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  • At The Danish Research Institute of Translational Neuroscience (DANDRITE), Aarhus University
    and the Nordic-EMBL Partnership for Molecular Medicine

If you want to pursue a Ph.D. degree within the neuroscience research field, DANDRITE offers eminent opportunities. Ph.D. positions at DANDRITE are advertised through general open calls with application deadlines four times every year in February, May, August/September, and November. 

Please note that potential candidates, who would like to apply for a Ph.D. position at DANDRITE, must contact a relevant Group Leader to prepare for a joint application, except for project-specific calls with open applications.

Ph.D. students at DANDRITE will be enrolled in the Ph.D. degree programme for Molecular Medicine, an interdisciplinary Ph.D. degree programme at Aarhus University (PDF) that is mutually organized by the Graduate School of Natural Sciences and the Graduate School of Health. The courses included in the degree can be put together from a wide variety of subjects in neuroscience, molecular medicine, bioinformatics, biophysics and, molecular and structural biology.

Ph.D. projects in a research group at DANDRITE

DANDRITE Ph.D. students are under the supervision of at least one of the current 8 Group leaders or 3 Team Leaders at DANDRITE. The current 11 research groups at DANDRITE cover a broad range of neurosciences:

Electrophysiology of electrogenic transporters and ion channels

Hanne Poulsen

Team Leader DANDRITE - Poulsen Team

Teamleader Hanne Poulsen's field of expertise is the electrophysiology of electrogenic transporters and ion channels. She is also establishing voltage-clamp fluorometry based on the incorporation of unnatural amino acids through genetic code expansion. 

Embryonic and reprogrammed stem cells in Parkinson disease

Mark Denham

Group Leader, Associate Professor DANDRITE - Denham Group

Group Leader Mark Denham's group is working with human embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells to study how the nervous system develops and the processes involved in neurodegeneration. In particular, he is interested in the specification of mesencephalic dopaminergic neurons, the major cell type affected in Parkinson’s disease. 

Gut-brain axis and the enteric nervous system

Gilles Claude Vanwalleghem

Assistant Professor Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics - Cellular Health, Intervention, and Nutrition

Team Leader, Gilles Vanwalleghem Lab's overarching goal is to understand how dysregulation of the bidirectional communication between the gut microbiome and the nervous system can affect behavior and lead to mental health disorders.

Memory formation and consolidation at the synaptic and circuit levels

Sayyed - Mohammad - Sadegh Nabavi

Group Leader, Associate Professor DANDRITE - Nabavi Group

Group Leader Sadegh Nabavi's group is focusing on how plasticity at the synaptic and circuit levels in the brain relates to behavioral plasticity (learning and memory formation) and how the newly formed memories are integrated into the existing network (cellular and systems consolidation) using rodents as model organism.

Memory selectivity and knowledge updating

Tomonori Takeuchi

Associate Professor Department of Biomedicine - Forskning og uddannelse, Skou-bygningen

Team Leader, Tomonori Takeuchi's group has an overall research goal to understand how memories of everyday events, initially stored in the hippocampus, are ‘selected’ and then ‘assimilated’ into a relevant knowledge structure, called schema, in the neocortex.

Molecular basis of neuroplasticity

Taro Kitazawa

Group Leader, Associate Professor Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics - Neurobiology

Group Leader Taro Kitazawa's group is focusing on the molecular basis of neuroplasticity, especially at the levels of epigenetic and transcriptional mechanisms underlying memory engram plasticity using mice as a model organism.

Molecular cell biology of intracellular signaling networks with focus on Parkinson disease and dementia

Poul Henning Jensen

Professor Department of Biomedicine - Forskning og uddannelse, Vest

Core Group Leader Poul Henning Jensen's group wants to understand how neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s disease, Lewy body dementia, and multiple systems atrophy develop, progress, and elicit their many symptoms. The studies are centered on how the protein alpha-synuclein contributes to these processes. This is investigated in studies of alpha-synuclein aggregates in vitro, in cell models, cultures brain slices, live animals, and human tissue and involves the development of new tools and models.

Neuronal circuits and molecular basis of effort based decision-making

Duda Kvitsiani

Group Leader, Associate Professor DANDRITE - Kvitsiani Group

Group Leader Duda Kvitsiani's group investigates the genetic and neuronal circuit mechanisms that underlie effort-based decision-making in flies, rodents, and humans. The aim of his research is to build predictive and quantitative models of foraging behavior to uncover the neural and genetic mechanisms that underlie animal decisions. 

Trans-synaptic communication and signaling in nerve cells as mediated by sortilin receptors

Anders Nykjær

Professor Department of Biomedicine - Forskning og uddannelse, Skou-bygningen

Core Group Leader Anders Nykjær's lab wants to understand the group of type-1 receptors denoted the Vps10p-domain family and their functions in the healthy brain, dissect their mode of action, investigate how genetic variation contributes to disease development - in particular of neuropsychiatric disorders and memory impairment.

Structural biology and electrophysiology of membrane transporters and receptors

Poul Nissen

Professor Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics - Neurobiology

Core Group Leader Poul Nissen's group investigates the structure and molecular mechanisms of membrane transport processes, receptors, and biomembrane ultrastructure. Activities are mainly focused on using cryo-electron microscopy (Cryo-EM), protein crystallography, biochemistry, and electrophysiology, and include also small-angle X-ray scattering and cryo-electron tomography.

Structure, function and development of neural circuits in visual system

Keisuke Yonehara

Group Leader, Associate Professor DANDRITE - Yonehara Group

Group Leader Keisuke Yonehara's lab is based on the central hypothesis that functionally important neuronal circuit motifs are repeatedly used across various brain regions and species, and therefore identifying and understanding the structure and function of such motifs could give insights into the functional organization of the brain.


DANDRITE is an interdisciplinary research center of neuroscience at Aarhus University that combines molecular and circuitry neuroscience with animal models and translational neuroscience. The aim is to investigate the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying behavior and sensory functions, and to reveal pathophysiological mechanisms and new intervention strategies of neurological, neurodegenerative, and psychiatric disorders. The research integrates technologies spanning from biochemistry, structural biology, and cryoEM to advanced imaging, neuronal circuitry mapping, behavioral models in fruit fly and mouse, and stem cell applications.

DANDRITE encompasses a thriving, international research community with many PhD students and postdocs and with well-established research infrastructure and support at Aarhus University and within the NeuroCampus Aarhus community shared with the Aarhus University Hospital.