PhD on Positive allosteric modulation of the muscarinic M4 receptor as a potential target for the treatment of substance use disorders - #335243

Psykiatrisk Center København


Dato: for 1 uge siden
By: Frederiksberg, Region Hovedstaden
Kontrakttype: Fuld tid
Mental Health Services in the Capital Region of Denmark and Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences University of Copenhagen



Paid 3-year PhD position with start May 1, 2024, at the Psychiatric Center Copenhagen, Frederiksberg and Bispebjerg Hospital.



The project

The present project is part of a broader line of research at the Laboratory of Neuropsychiatry with the long-term objectives to identify drug-induced changes in the brain associated with the development of addiction and to uncover possible new targets for the treatment of substance use disorders.

Our laboratory was first to show that the muscarinic M4 receptor is important for the addictive effects of psychostimulants and alcohol. We have also shown that positive allosteric modulators of the M4 receptor have anti-addiction effects. In this project, we endeavor to demonstrate possible effects of M4 receptor stimulation on the more persistent, chronic stages of the addiction cycle, such as compulsive drug seeking and relapse, as well as possible beneficial effects on chronic drug exposure-induced changes in in the release pattern of dopamine in the mesocorticolimbic system using fiber photometry with fluorescent dopamine sensors.



The research team

Project leader Gitta Wörtwein is associate professor at Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen and Psychiatric Center Copenhagen, Laboratory of Neuropsychiatry. She has 30 years of experience with research in the field of neuropsychiatry. The project is in close collaboration with Professors Morgan Thomsen and Anders Fink-Jensen.



Job description

We are looking for highly motivated candidates with an excellent academic background in Neuroscience, Behavioral Pharmacology, or related disciplines.



Your key tasks as a PhD student are:

  • Carry through an independent research project under supervision
  • Complete PhD courses or other equivalent education corresponding to approx. 30 ECTS points
  • Participate in active research environments including a stay at another research team
  • Obtain experience with scientific writing, speaking, teaching, or other dissemination related to your PhD project
  • Write a PhD thesis on the basis of your project


Key criteria for the assessment of applicants:

  • Applicants must have qualifications corresponding to a master’s degree related to the subject area of the project.


Essential experience and skills:

  • You have a Master’s degree in biological sciences or similar
  • You have an active interest in substance use disorders
  • You have excellent written English skills and good oral English skills


Desirable experience and skills:

  • You have experience with fiber photometry
  • You have experience with stereotactic surgery in mice
  • Previous publications


Send your written application in English via the application system. Please attach:

  • Application letter
  • Curriculum vitae listing education, relevant course work and technical skills, professional experience, research experience, scientific publications and presentations
  • Copy of diploma
Contact information

For any inquiries related to the position, applicants may contact project leader Gitta Wörtwein (email: [email protected] / phone +4540931103).



Application deadline is March 1, 2024.











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