Copenhagen University

Copenhagen University

Postdoc in Medicinal Chemistry at Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology



Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences University of Copenhagen

We are looking for a highly motivated, skilled and dynamic postdoc for a 3-year position with start on 15 November 2023, or as soon as possible hereafter.

The project is focused on the development and characterization of psychedelics with unique selectivity profiles between neuronal receptors.

Information on the department can be found at: https: // .

The research This project is part of an ambitious collaborative research project funded by a Lundbeck Foundation Collaborative Project Grant between 7 PIs at University of Copenhagen, University of Helsinki and Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen. The project is highly interdisciplinary and multifaceted, and the project group comprises research groups with a broad range of expertise, including medicinal chemistry, computational chemistry/structural biology, molecular pharmacology, biochemistry, neuroscience, ex vivo/in vivo pharmacology and PET imaging.

The project arises from the recent pioneering discovery made by the University of Helsinki PIs that some psychedelic drugs in addition to their agonist activity at the serotonin 5-HT2A receptor and other serotonergic/monoaminergic receptors act as positive allosteric modulators of the BDNF receptor TrkB (Moliner et al., Nat. Neurosci. , 2023). The overall aims of this project are to develop novel classes of ligands with selective action on TrkB over 5-HT2A, and vice versa, to study the molecular basis for and the modes of action of these ligands at the receptors, and to probe the therapeutic potential in selective modulation of 5-HT2A and TrkB receptors.

The candidate will be employed in the research group of Professor Jesper L. Kristensen

Your job The project will be performed in close collaboration with computational chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology post docs at University of Copenhagen and with the other research groups in the collaboration.

Your project will have a dual focus on 5-HT2A and TrkB receptors, and it will be performed in close collaboration with computational chemists and molecular pharmacologists at University of Copenhagen. In parallel with taking part in ongoing research activities with focus on the 5-HT2A receptors, you will modify known psychedelics and improve their binding towards the TrkB receptor. In parallel, you will continue and elaborate on the ongoing research activities focused on the 5-HT2A receptor. Additionally, you will perform structure-activity relationship studies on new scaffolds targeting the TrkB receptor.

As this project is part of an international collaboration, there will be regular project meetings where you are expected to present your results and progress. As part of the employment, you will also take on various administrative and research-related responsibilities, including the supervision of students associated with this project. Finally, you will be expected to do some teaching of bachelor and master students at University of Copenhagen.

For further information about the project and the postdoc position, please feel free to contact Jesper L. Kristensen e-mail:[email protected].

Profile We are looking for a highly motivated and enthusiastic scientist with the following competencies and experience:

Essential experience and skills:

  • You have a PhD in medicinal chemistry or in a related field (organic chemistry, pharmaceutical sciences, etc.)
  • You have at least 2 year PostDoc experience
  • You have demonstrated the ability to attract research funding.
  • You have an active interest in neuroscience research, drug discovery in an academic setting, and medicinal chemistry.
  • You have a strong knowledge of synthetic chemistry techniques.
  • You have a positive approach to new challenges and can handle the adversity that inevitably will come during an ambitious project.
  • You are able to work in teams as well as independently.
  • Proficient communication skills and excellent English skills, written and spoken.
  • Desirable experience and skills:

  • A strong scientific track record, including publications within a research field related to this project.
  • Target knowledge of 5-HT2A and/or TrkB receptors (or related receptors).
  • You have international experience.
  • Place of employment The place of employment is at the Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen. The department is internationally recognized for its research within neuroscience and drug development. We offer creative and stimulating working conditions in dynamic and international research environment.

    Terms of employment The average weekly working hours are 37 hours per week. The position is a fixed-term position limited to a period of 3 years. The start date is 15 November 2023, or as soon as possible hereafter.

    Salary, pension and other conditions of employment are set in accordance with the Agreement between the Ministry of Taxation and AC (Danish Confederation of Professional Associations) or other relevant organisation. Currently, the monthly salary starts at 36,290 DKK/approx. 4,860 EUR (October 2023 level). Depending on qualifications, a supplement may be negotiated. The employer will pay an additional 17.1 % to your pension fund.

    Foreign and Danish applicants may be eligible for tax reductions, if they hold a PhD degree and have not lived in Denmark the last 10 years.

    The position is covered by the Job Structure for Academic Staff at Universities 2020.

    Foreign applicants may find this link useful: www. (International Staff Mobility).

    Application procedure Your online application must be submitted in English by clicking ‘Apply now' below. Furthermore, your application must include the following documents/attachments – all in PDF format:

  • Motivated letter of application (max. one page).
  • CV incl. education, work/research experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position.
  • A certified/signed copy of a) PhD certificate and b) Master of Science certificate. If the PhD is not completed, a written statement from the supervisor will do.
  • Full list of publications.
  • Deadline for applications: 24 September 2023, 23.59pm CET

    We reserve the right not to consider material received after the deadline, and not to consider applications that do not live up to the abovementioned requirements.

    The further process After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the hiring committee. All applicants are then immediately notified whether their application has been passed for assessment by an unbiased assessor. Once the assessment work has been completed each applicant has the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that relates to the applicant him/herself.

    You can read about the recruitment process at https: //

    The applicant will be assessed according to the Ministerial Order no. 242 of 13 March 2012 on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities.

    Interviews are expected to be held in week 40 and 41.

    The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

    Job details


    Postdoc in Medicinal Chemistry at Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology


    Copenhagen University




    September 14, 2023

    Application deadline

    September 24, 2023

    Job type




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