pharmacology. 


    A candidate with knowledge about hyperpolarization will be preferred. 


    This PhD project aims at investigating causal links between metabolic syndrome (MetS), neuro-inflammation, neuro-metabolism and neurodegenerative disorders. We will study this in a physiological context relevant for clinical translation. Specifically in diet-induced obesity in a pig model that validly mimics the human diet-induced obese /MetS condition. In particular, the Ossabaw pig breed available at DTU Health will be used as model system. This pig represents a naturally feast-and-famine adapted, obesity prone breed for which it has been documented that high energy, high fat diets result in a rapid occurrence of obesity. In the PhD project the set-up and tests of all tools (optimal spectroscopic sequences; multi-nuclei head coil; hyperpolarization 13C-tracer production and injection protocols; anesthetic and monitoring protocols) will be implemented and evaluated on healthy farm pigs.
    As a PhD student in the section for magnetic resonance you are expected to:

    • Contribute to research-based education of bachelor and master students
    • Take responsibility for high quality performance on instrumentation for Hyperpolarized magnetic resonance spectroscopy and on the 3T clinical scanner
    • 3-6 months exchange visit to one of our international collaborators who are frontrunners on hyperpolarized magnetic resonance spectroscopy
    • Engage in collaborations across DTU health Tech and between metabolism and MR groups at KU Pharma and Århus University hospital.

    How to Apply?

    To apply, please open the link “Apply online”, fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file.

    Documents Required

    Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. The file must include:

    • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
    • Curriculum vitae
    • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
    • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here)

    About the project/department

    Metabolic imaging is an attractive tool for the study of integrative physiology as it provides the means to non-invasively measure cellular function where it appears in single cells, tissue, organs or organisms. Magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) is a widely used imaging method for studying in vivo metabolism non-invasively. Generally, MRS relies on the quantification of endogenous metabolites based on signature signals from abundant protons. MRS can also track signals of other stable magnetic nuclei (e.g. 13C) and thereby be used as a tracer technique for detection of the uptake and transformation of infused isotope labelled molecules. Adding hyperpolarization in the form of dissolution dynamic nuclear polarization (dDNP) capabilities to the MRS enhances the MR signal and translates into reduction of hours long scan times and/or better resolution and most importantly can add dynamical information to the metabolic images. The introduction of the dDNP method for metabolic imaging in vivo has thus generated a new field of metabolic imaging. The enhanced 13C signal (hyperpolarization) on isotope labelled metabolic tracers is created at cryogenic temperatures in dedicated equipment. The signal enhanced sample is then rapidly melted and introduced as a solute into a living system placed in an MR scanner, with the subsequent metabolic biochemistry quantified through magnetic resonance. Hyperpolarized MR (HypMR) overcomes the fundamental thermodynamic limitations of conventional magnetic resonance and is currently translated to human studies with several early-phase clinical trials in progress including early reports showing 13C-pyruvate to 13C-lactate metabolism in healthy human brain.

    At Hypermag in the section for magnetic resonance at DTU Health Tech we are experts in HypMR and we will towards the end of 2021 install a clinical scanner at DTU. We are therefore looking for you if you are interested in new technology, imaging and brain metabolism and is willing to work hard in a dedicated team of colleagues to make HypMR at DTU a hub for clinical translational metabolic research. 


    • If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark.
    • All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.


    Main supervisor, Senior Researcher,
    Mathilde Hauge Lerche,
    Tel: +45 5362 4555 or E-mail:

    Official advertisement

    PhD scholarship in Brain Metabolism with Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy