Project openings

The project period is 6-12 months and the start date is flexible although Q1 2022 is preferred. The projects are open as both master’s projects and research year projects.

Projects

Project description

According to WHO the leading cause of death globally is ischemic heart disease which accounts for 16% of the world’s deaths in total. The pathogenesis of ischemic heart disease is atherosclerosis in the coronary arteries which reduces the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle.  A heart attack, also known as myocardial infarction, happens when the blood flow to a section of heart muscle suddenly becomes blocked. If blood flow is not restored quickly, the section of heart muscle begins to die. Myocardial infarction can lead to irregular heartbeats, cardiogenic shock, or cardiac arrest and death. Due to the prevalence and mortality rates of myocardial infarction the pharmacological research focused on interventions improving the prognosis for patients is important and will have a large impact on world health.

Rodent models of myocardial infarction which are most frequently used in in vivo pharmacological research projects have been induced using open cardiothoracic surgery where a suture is tied around a coronary artery to cause an occlusion. The artery of choice has most frequently been the LAD (left anterior descending artery) which supply the lateral left ventricular wall and apex. This type of surgery is very invasive, and complications leading to early euthanasia or death of the animals are common.

In the current project we seek a student who will join a project where we aim to establish a non-invasive model of myocardial infarction in rodents which is quick and eliminates the need for invasive cardiothoracic surgery. Validation of the model against the open cardiothoracic models will include both animal welfare parameters along with reproducibility of the model (myocardial infarct size and cardiac function) post infarction. This will be evaluated using advanced imaging techniques.

As a master student you will be part of our internal Minerva Imaging Scholar Program. The program is designed to support Minerva Imaging as a scientifically driven CRO and thus focus on continued training and education in scientific methods and theory.

Applied methods

  • Invasive and non-invasive cardiothoracic microsurgery
  • Echocardiography
  • Molecular imaging CT/MR imaging of healthy and diseased hearts
  • Animal welfare assessment of infarction models
  • Blood sampling in small rodents
  • Plasma assays for evaluation of relevant biomarkers

Your Profile

The ideal candidate must enjoy working in an animal facility and have an interest in the use of advanced equipment. It is essential that you have a positive attitude, is proactive, takes ownership of the project and drives it forward and sets high quality standards for data deliveries.

To apply for this project, you should be on a relevant master’s program (DVM, natural and life sciences, MD, engineer or similar). It is a requirement that you have some relevant knowledge or experience with animal/human physiology from courses or other projects. It is an advantage if you have already passed a course in laboratory animal science (FELASA category AD or similar), but it is not a requirement.

The project start date is flexible although Q1, 2022 is preferred. The project is open as both a master’s project and/or research year project. The research year is a unique opportunity to delve deeper into a topic and get a closer look at the world of research and life as a researcher. As a master project, it will also be possible to combine the project with a job as a student assistant at Minerva Imaging. Throughout the project you will be assigned to a senior researcher that will supervise daily along with main supervisor Professor Andreas Kjaer, MD, PhD, DMSc (Cluster for Molecular Imaging, University of Copenhagen).

If you have had your appetite whetted for life as a researcher after the project is completed, you will also have the option to apply for an industrial PhD position at Minerva Imaging, as such project will also be available to talented students recurrently.

On a personal note you are 

  • A proactive communicator and team-player
  • Eager to learn
  • Enthusiastic and passionate, but keeps attention to detail
  • Problem-solving and have strong analytical skills
  • Ability to thrive in a fast paced, dynamic, service organization

As we are an informal organization, we value humor and a natural care for one another, meaning stepping up and lending a helping hand to a colleague when needed, and we keep focus on open and honest communication.

If you are interested in the project and wants to learn more or send us an application, please reach out to Head of Cardiovascular Disease, Philip G. J. Pedersen; e-mail: php@minervaimaging.com, Phone: 24842152. The application must include a motivated cover letter and a CV addressing the listed qualifications. Applications will be evaluated continuously, and we will invite potential applicants for interview accordingly.

About Minerva Imaging

Minerva Imaging is a scientifically driven CRO founded in 2011 and located in Ølstykke. We are rapidly growing and today we employ close to 60 employees. The company is highly interdisciplinary and consists of engineers, biologists, veterinarians, chemists, and technicians among others. Our focus is on the use of advanced animal models within oncology and cardiovascular diseases in combination with molecular imaging for translational research and drug development. We engage with our collaborators to understand their scientific questions and discuss how our methods and capabilities can provide the answers needed. This means you will take part in a highly specialized CRO, with ambitions of taking disease treatment to the next generation of personalized medicine.

