Technical University of Denmark (DTU)

Postdoc in epidemiology of infectious diseases

Technical University of Denmark (DTU)

2800 Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark

The National Food Institute (DTU Food) seeks a candidate for a researcher in epidemiology of infectious diseases. The researcher will be affiliated with the Research Group for Genomic Epidemiology, which has the primary task of conducting targeted research with the aim of predicting and preventing infectious diseases in humans and animals, and supporting global detection, surveillance and control. The group provides advisory service to the Danish Food and Veterinary Administration on foodborne outbreak investigations. The research group is an EU reference laboratory for antimicrobial resistance. The research combines expertise in conventional and molecular microbiology with epidemiology and bioinformatics.

The burden of foodborne infections like campylobacteriosis and salmonellosis remains a public health problem. An important reason is that prevention and control are complicated, as these infections are transmitted not only through a variety of foods, but also through the environment, by direct animal contact, and by person-to-person transmission. Consequently, quantitative evidence on the important sources and transmission routes is required for targeted intervention. This research field is gathered under the term ‘source attribution’, which is an exciting field in rapid development due to the increasing availability of whole genome sequencing (WGS) data. Recently, novel and promising approaches applying machine-learning on WGS data have been developed. As our new researcher, you will contribute to this work focusing on source attribution approaches for Campylobacter and Salmonella.

Responsibilities and tasks
The aim of the work is to develop a novel source attribution approach based on the identification of (clusters of) host-associated genetic determinants from animal, food and environment samples, and compare the distribution of such genetic determinants in bacterial strains isolated from human cases using mathematical modelling.

Ideally, the resulting approach can be established as a method that can be applied routinely to quantify the contribution of various sources to human campylobacteriosis and salmonellosis with the main purpose to support the national food authority in their strategies for preventing and controlling these zoonotic diseases.

  • Your main responsibility will be to apply and further develop methodologies for analysing and interpreting Campylobacter and Salmonella WGS data from humans and potential infectious sources
  • You will accomplish this by performing research into the use of machine learning methods for identifying host-associated gene clusters based on available WGS and epidemiological data
  • You will communicate research results by presenting and discussing these at meetings with the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration, who is co-funding the project
  • You will be involved in a EU-funded project concerning source attribution, where you will contribute to the development of new methodologies
  • You will communicate research results at project meetings and international conferences, and write reports and manuscripts for publication
  • You will get the opportunity to assist in teaching, training, and capacity building of researchers from international collaborating institutes as well as DTU students

The group has a large international network, is leading several international projects and engaged in many partner collaborations globally, where we aim to understand the burden and transmission of foodborne diseases and antimicrobial resistance, the socio-economic factors associated therewith, and strategies for their prevention in both developed and developing countries.

Qualifications
Candidates should have a PhD degree or equivalent within the field of epidemiology, microbiology or related disciplines.

As the ideal candidate:
  • You have documented experience with analysing bacterial WGS data using mathematical modelling e.g., machine learning
  • Preferably, you have experience with foodborne diseases and advisory service
  • You are able to work independently and able to plan and carry out complex tasks,
  • You have the ability to engage constructively and positively in a large, international and cross-disciplinary research group
  • You have good English communication skills, oral and written
  • You enjoy working with complex topics
  • You are ambitious and has a strong drive for obtaining high-quality results
  • You are flexible and self-motivating and take personal responsibility for your work

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and terms of employment
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union.

The period of employment is two years.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Professor Tine Hald, tiha@food.dtu.dk, tel.: +45 5115 7485.

You can read more about the Genomic Epidemiology Research Group at http://www.food.dtu.dk/english/Research/Genomic-Epidemiology

Application procedure
Please submit your online application no later than 21 November 2019 (local time).

Apply at www.career.dtu.dk

Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. 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. The file must include:
  • Application (cover letter)
  • CV
  • Diploma (MSc/PhD)
  • List of publications

Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, disability, race, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

The National Food Institute (DTU Food) works within six technical focus areas: Biotechnology, nutrition, food quality, food safety, food technology and environment & human health. Activities cover a wide range of food products throughout the entire food chain from farm to table, comprising both research activities and research-based consulting and teaching. Read more at www.food.dtu.dk.

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 11,500 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. Our main campus is in Kgs. Lyngby north of Copenhagen and we have campuses in Roskilde and Ballerup.

Please apply via recruiter’s website.

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