Do you want to contribute to top quality medical research?

Research group Helgadottir is seeking a senior research specialist for a 20% position to work in a translational melanoma team. Your task will be to execute pre-clinical molecular cancer research in cutaneous melanoma related to our ongoing translational program. It focuses on finding molecular factors that can predict treatment effect in patients with metastatic melanoma receiving immunotherapy alone or in combination with radiotherapy.

Description of the subject area

The main aim of the projects is to identify biomarkers for therapy responses and side effects in tumor tissue and blood samples from patients with advanced melanoma receiving immunotherapies alone or in combination with radiotherapy. In the last decade, several effective treatment regimens have emerged, particularly the immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) including anti-PD-1, improving the median overall survival of advanced melanoma Despite such breakthroughs, advanced-stage melanoma remains a serious challenge since a subset of patients show primary or acquired resistance to the therapy. Within one year, approximately 50% of the patients progress on treatment with the PD-1 inhibitors. In an ongoing phase II clinical trial we are investigating the immunomodulatory potential of radiotherapy by combining it with anti-PD-1 in anti-PD-1 resistant melanoma patients. Today, treatment with PD-1 inhibitor is still primarily selected as the first line of systemic treatment for metastatic melanoma patients, alone or in combination with another ICI, anti-CTLA4, for its possibility of reaching long-lasting response or even a cure. In addition, there are patients who must end treatment due to serious side effects. We currently have limited knowledge about which patients will respond well to treatment and which will not benefit from the treatment or must end the treatment due to side effects. There is therefore a great medical need for increased knowledge about molecular factors (biomarkers) to be able to predict treatment results in metastatic melanoma.

Your mission

As a senior research specialist, you will interact with clinical oncologists in the field of melanoma and have responsibility to execute parts of our translational research towards precision medicine in the treatment of melanoma. You will supervise PhD students, master students and postdocs. You will also take an active part in the collaboration with our partners at other universities with the goal to identify biomarkers for therapy effect in cutaneous melanoma. In addition, you will be writing grant applications towards national funding bodies.

Eligibility requirements

To be eligible for employment as a Research Specialist, in addition to holding a Degree of Doctor, PhD, or having equivalent scientific expertise, the applicant must have demonstrated research expertise as well as have documented research experience after defending their doctoral dissertation. The applicant must also have demonstrated a good scientific independence to which their own contribution has been significant and a research plan of high quality with clear potential for the future.

We are searching for a coworker with the ability to independently execute our research line in the field of molecular cancer research with focus on advanced melanoma and therapy. It is essential that you have knowledge and working experience of melanoma in the clinical and the preclinical setting. In addition, previous knowledge in immunotherapy with checkpoint inhibitors is essential. Moreover, our studies to identify predictive biomarkers require previous experience in working with clinical melanoma samples.

Apart from executing our molecular research line you will be supervising PhD-students with a clinical background in oncology. Previous experience of project coordination together with collaborators is also welcome.

You also need to have knowledge and experience in writing national research grant proposals.

As a person we welcome you who are dedicated to your work, strive to be a good team member and have capacity to write and speak fluently in the English language. Basic knowledge in Swedish is a requirement as you will work with clinical samples in the hospital area where communication and written information will be in Swedish.

Assessment criteria

For employment as Senior Research Specialist at Karolinska Institutet, the eligibility requirements and assessment criteria stated in the Rules regarding other positions than teaching positions are applied in relation to the established profile of employment.

  • Scientific original publications, their quality and quantity, with special consideration on publications after the doctoral education.
  • Scientific independent ability demonstrated through leading and senior authorships.
  • Review articles and other scientific publications.
  • Presentations and scientific assignments at international congresses.
  • Research grants received in regional, national and international competition.
  • National and international research collaborations.
  • Research responsibility as supervisor for degree project on advanced level, doctoral student and postdoc.
  • Reviewer and evaluator of the scientific work of others.
  • Research experience from a research group other than where the doctoral education was conducted.
  • Development of one's own research profile within the subject area.
  • Plan for future research based on current science.

It is particularly meritorious that the applicant has shown

  • Independent research line with focus on underlying mechanisms of resistance to therapy including checkpoint inhibitors in cutaneous melanoma and with senior authorship in publications.
  • Previous experience of analysis of clinical melanoma tumor and blood samples and with senior authorship in publications.
  • Previous experience in working with ethical permits and biobank applications.
  • Personal suitability such as collaborative and communicative skills since close work with other researchers/clinical oncologists is crucial in order to be able to carry out the task.

It is meritorious that the applicant has shown

  • Experience with KLARA documentation.
  • Previous experience in PhD-supervision of MDs.
  • Previous experience of working in an interdisciplinary research team on national or international level.
  • Fluent in writing and speaking English and with at least basic knowledge in Swedish speech and in writing.
  • Team working capacity and high working goals.

After an overall assessment of the expertise and merits of the applicants in relation to the subject area, Karolinska Institutet will determine which of them has the best potential to contribute to a positive development of the activities at KI.

What do we offer?

A creative and inspiring environment with wide-ranging expertise and interests. Karolinska Institutet is one of the world's leading medical universities. Here, we conduct successful medical research and hold the largest range of medical education in Sweden. At KI, you get to meet researchers working with a wide range of specialisms and methods, giving you ample opportunity to exchange knowledge and experience with the various scientific fields within medicine and health. It is the crossover collaborations, which have pushed KI to where it is today, at the forefront of global research. Several of the people you meet in healthcare are educated at KI. A close relationship with the health care providers is important for creating groundbreaking top quality education and research. Karolinska Institutet is also a state university, which entitles you to several benefits through our collective agreement.

Location: Department of Oncology-Pathology, Bioclinicum, NKS, Solna

Information about Department of Oncology-Pathology is given here:
Department of Oncology and Pathology


We prefer that Your application is written in English, but You can also apply in Swedish.
An application must contain the following documents: Resumé, qualifications and description of planned research, presented in accordance with Karolinska Institutet's qualifications portfolio.

The applications will be reviewed by external reviewers.

Welcome to apply at the latest 4th of april. 

The application must be submitted through the Varbi recruitment system.

Permanent position is initiated by a six months trial period.

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

Type of employment Permanent position
Contract type Part-time
First day of employment 1st of June, 2023
Salary Månadslön
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 20 %
City Solna
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Reference number STÖD 2-1248/2023
  • MD/PhD/Group leader Hildur Helgadottir,
Union representative
  • Per Hydbring/Nick Tobin, Saco,
  • Henry Wölling, Seko,
  • Helen Eriksson,OFR,
Published 21.Mar.2023
Last application date 04.Apr.2023 11:59 PM CEST

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