Karolinska Institutet, Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology, Wahlgren

A doctoral student is admitted to third-cycle/doctoral education. A doctoral education consists of supervised research, combined with courses and other educational activities. An individual study plan is established for each doctoral student. For a doctoral degree, the equivalent of four years of full-time doctoral education is required.

Research group
The Wahlgren lab focus on understanding the molecular pathogenesis of Plasmodium falciparum infection and has been actively working towards the development of next generation drug and vaccine to avert the most severe consequences of malaria infection. The group is comprised of an international team of scientists. Furthermore, the group has strong national and international collaborations, and past doctoral students were encouraged and had participated in short research visit to collaborators’ lab, the student can experience working in a different environment and establish a strong research network.
Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology (MTC) at Karolinska Institutet conducts research and teaching in immunology, infection biology, cell biology and cancer. MTC has about 430 active employees, including 100 PhD students, 50 postdoctoral researchers and 26 professors. Key words are multidisciplinary, bridging, translational, national and international collaborations.
The laboratory is located in the newly established Biomedicum building on the Karolinska Institutet campus in Stockholm. Biomedicum is an ultramodern, purpose-built facility for experimental medical research that offers an attractive research environment and provides state-of the-art instrumentation, advanced technology platforms and core facilities. It hosts the five largest biomedical research departments at Karolinska Institute and brings scientific activities of separate disciplines close together, which creates unique opportunities for collaboration and crossover research.

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student
The PhD studies correspond to 4 years of full-time studies. This includes design and execution of experiments, methodological development, courses, seminars and literature review. Other duties include bioinformatics and statistical data analysis, presentation of results at scientific meetings and drafting of manuscripts.
Artemisinin-resistance in Plasmodium falciparum has recently emerged and is stalling the progress of global malaria control. The spread of resistant parasites to the Africa continent is projected to cause an additional 100 000 deaths annually. The mechanism of artemisinin resistance is atypical and remains poorly understood, but resistant parasites exhibit similar phenotypic characteristics of cellular stress response and misbalanced proteome homeostasis. The PhD project aims to unravel the molecular mechanism of artemisinin resistance by focusing on the unique features of the parasite genome and its translation machinery, which could be potentially utilized as mechanisms for stress response and drug resistance.
The candidate will perform routine in vitro culturing of P. falciparum parasites and generate mutant parasites using relevant genomic manipulation techniques such as the CRISPR/ Cas system and in vitro evolution to screen and study potential genes important for drug resistance. The student will employ genome-wide transcriptomics, proteomics and reporter assays methodologies to study the regulation and the regulatory role of non-coding RNAs; the importance of genomic arrangement and translational regulation in relation to the parasites’ ability to respond to acute cellular stresses and the generation of drug resistance. The holder of the position is expected to take a strong lead and be involved in the design, implementation, analysis and interpretation of the project and will collaborate with other team members, both within and outside of the lab. The candidate is also expected to communicate scientific findings in meetings and by writing papers to be published in peer-reviewed journals.
The main supervisor of the project is Professor Mats Wahlgren. The PhD candidate will be working closely with postdoctoral researchers in the group and will be co-supervised by Assistant Professor Ulf Ribacke (MTC).  

Eligibility requirements for doctoral education
In order to participate in the selection for a doctoral position, you must meet the following general (A) and specific (B) eligibility requirements at latest by the application deadline.

It is your responsibility to certify eligibility by following the instructions on the web page Entry requirements (eligibility) for doctoral education.

A) General eligibility requirement

You meet the general eligibility requirement for doctoral/third-cycle/PhD education if you:

  1. have been awarded a second-cycle/advanced/master qualification (i.e. master degree) or
  2. have satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the advanced/second-cycle/master level, or
  3. have acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.*

Follow the instructions on the web page Entry requirements (eligibility) for doctoral education.

*If you claim equivalent knowledge, follow the instructions on the web page Assessing equivalent knowledge for general eligibility for doctoral education.

B) Specific eligibility requirement

You meet the specific eligibility requirement for doctoral/third-cycle/PhD education if you:

  • Show proficiency in English equivalent to the course English B/English 6 at Swedish upper secondary school.

Follow the instructions on the web page English language requirements for doctoral education.

Verification of your documents Karolinska Institutet checks the authenticity of your documents. Karolinska Institutet reserves the right to revoke admission if supporting documents are discovered to be fraudulent. Submission of false documents is a violation of Swedish law and is considered grounds for legal action.

Skills and personal qualities
We are looking for an independent and highly motivated candidate with a degree in Medicine, Biomedicine, Molecular biology, Genetics, Biochemistry or similar. Proven experience in eukaryotic biology, gene regulation, transcriptomics, proteomics, tissue culture and the CRISPR/Cas system are desirable. An ideal candidate should have a track record of academic excellence with a strong experimental background in molecular biology. The candidate should be collaborative, scientifically adventurous, curiosity-driven as well as being able to think critically. The candidate is also expected to be meticulous, honest, perceptive and responsive. Prior experiences in a diverse and broad range of molecular techniques, bioinformatics will be added advantages. Since the candidate will work in a strongly collaborative context, ability to work with others and excellent communication skills (both spoken and written) are required. A candidate that has contributed significantly to any previous scientific publication will be highly regarded.

Terms and conditions
The doctoral student will be employed on a doctoral studentship maximum 4 years full-time.

Application process
Submit your application and supporting documents through the Varbi recruitment system. Use the button in the top right corner and follow the instructions.

Your application should contain the following documents:

  • A personal letter and a curriculum vitae
  • Degree projects and previous publications, if any
  • Any other documentation showing the desirable skills and personal qualities described above
  • Documents certifying your general eligibility (see A above)
  • Documents certifying your specific eligibility (see B above)

A selection will be made among eligible applicants on the basis of the ability to benefit from doctoral education. The qualifications of the applicants will be evaluated on an overall basis.

KI uses the following bases of assessment:

  • Documented subject knowledge of relevance to the area of research
  • Analytical skill
  • Other documented knowledge or experience that may be relevant to doctoral studies in the subject.


All applicants will be informed when the recruitment is completed.

Type of employment PhD placement
Contract type Full time
First day of employment enl. ök
Reference number 2-3834/2019
  • Mats Wahlgren, 08-524 87277
Union representative
  • Biborka Bereczky Veress, SACO, 46 70-173 85 75
  • Henry Wölling, SEKO, 08-524 840 80
  • Niklas Andersson, OFR, niklas.andersson@ki.se
Published 06.Aug.2019
Last application date 15.Aug.2019 11:59 PM CEST

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