Project description

Increased fibroblast proliferation and tissue fibrosis is a consequence of many different disease pathologies including tissue damage, chronic inflammation, autoimmune reactions, and genetic alterations. Fibrosis is characterized by excessive deposition of extracellular matrix components which results in a hardening, and/or scarring of the affected tissue. This impairs the normal physiological function of the effected organs and can result in severe and chronic consequences to patients. Due to this fact antifibrotic interventions are in high demand and new effective treatments are a continuous research focus as management of fibrotic diseases is still much in need. Especially within ischemic heart disease, obstructive pulmonary disease, and lower respiratory infections, which are some of the biggest causes of death worldwide, fibrosis plays a major role in the pathogenesis of the disease complex, meaning that effective antifibrotic interventions would improve the prognosis for many patients and have a large impact on world health.

To diagnose fibrosis, tissue biopsies are routinely employed in pre-clinical research and clinical practice, but they suffer from several drawbacks, including their invasive nature, sampling variability and limited spatial information. To overcome these limitations, multiple different imaging tools and technologies have been evaluated over the years as these modalities could provide anatomical, functional, and molecular imaging information, which is useful for fibrosis diagnosis and staging. Furthermore, imaging can also hold potential for the longitudinal assessment of therapy responses. Despite this, imaging is today only used sparsely to supplement clinical diagnosis of fibrosis and no standalone technique has proved superior to tissue biopsies. Therefore, the development of new imaging options which are easy to use, reproducible and give a precise evaluation of fibrosis stage in different organs are still called upon.

In the current project we seek a student to assist in establishing a new molecular imaging technique using a radiolabeled ligand to visualize fibrotic tissue using molecular imaging. Such a ligand could hold a strong potential as a diagnostic marker of fibrosis in different organs and enable its use in pre-clinical and clinical research to individualize and improve anti-fibrotic therapies.

As a master student you will be part of our internal Minerva Imaging Scholar program. The program is designed to support Minerva Imaging as a scientifically driven CRO and thus focus on continued training and education in scientific methods and theory.

Applied methods

  • Establishment and optimization of different relevant fibrosis models
  • Microsurgery used for biopsy sampling for validation of the applied imaging methods
  • Molecular and CT imaging of healthy and diseased animal models
  • Animal welfare assessment of the models
  • Blood sampling in small rodents
  • Plasma assays for evaluation of relevant biomarkers

Your Profile

The ideal candidate must enjoy working in an animal facility and have an interest in the use of advanced equipment. It is essential that you have a positive attitude, is proactive, takes ownership of the project and drives it forward and sets high quality standards for data deliveries.

To apply for this project, you should be on a relevant master’s program (DVM, natural and life sciences, MD, engineer or similar). It is a requirement that you have some relevant knowledge or experience with animal/human physiology from courses or other projects. It is an advantage if you have already passed a course in laboratory animal science (FELASA category AD or similar), but it is not a requirement.

The project start date is flexible although Q1, 2022 is preferred. The project is open as both a master’s project and/or research year project. The research year is a unique opportunity to delve deeper into a topic and get a closer look at the world of research and life as a researcher. As a master project, it will also be possible to combine the project with a job as a student assistant at Minerva Imaging. Throughout the project you will be assigned to a senior researcher that will supervise daily along with main supervisor Professor Andreas Kjaer, MD, PhD, DMSc (Cluster for Molecular Imaging, University of Copenhagen).

If you have had your appetite whetted for life as a researcher after the project is completed, you will also have the option to apply for an industrial PhD position at Minerva Imaging, as such project will also be available to talented students recurrently.

On a personal note you are 

  • A proactive communicator and team-player
  • Eager to learn
  • Enthusiastic and passionate, but keeps attention to detail
  • Problem-solving and have strong analytical skills
  • Ability to thrive in a fast paced, dynamic, service organization

As we are an informal organization, we value humor and a natural care for one another, meaning stepping up and lending a helping hand to a colleague when needed, and we keep focus on open and honest communication.

If you are interested in the project and wants to learn more or send us an application, please reach out to Head of Cardiovascular Disease, Philip G. J. Pedersen; e-mail: php@minervaimaging.com, Phone: 24842152. The application must include a motivated cover letter and a CV addressing the listed qualifications. Applications will be evaluated continuously, and we will invite potential applicants for interview accordingly.

About Minerva Imaging

Minerva Imaging is a scientifically driven CRO founded in 2011 and located in Ølstykke. We are rapidly growing and today we employ close to 60 employees. The company is highly interdisciplinary and consists of engineers, biologists, veterinarians, chemists and technicians among others. Our focus is on the use of advanced animal models within oncology and cardiovascular diseases in combination with molecular imaging for translational research and drug development. We engage with our collaborators to understand their scientific questions and discuss how our methods and capabilities can provide the answers needed. This means you will take part in a highly specialized CRO, with ambitions of taking disease treatment to the next generation of personalized medicine.

