Karolinska Institutet, Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology

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.

A doctoral position is an available doctoral education project to which a PhD student is to be recruited. After the selection process the process for admission to doctoral education will commence. An admission decision will not be taken until an individual study plan has been approved by the departmental admission board.

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

Research group

The successful candidate will be part of a multidisciplinary, collaborative research team active within the fields of natural killer (NK) and T cell immunology, microsystem technology, fluorescence imaging and image analysis. At the department of microbiology, Tumor and Cell biology there is a bigger constellation of researchers within cellular immunology, which is well renowned and leading within basic research on NK cells. The candidate will be supervised by Professor Björn Önfelt. The Önfelt lab is jointly affiliated with both KTH - the Royal Institute of Technology and Karolinska Institutet. The research activities of the lab are based at the newly established bioscience hub SciLifeLab, where we also are neighbors with the national super resolution facility Advanced Light Microscopy. For more information about the research see http://ki.se/en/mtc/bjorn-onfelt-project

The doctoral education project and the duties of the student

NK cells have beneficial graft-versus-leukemia effects after allogeneic stem cell transplantation and show encouraging results in adoptive immunotherapy against leukemia. However, attempts to treat solid tumors by NK cell immunotherapy have been largely unsuccessful. This project aims to increase our understanding of NK cells’ role in immune surveillance of solid tumors and to develop protocols for adoptive therapy. The candidate will use a multidisciplinary approach where cellular model systems as well as clinical samples are used in a recently developed ultrasound-based microchip platform allowing generation of “micro-tumors” and live-cell imaging of NK-tumor interactions. The candidate will work closely with researchers at KTH to improve and further develop the technology for generating and characterizing micro-tumors of different cellular composition and microenvironments. The candidate will be responsible for setting up experiments to simulate tumor immune surveillance by exposing the generated micro-tumors to human NK cells that have been pre-treated with different expansion, sorting or transfection schemes. The NK-tumor interaction will be followed by live cell imaging and other relevant techniques.

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
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 looking for enthusiastic and highly motivated candidates who have a degree in Medicine, Biomedicine, Biotechnology or related fields. Experience of primary cell culture and fluorescence imaging is necessary and experience of image analysis and microsystem technology is desired. Since the applicant will work in a multidisciplinary environment the ability to work with other scientist and good communication skills are important.

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 most common way of financial support for doctoral students at KI is doctoral grant the first year and a doctoral studentship (doctoral employment) for year 2, 3 and 4. 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 MyNetwork recruitment system.

Type of employment PhD placement
Contract type Full time
First day of employment According to agreement
City Solna
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Reference number 2-4425/2015
  • Björn Önfelt, bjorn.onfelt@ki.se
Union representative
  • Nasrin Bavand-Chobot, OFR, Nasrin.Bavand@ki.se
  • Gunnar Stenberg, Seko, 08-524 880 75
  • Cecilia Björkdahl, SACO , 08-524 872 65
Published 08.Dec.2015
Last application date 11.Jan.2016 11:59 PM CET

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