Do you want to contribute to top quality medical research?

We are seeking a postdoctoral fellow who will work on an exciting collaborative initiative aimed at investigating the impact of perinatal psychiatric disorders and related pharmaceutical treatment on maternal and offspring’s health outcomes. The project is part of a recently awarded Karolinska Institutet Research Incubator (KIRI) project and applications are now invited for a co-supervised postdoctoral position in the Cruceanu Lab (Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, FyFa) and Lu Lab (Institute of Environmental Medicine (IMM) at the Karolinska Institutet Solna campus.

The postdoctoral researcher will be part of the joint collaboration between the Developmental and Translational Neurobiology Research Group at FyFa led by Assistant Professor Cristiana Cruceanu and the Women’s Mental Health Group at IMM led by Associate Professor Donghao Lu. Dr. Cruceanu leads a research program that studies molecular mechanisms of how stress exposures shape early human development, aiming to understand the long-term outcomes of these exposures on neurodevelopmental and mental health. We use state-of-the-art in-vitro cell culture models of the brain and placenta and human cohorts. Dr. Lu leads a program to understand the underlying biological mechanisms affecting reproductive mood disorders (such as perinatal depression, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, perimenopausal depression, etc.) and potential health consequences leveraging large population-based cohorts with rich clinical and molecular data.

Your mission

We seek an outstanding and innovative postdoc to join our collaborative team. We are data-rich and need a professional-level data scientist to maximize our analysis capacity and deepen our understanding of important perinatal biology. This individual should be passionately committed to furthering knowledge of perinatal psychiatric biology with the ultimate aim of improving women’s mental health. The successful applicant will join our teams and conduct research on health register/clinical data as well as molecular and ‘omics data generated from biospecimens and in-vitro exposure paradigms. The main aim of the proposed research program is to disentangle the impact of perinatal mental illness and related pharmaceutical treatment on maternal and offspring health outcomes. We will take advantage of the register/clinical data to perform advanced epidemiologic designs as well as model exposures in-vitro using multi-tissue organoids to uncover the underlying biological mechanisms of pharmacological exposure. The successful applicant will play a key role in these novel projects and will have rich interactions with researchers at both groups and departments. 

Your profile

Qualified to be employed as a postdoctoral researcher is one who has obtained a doctorate or has equivalent scientific competence. 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. 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 should have a PhD in a medical science such as epidemiology, biostatistics, bioinformatics, data science, etc. We will also consider those with PhDs in other areas such as molecular biology, but who have advanced/relevant and demonstrable data science skills (e.g., omics data analysis).
  • Prior experience in professional analysis of health register data or high throughput sequencing data will be considered an asset.
  • Applicants should be highly collegial and experienced in working effectively in “team science” contexts. Successful postdocs are expected to possess exceptional organizational skills.
  • Above all, we will evaluate highly the ability of the candidate to work independently while also being a team player who can collaborate and contribute positively to various ongoing projects.
  • Applicants will be asked to describe past examples of having developed structured approaches to solving unanticipated and complex problems.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English are required, along with experience with scientific writing. The professional communication language for this position will be English.

What do we offer?

A creative and inspiring environment full of expertise and curiosity. 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 successful medical research and hold the largest range of medical education in Sweden. Karolinska Institutet is a state university, which entitles employees to several benefits such as extended holiday and generous occupational pension. Employees also have access to our modern gym for free and receive reimbursements for medical care.

As a postdoc in this project, you will be part of KIRI, the Karolinska Institutet Research Incubator, a unique initiative at KI to build a community for interdisciplinary research and breakthrough discoveries. You will have access to two PI:s that you can meet and interact with to facilitate the research process and increase research synergy. As part of KIRI, you will also have the opportunity to meet other KIRI postdocs conducting state-of-the-art research, present your work at scientific events, and take part in other social KIRI activities. Read more about KIRI here 

The position is two years with potential to extend. Both the Cruceanu and Lu groups have a strong track record of promoting early career researchers. We are strongly committed to equity, diversity and inclusiveness, and encourage individuals from diverse backgrounds to apply.

Solna, Biomedicum


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

  • A complete resumé, including date of the thesis defense, title of the thesis, previous academic positions, academic title, current position, academic distinctions, and committee work
  • A complete list of publications
  • A motivation letter containing a summary of current work and interest in the position (no more than one page)

You are also asked to answer some questions about why you are applying for the job in the application form. You will be asked to provide the contact information of two references. Welcome to apply! 

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 Full time
First day of employment Upon agreement
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100 %
City Stockholm
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Reference number STÖD 2-1520/2024
  • Cristiana Cruceanu,
  • Donghao Lu,
Union representative
  • Helin Norberg, SACO ,
  • Niklas Andersson, ST,
  • Henry Wölling, SEKO,
Published 10.Apr.2024
Last application date 22.May.2024 11:59 PM CEST

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