PhD Position in Radiation Biology and Neuroinflammation
Karolinska Institute

PhD position in Radiation Biology and Neuroinflammation

The Department is organized in 10 divisions: Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pediatrics, Pediatric Endocrinology, Pediatric Surgery, Neuropediatrics, Pediatric Oncology, Neonatology, Reproductive Endocrinology, Neuropsychiatry (KIND), Reproductive and Perinatal Health. The divisions have separate scientific profiles and vary in size and have several research groups, dealing with both basic and clinical science.

Do you want to contribute to top quality medical research?

To be a doctoral student means to devote oneself to a research project under supervision of experienced researchers and following an individual study plan. For a doctoral degree, the equivalent of four years of full-time doctoral education is required.

The research group
The research group currently consists of 10 people, students and postdocs, with different backgrounds, educationally as well as culturally. The lab is located in the new research building Bioclinicum on the Karolinska University Hospital campus. The research aim is to elucidate the mechanisms of injury and repair in the juvenile brain after exposure to ionizing radiation, such as during the treatment of brain tumours. Our work is truly translational, using methods ranging from cell culture and animal models to clinical studies.

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student
Modern therapy cures 80 % of all children with brains tumours, but also causes long-lasting side effects. Radiotherapy is particularly prone to cause severe late effects, such as intellectual impairment and endocrine dysfunction. Radiotherapy to the brain, like most injuries in the central nervous system, result in a chronic inflammation that makes the brain degenerate at a faster rate and makes it more susceptible to subsequent injuries. We investigate how the chronic inflammation is maintained with the aim to disrupt it.

Young mice or rats will be subjected to cranial irradiation (IR). We characterise the mechanisms of injury in neurons, glial cells, progenitors and stem cells. We also characterise in detail the inflammatory response over time in different brain regions and in the blood. Two interventional strategies will be tested, antisense oligonucleotides based on the award-winning technology from Ionis Pharmaceuticals, and Intranasal Mechanical Stimulation (INMEST). Tissues will be analysed by qPCR, FACS, RNA sequencing (bulk and single cell), mass cytometry, immunohistochemistry and immunodetection of specific proteins in subcellular fractions (e.g. Olink). Cognitive performance of the animals will be tested.

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

What do we offer?
A creative and inspiring environment full of expertise and curiosity. Karolinska Institutet is one of the world's leading medical universities. Our vision is to pursue the development of knowledge about life and to promote a better health for all. At Karolinska Institutet, we conduct successful medical research and hold the largest range of medical education in Sweden. As a doctoral student you are offered an individual research project, a well-educated supervisor, a vast range of elective courses and the opportunity to work in a leading research group. Karolinska Institutet collaborates with prominent universities from all around the world, which ensures opportunities for international exchanges. You will be employed on a doctoral studentship which means that you receive a contractual salary. Employees also have access to our modern gym for free and receive reimbursements for medical care.

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 seeking a highly motivated and enthusiastic candidate to work on the projects described above. You should be collaborative, scientifically adventurous, curiosity-driven and like team-work in an international environment. In addition, you should be prepared to assume responsibility to accomplish your goals in the project(s) and fulfil the requirements of the doctoral training program.

The PhD student is expected to take a strong lead in project management, data generation, as well as analyses and interpretation. The duties also include working in a team and to adhere to high scientific standards and responsibilities.

The applicants are expected to be talented and enthusiastic researchers with a strong research drive. Prior experience with cell culture, molecular biology and flow cytometry is desirable. To be able to elaborate on scientific hypotheses, experimental design, experimentation, and presentation/publication of results is expected. Authorship on research articles is highly meriting, as is previous training in research laboratories. Candidates must be able to work within a heterogeneous and multicultural team environment but retain independence to explore their own hypotheses and results and drive their own projects. Personal suitability will be a selection criterion.

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.

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.

 All applicants will be informed when the recruitment is completed.

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

Type of employment PhD placement
Contract type Full time
First day of employment According to agreement
Salary Monthly salary
Reference number 2-6560/2019
  • Klas Blomgren, Professor/senior physician, 070-3233353
  • Sabina Brinkley, HR officer, 08-524 823 80
Union representative
  • Bodil Moberg , OFR, 08-524 836 01
  • Henry Wölling, SEKO, 08-524 840 80
  • John Inge Johnsen , SACO,
Published 19.Dec.2019
Last application date 29.Feb.2020 11:59 PM CET

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