Karolinska Institutet, Department of Oncology-Pathology, Group Dalianis

At the Department of Oncology-Pathology basic, translational and clinical research and educational activities related to cancer is carried out. Approximately 300 people from over 40 nations are currently working at the department. About 30 research groups with various cancer research profiles are involved and we have around 110 PhD students. The Department of Oncology-Pathology is responsible for undergraduate courses in Pathology, Oncology and Forensic Medicine for medical students, as well as for Tumor biology courses for biomedicine students and Pathology courses for opticians.

We are recruiting a doctoral (PhD) student. For more information regarding doctoral education at Karolinska Institutet (KI), see:


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
The PhD student will join the team of associate professor Anders Näsman who will be main supervisor at the Dept of Oncology-Pathology. Co-supervisors are Dr Juan Du at the Centre for Translational Microbiome Research (CTMR), Dept of Microbiology, Tumor Biology and Cell biology, Karolinska Institutet and associate professor David Lindquist, at the Department of Radiation Sciences, Umeå University. Together, they provide knowledge in tumor virology, microbiota, clinical pathology and oncology.
The focus of the research in the group is on infection and cancer. Studies include human papillomavirus (HPV), microbiota, other etiologies and biomarkers related to prognosis of head neck cancer, with focus on HPV-positive tonsillar and base of tongue cancer and the epidemic rise in incidence of these tumors. Another profile of the group has been and is to follow HPV infection in youth after the introduction of the HPV vaccine. More recently, the biomarker studies also include other head and neck cancers, as well as childhood cancer and experimental models on targeted therapy. The latter also comprise bioinformatics studies.

The doctoral education project and the duties of the student
The doctoral education project will focus on HPV infection, including different HPV-types in youth before and after the introduction of the HPV vaccine. It will include studies on microbiota in association to HPV infection including different HPV-types and persistent HPV infection and in association to cervical cancer and head and neck cancer. The PhD student will be responsible to follow HPV-prevalence in youth over time, studying microbiota in youth with and without HPV infections and in patients with pre-cancer lesions and cancer. Within this the doctoral project, samples from youth and/or cancer patients will be collected and tested for prevalence and presence of HPV, potential prognostic markers, with e.g. immunohistochemistry and molecular methods (DNA and RNA sequencing). Markers identifying risk for viral persistence and cancer development are of interest, in addition to disclosing biomarkers useful for prognostication and targeted therapy. Bioinformatics will be used to handle the large data.

Eligibility requirements for doctoral education at KI
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. Applicants who meet the general entry requirements (1 or 2 above) from a university in one of the Nordic countries have met the requirements in English.

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 seeking a highly motivated and creative person with proven experience in the field of infection and cancer or human papillomavirus infections. The successful applicant is expected to hold the ability to work independently as well as part of a team. Good communication skills in both spoken and written English are a requisite. Likewise, knowledge in Swedish is necessary, since one has to communicate with midwives and youth and be able to work in clinical situations.

Required: Master of Science in Biology, Biomedicine, Bioinformatics, or equivalent. Knowledge of basic laboratory methods is necessary. Practical experience of handling different types of biological samples, oral, cervical and tumor tissues, DNA, RNA extractions, PCR, immunohistochemistry is needed. Documented proficiency in data analyses using (custom written) routines; particularly in R, as well as some knowledge of Perl are required. Good communication skills in Swedish and English are also required.

Desirable: Experience of both biomedicine and bioinformatics is definitely of benefit. Experience of bioinformatics and handling large data or computer science is also a benefit, as well as experience in microscopic analysis and tissue/cell culture

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 Doktorandplats
Contract type Full time
Reference number 2-2295/2019
  • Anders Näsman, anders.nasman@ki.se
Union representative
  • Andreas Lundqvist, SACO, 08 517 768 84
  • Helen Eriksson, OFR, 08 517 762 79
Published 16.Apr.2019
Last application date 30.Apr.2019 11:59 PM CET

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