Project description

Using molecular biology and molecular imaging we deliver high quality data to our clients evaluating their novel cancer therapeutics in a non-invasive manner with the potential to accelerate their drug development pipeline. Relevant animal models aiming to recapitulate the genomic, histopathological and microenvironmental features of human tumors are in high demand. At Minerva Imaging we offer a wide range of advanced animal models and we wish to expand this catalogue.

With this project, we seek to develop rodent animal models of breast cancer brain metastasis and brain cancer. One way to achieve this is to inject cancer cells surgically through the carotid artery mimicking metastatic spread to the brain or to inject brain cancer cells orthotopically in the brain.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) will be applied to monitor metastasis and tumor growth. Although highly advanced, MRI is also time consuming. Therefore, we wish to develop cancer cell lines transduced with a reporter gene allowing us to visualize the tumor with e.g. bioluminescence.
Lastly, the tumor growth and microenvironment in the metastatic and orthotopic models will be compared to models where the same cells have been implanted subcutaneously.

As a master student you will be part of our internal Minerva Imaging Scholar Program. The program is designed to support Minerva Imaging as a scientifically driven CRO and thus focus on continued training and education in scientific methods and theory.

Applied methods

  • Cell culturing incl. aseptic techniques
  • Generation of cell lines from tumor tissue from patients (patient derived xenografts, PDX)
  • Cell line transduction of reporter gene (bioluminescence/fluorescence)
  • Validation of successful transduction and characterization of cell line(s) using bioluminescence and other relevant assays e.g. Western Blot
  • Setup of in vivo models in rodents: subcutaneous implantation, surgical implantation through the carotid artery or orthotopically
  • Monitoring tumor growth by caliper measurements, MRI and bioluminescence imaging
  • Ex vivo comparison of tumor microenvironment in subcutaneous and orthotopic tumors using immunohistochemistry of tissue sections.

Your profile

The ideal candidate must enjoy working with cell lines as well as animal models and have an interest in transduction and advanced imaging techniques. It is essential that you have a positive attitude, is proactive, takes ownership of the project and drives it forward and sets high quality standards for data deliveries.

You should be on a relevant master’s program (DVM, nature and life sciences, MD, engineer or similar). It is a requirement that you have some relevant knowledge or experience with cell cultivation, transduction and immunoassays from courses or other projects. It is an advantage if you have already passed a course in laboratory animal science (FELASA category AD or similar), but it is not a requirement.

The project period is 12 months and the start date is flexible although Q1, 2022 is preferred. The project is open as both a master’s project and/or research year project. The research year is a unique opportunity to delve deeper into a topic and get a closer look at the world of research and life as a researcher. As a master project, it will also be possible to combine the project with a job as a student assistant at Minerva Imaging. Throughout the project you will be assigned to a senior researcher that will supervise daily along with main supervisor Professor Andreas Kjaer, MD, PhD, DMSc (Cluster for Molecular Imaging, University of Copenhagen).

If you have had your appetite whetted for life as a researcher after the project is completed, you will also have the option to apply for an industrial PhD position at Minerva Imaging, as such project will also be available to talented students recurrently.

On a personal note you are

  • A proactive communicator and team-player
  • Eager to learn, enthusiastic and passionate
  • Problem-solving and have strong analytical skills
  • Ability to thrive in a fast paced, dynamic, service organization

As we are an informal organization, we value humor and a natural care for one another, meaning stepping up and lending a helping hand to a colleague when needed, and we keep focus on open and honest communication.

If you are interested in the project and wants to learn more or send us an application, please reach out to In Vivo Pharmacology Group Leader, Lotte Kellemann Kristensen; email: lkk@minervaimaging.com. The application must include a motivated cover letter and a CV.

 About Minerva Imaging

Minerva Imaging is a scientifically driven CRO founded in 2011 and located in Ølstykke. We are rapidly growing and today we employ close to 60 employees. The company is highly interdisciplinary and consists of engineers, biologists, veterinarians, chemists and technicians among others.

Our focus is on the use of advanced animal models within oncology and cardiovascular diseases in combination with molecular imaging for translational research and drug development. We engage with our collaborators to understand their scientific questions and discuss how our methods and capabilities can provide the answers needed. This means you will take part in a highly specialized CRO, with ambitions of taking disease treatment to the next generation of personalized medicine.