Do you want to contribute to top quality medical research?

We are looking for an experienced and ambitious researcher in stem cell biology. We offer a fun, collaborative and stimulating work environment as well as career development track opportunities towards Senior Research Specialist and Associate Professor (docent). The successful candidate will be part of a research team working on innovative projects with industry collaboration and real clinical applications.

The Research Unit

The Center for Hematology and Regenerative medicine, HERM, is a research unit within the Department of Medicine Huddinge with a focus on translational hematology and immunology. HERM is located in the NEO building and consists of a mix of clinical and preclinical research groups, each with a focus on clinically relevant questions in hematology, stem cell biology and immunology, including basic immunology, immunodeficiency and transfusion immunology.

The research environment at HERM is very vibrant and collaborative. The equipment is state of the art. We have nearby core facilities focusing on advanced FACS, single cell transcriptomics and live cell imaging. Each week, there are seminars with distinguished invited speakers from all over the world. Every year, there are retreats and locally arranged conferences. For example, the Stratregen conference in October 2022, the Young Hematologist symposium and the local NEO building retreat.

Our team currently has three members. We belong to the lab of Professor Petter Höglund. We have close collaboration with Dr Joel Nordin’s research group which focuses on exosomes and strategies to genetically modify stem cells for clinical purposes. We are also working closely together with Dr Hong Qian’s group, which specializes on the leukemia niche.


Description of the subject area

We are interested in the interaction between hematopoietic stem cells and the extracellular matrix. Using 10X single sequencing + antibody tags, we are characterizing the full spectrum of adhesion molecules that are expressed by Hematopoietic Stem and different lineages of Progenitor Cells. We are also planning to use SmartSeq single cell sequencing to characterize Mesenchymal Stem Cells from human bone marrow. 

Hematopoietic Stem and Progenitor Cells (HSPCs) are adherent cells in the bone marrow, and we hypothesize that integrin-mediated signaling is important for maintaining them ex vivo. We are focused on human HSPCs and we are taking a systematic approach to tackle this research question. We have a VINNOVA innovation-project together with the company Cellevate AB, which manufactures 3D scaffolds for bioreactor purposes. The idea is to customize 3D scaffolds with different cell adhesive molecules and integrin ligands, suitable for HSPCs. Using customized 3D scaffolds, we plan to systematically study the biological effects of stimulating different integrin ligands on stem cells.

The clinical applications we are working on are ex vivo expansion of stem cells and selective differentiation of stem cells to different lineages, mainly granulocyte and megakaryocyte progenitor cells. The goal is to establish a method for transplanting short-lived progenitors to patients with neutropenia and transfusion-refractory thrombocytopenia. These will give a transient engraftment for a week and protect the neutropenic/thrombocytopenic patient from infections and bleeding during that time. As above-mentioned, from a scientific perspective, this will require us to systematically dissect the role of cell-adhesion on intracellular signaling pathways in HSPCs.

  • What adhesion molecules are expressed on human HSPCs.
  • Do different integrins elicit different signaling cascades?
  • How do other cell adhesion molecules like Syndecans modulate integrin signaling?
  • How does integrin signaling interact with growth factors to determine stemness and direction of differentiation?

We work with human stem cell sources. Our research team has unlimited access to large amounts of Peripheral Blood Mobilized CD34+ stem cells from healthy donors of different ages. We also have access to human Bone Marrow and Umbilical Cord Blood stem cells, albeit less frequently (10-12 times a year). In parallel, we are also working on establishing a biobank with frozen AML and KML blast to translate the findings to haematological malignancies.

Your mission

The focus of your duties is to drive research projects on integrin signaling in Stem Cells as well as developing methods to harness integrin signaling in ex vivo culture of stem cells for clinical purposes. An additional key task is to give intellectual, practical and administrative support to other members of the research group. We are seeking one Research Specialist with PhD and several years of laboratory research with focus on stem cell biology, who will work as an integrated research specialist in our team, being involved in several ongoing projects. Excellent communication skills and fluency in English is essential. Your daily tasks will include:

  • Elaboration of scientific hypothesis, experimental design
  • Supervising students
  • Performing Flow cytometry and other routine molecular biology work
  • Data Analysis
  • Presentation and publication of results 

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.

You must have a PhD in the field of Immunology, Cell biology or Stem cell biology. 

The candidate should have been trained in Stem Cell Biology during their masters- and PhD studies. The candidate should fully master (requirement) cell culture (cell lines, primary stem cells cells, DNA/RNA isolations, ELISA, multi-colour flow cytometry, immunofluorescence, immunoprecipitation, luciferase reporter assays, PCR, protein purifications, quantitative PCR, reverse transcriptase PCR, SDS PAGE, size exclusion chromatography, lentiviral transductions, transfections, and western blotting).

Experience with proteomics and RNA-seq is a merit.

Ability to formalize biological questions into experimental model systems in order to consult and advise on experimental design for team members before data generation is another merit. The candidate should be self-motivated, have good communications skills and a proven ability to interact effectively and work productively in an interdisciplinary team. Fluency in English is a requirement. Experience of European academical system is an added value.

Assessment criteria

It is particularly meritorious that the applicant has shown

  • Experience in using a variety of molecular biology technologies to study stem cells
  • Experience supervising students
  • Experience with multi-color Flow Cytometry
  • Profound knowledge of Stem Cell Biology
  • Experience leading a team or project management
  • Experience collaborating successfully within a team
  • Scientific maturity
  • Previous experience analyzing single cell sequencing data or other large data sets
  • Experience working with and culturing primary cells

It is meritorious that the applicant has shown

  • Leadership skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Creativity and problem-solving skills 

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.

Personal qualities

We put great emphasis on personal suitability for the position. To succeed in the role, you need to be self-directed and independent in your way of working. Furthermore, we see that you, the applicant, have a solid sense of creativity and would like to exceed the expectations of your colleagues with a pleasant, collaborative, and professional manner. In conclusion, we are looking for you who are self-motivated and curious and have the will and ability to take your own initiative and push your own work forward.

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.


Read more about the Department of Medicine, Huddinge (MedH)
Choose to work at KI - Ten reasons why


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.

Welcome to apply at the latest 30/11-22

The application must be submitted through the Varbi recruitment system.

In the case of permanent employment, Karolinska Institutet applies a 6-month probationary period.

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

Type of employment Permanent position
Contract type Full time
First day of employment According to agreement
Salary Månadslön
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100 %
City Flemingsberg
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Reference number STÖD 2-3465/2022
  • Roland Fiskesund,
Union representative
  • Belinda Pannagel, SACO,
  • Elisabeth Henriksson, OFR,
  • Mari Gilljam, OFR,
Published 06.Sep.2022
Last application date 30.Nov.2022 11:59 PM CET

Return to job vacancies