Do you want to contribute to improving human health?


The Helleday laboratory, at the Department of Translational Medicine and Chemical Biology, is located at SciLifeLab and consists of about 30 researchers, doctoral students, and postdocs. Our goal of the business is to improve current cancer treatment by utilizing defects in cancer cells to tailor specific drugs against all types of cancer, with minimal side effects. Our work includes both basic research and translational research and we have several collaborations between different disciplines. The research group is multidisciplinary with expertise in cell biology, biochemistry, drug chemistry and pharmacology from both academia and industry.

Your mission

Cancer is often characterized by genome instability which is one of the enabling characteristics of cancer. Along the progression of cancer, mutations occurring in the genome maintenance and surveillance systems endanger the integrity of the genome. This genome instability results in new mutations and genomic rearrangements driving cancer progression via selection of favourable phenotypes. However, genomic instable cancer cells are more vulnerable to DNA damage than non-malignant cells since their DNA repair machinery often is deficient. This cancer cell vulnerability, along with the high proliferation rate of cancer cells, enables the usage of DNA damaging cancer treatment, such as ionizing radiation and chemotherapy, which have been used in cancer treatment for nearly a century.

The goal of targeted cancer therapy is to selectively kill cancer cells based on their molecular survival mechanisms. DNA repair is as a promising cancer target as many cancers have chronic replication stress and deficiencies in the DNA damage response. Moreover, combining DNA damaging chemo- and radiotherapy with inhibitors of DNA repair can lead to improved treatment responses, reduced resistance to treatments, as well as lowering of effective doses and thereby reduced toxicity to healthy tissues. We have characterized new factors regulating DNA damage repair that can be harnessed for targeted cancer therapy approaches, and now seek to find synergistic interactions between our drug candidates and current chemotherapeutics as well as radiation therapy to optimize drug partners for future cancer therapy.

We are seeking a postdoctoral researcher who will investigate the synergistic effects of currently used chemotherapeutics and radiation therapy between new targeted cancer drug candidates. The candidate will work in tight collaboration between the Helleday laboratory and an industrial partner.

Your profile

Applicants must have a doctorate degree in cancer molecular biology and prior experience in cancer drug development is highly appreciated. We prefer applicants to have experience in working with chemotherapeutics and ionizing radiation as well as targeted cancer therapeutics. Candidates must have expertise in conducting drug synergy assays with cancer cell lines and excellent mammalian cell culture skills.

Applicant should have a degree of theoretical knowledge on the DNA damage response (DDR) including DNA repair pathways, especially homologous recombination repair and Fanconi Anemia repair. Moreover, applicant should understand the mechanisms of action of main cancer therapeutics. In addition, the candidate should have practical knowledge on molecular methods to study DDR including experience and skills in basic molecular biology methods such as flow cytometry, western blotting and confocal microscopy.

Furthermore, the candidate must have very good knowledge of the English language and be able to express themselves both orally and in writing in a professional manner. Understanding Swedish is a plus. The role requires experience in project management, analytical thinking and excellent documenting and presentation skills. It is an advantage if applicants have research experience from abroad. Good interpersonal skills and prior work in an industrial setting are desirable.

 It is considered as an advantage if you have completed your doctoral degree within the last three years, if there are special reasons, your degree may have been completed earlier. Applicants who have not completed a doctorate at the end of the application period may also apply, provided that all requirements for a completed degree are met before the (intended) date of employment. This must be substantiated by the applicant's main supervisor, director or equivalent.

What do we offer?

Karolinska Institutet is one of the world's leading medical universities. Our vision is to pursue the development of knowledge about life and to promote better health for all. At Karolinska Institutet, we conduct innovative medical research and provide the largest range of biomedical education in Sweden. Karolinska Institutet is a state university, which entitles employees to several benefits such as extended holiday and a generous occupational pension. Employees also have free access to our modern gym and receive reimbursements for medical care.



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

  • A complete resumé, including date of the thesis defence, title of the thesis, previous academic positions, academic title, current position, academic distinctions, and committee work
  • A complete list of publications
  • A summary of current work (no more than one page) 

Welcome to apply at the latest March 18th. 

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


Want to make a difference? Join us and contribute to better health for all

Type of employment Temporary position
Contract type Part-time
First day of employment As per agreement
Salary Monthly
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 50%
City Solna
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Reference number STÖD 2-1028/2022
  • Athina Pliakou, +46 70 213 57 63,
Published 04.Mar.2022
Last application date 18.Apr.2022 11:59 PM CEST

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