Karolinska Institutet, Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology

Do you want to contribute to top quality medical research?

The Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology (MTC) at Karolinska Institutet conducts research and teaching in immunology, infection biology, cell biology and cancer. Key words are multidisciplinary, bridging, translational, national and international collaborations.


The Schlisio lab at Karolinska Institute, Sweden, seeks a postdoc for studies on molecular principles of tumor formation arising from the sympathoadrenal cell lineage (neuroblastoma, pheochromocytoma, paraganglioma) to explore cell of origin, disease initiation and tumor heterogeneity.


We are seeking a motivated, creative post-doctoral candidate interested in tumor mouse models arising from the sympathoadrenal lineage, such as neuroblastoma (NB) and pheochromocytoma (PCC), with the aim to understand the molecular principles of these tumors at a previously unprecedented level. 

The neuroblastoma cell of origin is thought to be a developing sympathoblast, however, its precise cell of origin remains unknown. Single cell transcriptomics will identify gene expression clusters that are prominent in specific embryonic sympathoadrenal developmental stages in NB and PCC. Identifying the cell(s) of NB/PCC origin and their temporal development will provide mechanistic insight into: disease initiation, heterogeneity, progression, clinical behavior and spontaneous NB regression.

The project involves novel neuroblastoma and pheochromocytoma animal models that are generated in our lab to investigate the dynamics of tumor formation in a single cell mode to compare events in the early tumor with already defined trajectory. This approach may explain the role of known mutations and will help to devise new tumor-differentiating strategies in vivo.

We are currently addressing the following questions:

  • Understanding the clinical heterogeneity of neuroblastoma: What distinguishes the “favorable” vs the “unfavorable” neuroblastoma?
  • What unique signatures can be found in the spontaneously regressing neuroblastoma?
  • Do neuroblastoma types represent regulatory patterns in early or late embryonic sympathoblast/crest populations?
  • Can we identify cell-of-origin subpopulations for neuroblastoma initiation?

Entry requirements

Scholarships for postdoctoral qualification can be established for foreign researchers who place their qualifications in Sweden. The purpose of scholarships for postdoctoral qualification is to promote internationalization and contribute to research qualification after a doctorate or equivalent.

A scholarship for carrying out postdoctoral research can be granted for a maximum of two years within a four year period following the receipt of a doctoral degree or equivalent.

To be eligible for a postdoctoral scholarship, the person must have obtained a doctorate or a foreign degree deemed to be equivalent to a doctorate. 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) start date of the post doctoral education.

The head of the department determines whether their previous training and scholarly qualifications correspond to a Swedish doctorate or higher.

Successful applicants must have the ability to work both independently and collaboratively in a group and have good English communication skills.

Type of scholarship

The amount is tax free and it is set for twelve months at a time, paid out on a six months basis. In exceptional cases, shorter periods may be acceptable.
Location: Stockholm, Solna

Suggested reading and more information of the group:

For more information about the group see: http://ki.se/en/people/suschl 

Suggested readings:

Bedoya-Reina OC, Li W, Arceo M, Plescher M, Pui H, Kaucka M,
Kharchenko P, Martinsson T, Holmberg J, Adameyko I, Deng Q, Larsson C,
Juhlin C, Kogner P and SCHLISIO S.

Single-nuclei transcriptomes from human adrenal gland reveals distinct cellular
identities of low and high-risk neuroblastoma tumors.
Accepted and forthcoming May 2021, Nature Communications

Bedoya-Reina OC, SCHLISIO S.

Chromaffin Cells with Sympathoblast Signature: Too Similar to Keep Apart?
Cancer Cell. 2020 Dec 28:S1535-6108(20)30657-7.

Application process

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

  • A complete curriculum vitae, including date of the thesis defence, title of the thesis, previous academic positions, academic title, current position, academic distinctions, and committee work
  • A complete list of publications
  • A summary of current work (no more than one page)

The application is to be submitted on the Varbi recruitment system.

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First day of employment According to agreement
Salary Scholarship
Reference number STÖD 2-2857/2021
  • Susanne Schlisio, susanne.schlisio@ki.se
Union representative
  • Henry Wölling, SEKO, henry.wolling@ki.se
  • Carina Eklund, OFR, carina.eklund@ki.se
  • Taher Darreh-Shori, SACO, taher.darreh-shori@ki.se
Published 10.Jun.2021
Last application date 04.Jul.2021 11:59 PM CEST

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