Karolinska Institutet, Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology

A doctoral student is admitted to third-cycle/doctoral education. A doctoral education consists of supervised research, combined with courses and other educational activities. An individual study plan is established for each doctoral student. For a doctoral degree, the equivalent of four years of full-time doctoral education is required.

Research group and Host Environment
The Lisa Westerberg laboratory (https://ki.se/en/mtc/lisa-westerberg-group) focuses on understanding why patient with inborn errors of the immune system are prone to develop autoimmune diseases and malignancies of poor prognosis. To accomplish this, the laboratory combines analysis of rare patient samples from clinical collaborators world-wide and unique animal models developed by the lab with focus on regulators of the actin cytoskeleton (Journal of Clinical Investigations 2018; Genome Medicine 2017; Nature Communications 2016).

The Westerberg laboratory is part of the Department of Microbiology Tumor and Cell biology (MTC; https://ki.se/en/mtc/department-of-microbiology-tumor-and-cell-biology) that hosts 35 research groups and about 430 active employees, including 70 PhD students, 50 postdoctoral researchers and 26 professors. MTC conducts research aimed at unravelling mechanisms for development of cancer and immune-mediated diseases as well as to develop new strategies to fight infections and cancers globally. The research at MTC includes both basic and clinically anchored research and many projects build on long-standing national and international collaborations. Key words are multidisciplinary, bridging, translational, national and international collaborations.

The Westerberg laboratory is located at the top modern Biomedicum research building at Karolinska Institutet that provides a vibrant international research environment and in-house infrastructure for advanced technology platforms, lectures by world-leading scientist, and excellent seminar series. The Westerberg laboratory has all equipment and expertise needed to perform the project including advanced flow cytometry and cell sorting for genomic approaches, retro/lentiviral work, and advanced imaging using the extensive core facilities of Biomedicum.

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student

Research Project:

The research project will characterize fundamental features of the immune system in cancer and test how the immune system can be modulated in new approaches for immune therapy. Using natural mutants in patients with loss-of-function and gain-of-function in actin regulators, the PhD student will investigate how actin cytoskeleton dynamics is maintained to prevent genetic instability and B cell transformation and to support tumor cell killing by cytotoxic cells. The overall goal is to define the general processes that maintain stability of the mammalian genome and suppress cancer in immune cells. Importantly, the project will offer substantial training in state-of-the-art biomedical research and promote professional and personal development.

Educational outcome and responsibilities:

The successful applicant will acquire basic as well as specialized knowledge and understanding in immunology and tumor biology and how to address research questions within these topics. The PhD student will learn to apply, master, and develop research methodologies in immunology and tumor biology, in which the group is specialized. Examples of skills that will be explored include advanced flow cytometry and imaging techniques, retro/lentiviral work, state-of-the-art molecular biology experimentation, and work with human cells and animal models for tumor immunology.

The PhD student is expected to take a strong lead in project design, management, data generation, as well as analyses and interpretation. The duties also include working in a highly collaborative team and to adhere to high scientific standards and responsibilities. The ability to work in an interdisciplinary and international environment and to engage in continuous professional development is a must.

Eligibility requirements for doctoral education
In order to participate in the selection for a doctoral position, you must meet the following general (A) and specific (B) eligibility requirements at latest by the application deadline.

It is your responsibility to certify eligibility by following the instructions on the web page Entry requirements (eligibility) for doctoral education.

A) General eligibility requirement

You meet the general eligibility requirement for doctoral/third-cycle/PhD education if you:

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

Follow the instructions on the web page Entry requirements (eligibility) for doctoral education.

*If you claim equivalent knowledge, follow the instructions on the web page Assessing equivalent knowledge for general eligibility for doctoral education.

B) Specific eligibility requirement

You meet the specific eligibility requirement for doctoral/third-cycle/PhD education if you:

  • Show proficiency in English equivalent to the course English B/English 6 at Swedish upper secondary school.

Follow the instructions on the web page English language requirements for doctoral education.

Verification of your documents Karolinska Institutet checks the authenticity of your documents. Karolinska Institutet reserves the right to revoke admission if supporting documents are discovered to be fraudulent. Submission of false documents is a violation of Swedish law and is considered grounds for legal action.

Skills and personal qualities
We are looking for an enthusiastic and highly motivated candidate who has a degree in Molecular Biology, Biomedicine, Genomics, or Biochemistry. Proven experiences in flow cytometry, imaging, transcriptome studies, mammalian cell or tissue culture techniques, animal research, and bioinformatics is of advantage. A strong interest in interdisciplinary experimental method development and creative thinking abilities are essential. Applicants wishing to integrate human and mouse work are especially encouraged to apply.

The ideal candidate should be collaborative, curiosity-driven, and should bring independent and original ideas into the project. Any previous records of independent research as well as productive interactions within a multi-disciplinary team environment, as evident in first- or co-author publications, is of advantage. Since the applicant will work in a multidisciplinary environment the ability to work with other scientist and good communication skills, proficiency in spoken and written English, are necessary. Since in vivo experimentation is performed using animals, the applicant must be willing to perform animal research.

Terms and conditions
The doctoral student will be employed on a doctoral studentship maximum 4 years full-time.

Application process
Submit your application and supporting documents through the Varbi recruitment system. Use the button in the top right corner and follow the instructions.

Your application should contain the following documents:

  • A personal letter and a curriculum vitae (Swedish or English)
  • Degree projects and previous publications, if any (Swedish or English)
  • Any other documentation showing the desirable skills and personal qualities described above (Swedish or English)
  • Documents certifying your general eligibility (see A above)
  • Documents certifying your specific eligibility (see B above)

A selection will be made among eligible applicants on the basis of the ability to benefit from doctoral education. The qualifications of the applicants will be evaluated on an overall basis.

KI 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.

All applicants will be informed when the recruitment is completed.

Type of employment PhD placement
Contract type Full time
First day of employment According to agreement
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100%
City Solna
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Reference number 2-5151/2019
  • Lisa Westerberg, lisa.westerberg@ki.se
Union representative
  • Henry Wölling, SEKO, henry.wolling@ki.se
  • Biborka Bereczky Veress, SACO, biborka.bveress@ki.se
  • Niklas Andersson, OFR, niklas.andersson@ki.se
Published 15.Oct.2019
Last application date 05.Nov.2019 11:59 PM CET

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