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MSCA-PF: Joint application at the University of Granada. Department of Pharmacology

International Research Projects Office

Hosting Information

Offer Deadline
EU Research Framework Programme


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International Research Projects Office
Promotion and Advisory Unit
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Contact Information

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Postal Code
Gran Vía de Colón, 48, 2nd floor


Professor Ahmad Agil from the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Granada, welcomes postdoctoral candidates interested in applying for a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellowships (MSCA-PF) in 2021 at this University. Please note that applicants must comply with the Mobility Rule (more information about the 2020 call:, the 2021 call is not yet open).

Brief description of the institution:

The University of Granada (UGR), founded in 1531, is one of the largest and most important universities in Spain. With over 60.000 undergraduate and postgraduate students and 6.000 staff. UGR offers a total of 89 degrees, 110 master’s degrees and 28 doctoral programmes through its 123 departments and 27 centers. Consequently, the UGR offers one of the most extensive and diverse ranges of higher education programmes in Spain.

The UGR has awarded with the "Human Resources Excellence in Research (HRS4R)", which reflects the UGR’s commitment to continuously improve its human resource policies in line with the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers. UGR is also a leading institution in research, located in the top of Spanish universities by a variety of ranking criteria, such as national R&D projects, fellowships awarded, publications, or international funding. UGR is one of the few Spanish Universities listed in the Shanghai Top 500 ranking - Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) ( The UGR is amongst the 201-300 first universities of the world, between 2nd-5th position of Spanish universities and number 1 in the Andalusian Region in the Shanghai Top 500 ranking. Specialties at UGR that stand out are Library & Information Science (position 32) and Food Science & Technology (position 36). Moreover, the UGR is also situated amongst the first 100 universities in Mining & Mineral Engineering between (76th-100th position), in Mathematics (between 76th-100th position) and in Hospitality & Tourism Management (between 76th-100th position). The edition of the ARWU places the UGR in 201-300th position in the world and as the 4th highest ranked University in Spain, reaffirming its position as an institution at the forefront of national and international research.

Additionally, the UGR has 8 researchers at the top of the Highly Cited Researchers (HCR) list in Computer Sciences & Engineering (position 101-150). It is also well recognized for its web presence (, being positioned at 43th place in the top 200 Universities in Europe.

Internationally, we bet decidedly by our participation in the calls of the Framework Programme of the European Union. For the duration of the last two Framework Programmes, the UGR has obtained a total of 67 projects, with total funding of 18.029 million euros, and for H2020, 118 projects with total funding around 29.115 million euros.

Brief description of the Centre/Research Group:

We are a Research Group that has been studying the properties of bioactive ingradients, mechanisms of action, in numerous experimental models for more than 10 years. Our main challenge is the application of melatonin and bioactive agents in the field of medicine, especially diabestiy. For years we have focused our research on the application of bioactive agents, especially melatonin and its agonists in those situations involving increased oxidative stress, mitochondrial damage and associated inflammation such as obesity, diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndrome. We have recently demonstrated that chronic oral melatonin administration to Zücker diabetic fatty (ZDF) rats induces browning of inguinal white adipose tissue, i.e., “beige” depots, which have thermogenic properties. We just demonstrated that melatonin improves mitochondrial respiration, and reduces the oxidative status and susceptibility to apoptosis in white and beige adipocytes. These melatonin effects help to prevent mitochondrial dysfunction and thereby to improve obesity-related metabolic disorders such as diabetes and dyslipidemia of ZDF rats. Our Team is a pioneer and is reflected in impact of our publications publications. The Team Leader is Dr. Agil has completed his degree and a PhD degree in Pharmacy from University of Granada, Spain and postdoctoral studies from both Southwestern Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, USA. Professor Agil is the director of a multidisciplinary-international research group melatonin role in obesity and diabetes. He has published more than 56 papers in reputed journals and has been serving as section Editor of the Journal of Archive of Medical Sciences, an editorial board member of reputed journals and acted as review of several Journals. He has trained 4 Ph.D. and 14 Master D. students and 5 postdoctoral fellows from numerous countries.

Project description:

Obesity is a pandemic out of control in developed countries worldwide. Its leadership on the risk of morbidity and mortality conveys an enormous social and economic burden. In addition, the search for effective and safe drugs for its control has failed. Melatonin, a hormone produced mainly by the pineal gland at night, has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have shown that it could have an anti-obesogenic effect that would involve an increase in basal energy expenditure, suggesting a thermogenic effect. This hormone, in addition to stimulating growth and thermogenic activity of brown adipose tissue, could induce the appearance of "brown-like" adipocyes in areas of the white adipose tissue with termogenic properties similar to those of brown adipocytes.Moreover, studies prove the effect of melatonin in weight loss and its cardioprotective effects in rodents. Furthermore, melatonin increases intracellular calcium levels in skeletal muscle and could restore calcium homeostasis of the mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) through SERCA activity in both tissues, modulating the molecular pathway involved in calcium homeostasis. Our aim is to clarify the molecular mechanisms and to to determinate the effects of oral melatonin treatment in skeletal and cardiac muscle SERCA activity from Zücker Diabetic Fatty (ZDF) rats. The ultimate goal of the project is to support the potential use of melatonin for the treatment of human obesity-diabetes and associated complications.

Research Area:

  • Life Sciences (LIFE)

For a correct evaluation of your candidature, please send the documents below to Professor Ahmad Agil (

  • CV
  • Letter of recommendation (optional)