Karolinska Institutet, Department of Oncology-Pathology, Forskargrupp Lehtiö

At the Department of Oncology-Pathology basic, translational and clinical research and educational activities related to cancer is carried out. Approximately 300 people from over 40 nations are currently working at the department. About 30 research groups with various cancer research profiles are involved and we have around 110 PhD students. The Department of Oncology-Pathology is responsible for undergraduate courses in Pathology, Oncology and Forensic Medicine for medical students, as well as for Tumor biology courses for biomedicine students and Pathology courses for opticians.

We are recruiting a student for doctoral education. After a candidate is selected, an admission process commences. The candidate is admitted as a student once an individual study plan for the doctoral education has been approved by the departmental admission board.  

For more information regarding doctoral (PhD) education, see: http://www.ki.se/doctoral

Research group
The Department of Oncology-Pathology is announcing a PhD student position in Janne Lehtiö’s research group. Lehtiö group is a translational group of scientists with a drive to improve human proteome analysis by developing new methods that can be applied to improve personalized cancer treatment. Our group includes students, researchers and staff from various disciplines working as a team to gain new knowledge. Our main focus is on cancer proteome analysis. Proteomics is a research field aiming to study proteins on a systems level by simultaneous analysis of thousands of proteins. We aim to gain new knowledge on proteins in the context of biological networks, to discover biomarkers and understand how genome changes impact the proteome level. In addition to the MS-data, we also generate genomic and transcriptomic data at SciLifeLab, which are used together with proteomics data to gain new knowledge on cancer. The research group is closely associated with the regional and national MS core facilities (SciLifeLab and BioMS), that provides fee-for-service sample analysis as well as support to plan and perform larger in-depth proteomics projects.

For further information, see Lehtiö research lab homepage:

The doctoral education project and the duties of the student
We have recently developed a new method to perform deep proteome analysis, HiRIEF-MS/MS (Branca et al. NatureMethods, 2014). This method has now been adapted to plasma profiling, with the aim to detect blood-borne biomarkers.

In this proposal, we focus on gliomas: a term describing a range of devastating and progressive brain tumours affecting around 25,000 people each year in Europe and are responsible for the majority of death from primary brain tumours. The most common symptoms of gliomas are due to increased intracranial pressure (headache, vomiting, and nausea), focal neurological deficits, seizures etc. Despite intensive efforts, there are currently no effective disease-modifying treatments or preventive strategies for gliomas in part due to lack of the effective early diagnostic techniques. Therefore, developing improved patient-oriented strategies for combating cancer, such as gliomas, - ranging from prevention to more effective and earlier diagnosis, to better treatment with minimal side effects, is still one of the leading medical and societal challenges faced by the EU.

The primary objective of this project is to identify new protein-based blood biomarker candidates for gliomas and validate them aiming for use as diagnostic and predictive biomarkers. The PhD projects involves both practical lab work, as well as -omics data analysis.

The project is part of an EU Horizon 2020 project: An Integrated Platform for Developing Brain Cancer Diagnostic Technique (AiPBAND). The aim of AiPBAND is to train scientists to successfully integrate proteomics, clinical, experimental and bioinformatics analyses to enhance the understanding, diagnosis and therapy of glioma. The project is highly multidisciplinary combining expertise from material engineering, computer science, bioengineering and health sciences.

As part of the AiPBAND Training Network the PhD-student will participate in international collaborations and training throughout Europe.

More information about AiPBAND can be found here: https://sites.google.com/view/aipband-itn

This PhD project provides a great opportunity to learn and work on the cutting edge of omics and cancer research, and in the long term provide new information leading to improved cancer treatment. The PhD student will be part of an active research team and the PhD project includes learning techniques related to experimental proteomics data and public domain data resources.

Project title: Cancer proteomics - stratification of brain tumours by protein biomarkers
Supervisor: PhD. Maria Pernemalm, Dept. of Oncology-Pathology, Karolinska Institutet
Time period: 4 years full-time studies, starting spring 2018.

Entry requirements for doctoral education at KI
To be eligible for doctoral education following requirements has to be met:

General entry requirements
A person meets the general entry requirements for doctoral/third-cycle/PhD education (according to Higher Education Ordinance Chapt 7, section 39) if he/she:

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

Specific entry requirements
At the time of recruitment, the candidate must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Sweden for more than 12 months in the last 3 years.
Proficiency in English equivalent to the course English B/English 6 at Swedish upper secondary school:
Proficiency in the English language can be documented by an internationally recognized test such as TOEFL or IELTS, see web-link below for more information.
Applicants who meet the general entry requirements (1 or 2 above) from a university in one of the Nordic countries fulfill the requirements in English.

For more information regarding general and specific entry requirements: http://ki.se/en/education/entry-requirements-eligibility-for-doctoral-education

Skills and personal qualities
We are seeking a highly motivated and creative student. The candidate should have a degree in molecular life sciences, molecular biology, biomedicine, medicine, or equivalent. The applicant should have basic laboratory skills and basic knowledge of cell biology.
The applicant should have good communication skills and ability to work productively in a team of researchers. Excellent ability to express themselves in speech and writing, including scientific writing, in English is a requirement. Previous experience in programming (for instance R and Python), statistical analyses, and experience in the fields of proteomics, molecular biology, tumor biology and protein chemistry are considered as an advantage for this project.
We will offer an intellectually stimulating and diverse learning and working environment in a team of motivated co-workers; and a possibility to contribute on important research to improve current cancer treatments.

Assessment criteria
A selection will be made among qualified applicants on the basis of the ability to benefit from doctoral education. Karolinska Institutet 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

The qualifications of the applicants will be evaluated on an overall basis.

Terms and conditions
The project is funded under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Action H2020-MSCA-ITN-2017, Grant Agreement 764281. All doctoral students at KI receive financial support during their doctoral education and employment on a doctoral studentship is the most common sort of support. During the time between recruitment and admission a short-term employment can be offered for up to 6 months.

Application process
An application must contain the following documents in Swedish or English:

  • A personal letter and curriculum vitae
  • A copy of degree certificates and associated certificates
  • A copy of degree projects and any previous publications

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

Type of employment PhD placement
Contract type Full time
First day of employment According to agreement
Reference number 2-1206/2018
  • Maria Pernemalm, Assistant Professor, +46 70 3030465
Union representative
  • Mimmi Shoshan, SACO, +46 8 517 75460
  • Andreas Lundqvist, SACO, +46 8 517 76884, andreas.lundqvist@ki.se;
  • Helen Eriksson, OFR, +46 8 517 76279
Published 28.Feb.2018
Last application date 21.Mar.2018 11:59 PM CET

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