Karolinska Institutet, the Department of Medicine, Huddinge

We are seeking a highly motivated and ambitious individual to join the research group of Mattias Carlsten as a Postdoctoral Fellow. The project will focus on gene engineering of human natural killer (NK) cells to augment their ability to target tumors.

The Department of Medicine, Huddinge, conducts preclinical and clinical research in a variety of areas and undergraduate and graduate education. The department is internationally oriented and consists of seven units with about 50 teams.

Research environment
The Center for Hematology and Regenerative Medicine (HERM) at the Department of Medicine, Huddinge, consists of approximately 90 research fellows and is a nationally leading and internationally competitive environment for studies of the human immune system in the context of malignancy and infectious diseases. At HERM, the groups are part of a highly interactive research environment within basic immune cell biology, cellular immunotherapy along with cellular and molecular regulation of hematopoiesis in health and disease. HERM is also tightly connected with clinical researchers and healthcare teams at several departments of the Karolinska University Hospital, including Center for Hematology, which allows for research involving clinical material and the potential to bring new therapies from bench to bedside. The laboratories at HERM offers state-of-the art cell culture, molecular biology, flow cytometry and microscopy facilities. The vision is to become one of the leading translational research centers within hematopoiesis and immunity in Europe.

Research group
Assistant Professor Dr. Mattias Carlsten M.D. Ph.D. (http://ki.se/en/people/mattca) was recruited from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) 2015 and is currently expanding his translational research group at the Karolinska Institute. The group is located at HERM, Department of Medicine, Huddinge, Karolinska Institutet (http://ki.se/medh/herm). The main research focus of Dr. Carlsten’s group is to study how the immune system can be utilized to treat cancer (Levy et al. Frontiers in Imm. 2019, Björklund, Carlsten, Sohlberg et al. Clin. Can. Research 2017, Carlsten et al. Clin. Can. Research 2016, Carlsten et al. Frontiers in Imm. 2016, Childs et al. Nature Reviews Drug Discovery 2015). More specifically, the group focuses its work around basic biology as well as genetic engineering of NK cells and donor lymphocyte infusion grafts with the overall aim of applying new discoveries in settings of cellular cancer immunotherapy. The group is also addressing how drugs can be utilized to facilitate and synergize with immune cells to more efficiently and specifically target the cancer (Carlsten et al. OncoImmunology 2018). As a physician-scientist, Dr. Carlsten’s work is stretched from pre-clinical in vitro studies, including bench work and animal models, to early clinical trials involving cellular cancer immunotherapy and immunomodulating drugs. The group will now address how gene engineering of NK cells can be used to augment their ability to target tumors.

Project description
The project will focus on redirecting the tumor targeting capacity of NK cells via genetic engineering. This will be done using various naturally occurring and engineered molecules. The project will also focus on how the engineered NK cells better persist in vivo following adoptive transfer into experimental mice. Cloning and redesign of DNA constructs will be an important part of the project. In addition to this, the project will involve an array of cellular and molecular biology techniques and assays. If successful, large-scale validation of cellular products will be explored. The position provides an exciting opportunity for the successful candidate to apply and develop cutting-edge technology and excel in the space between bench work, animal work and clinical studies with the overall aim of establishing new concepts to improve the therapeutic efficacy of NK cell-based cancer immunotherapy.

Entry requirements
We are seeking a highly talented and enthusiastic researcher who holds a Ph.D. degree and has a solid background in immunology and work with xenograft animal models as well as a strong track record. Candidates with a FELASA C certificate and extensive experience in performing animal work, including adoptive cell transfer, blood and tissue sampling and live imaging, but also vast experience in running immunology assays are welcome to apply. Knowledge in tumor immunology, tumor microenvironment, work with primary patient material and gene modification of cells is strongly preferable. State-of-the-art experience with multiparameter flow cytometry and analysis is a requirement.

The successful candidate should have excellent interpersonal and communication skills, organizational skills, and the ability to work productively and dynamically in a team. The latter is key. Self-motivation and the ability to stay on top of the relevant research field is an absolute requirement. Applicants must be able to integrate well into the international and multidisciplinary research environment. Excellent knowledge of spoken and written English is a requirement. Speaking and writing Swedish is a plus for this position.

Postdoctoral position
This is a full-time fixed-term appointment for 18 months, with possibilities for extension depending on scientific progress.

Application process
The application must contain the following documents in English:

  • Cover letter, including a summary of the Ph.D. studies (no more than two pages).
  • A complete Curriculum Vitae, including date of the thesis defense, title of the thesis, previous academic positions, academic title, current position and academic distinctions.
  • A complete list of publications.
  • Certificates for successful completion of the FELASA C course
  • Verification from the thesis defense committee or the equivalent (only if the thesis defense is scheduled within four months after the application deadline).
  • Names and contact details of three references who are familiar with the applicant’s recent research and training.

The application is to be submitted through the Varbi recruitment system.

Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
Contract type Full time
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100%
City Huddinge
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Reference number 2-4367/2019
  • Mattias Carlsten, mattias.carlsten@ki.se
Union representative
  • Belinda Pannagel, SACO, Belinda.pannagel@ki.se
  • Carina Eklund, OFR, carina.eklund@ki.se
Published 03.Sep.2019
Last application date 13.Sep.2019 11:59 PM CET

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