Doctoral (PhD) student position in “single-cell molecular connectomics of neurodevelopmental disorders”

Updated: about 1 month ago

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 led by Michael Ratz at the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology is looking for a Doctoral (PhD) student. The lab is located on KI’s Solna campus in Biomedicum, a brand-new and interdisciplinary research center with advanced laboratories and modern facilities designed to promote research and collaboration. The Ratz lab is using and creating novel molecular tools (e.g., cellular barcoding), advanced experimental techniques (e.g., 3D single-cellspatial transcriptomics) and computational tools for single-cell data analysis to understand the development of neural circuits in the mammalian brain in health and disease.

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student

In this project we will combineviral barcoding and sequencing methods to develop a novel method that allows simultaneous single-cell profiling of gene expression and neuronal connectivity in a tissue context. We will employ this approach for comparative studies of neural circuitry in the prefrontal cortex in wild type mice and multiple mouse models of autism spectrum disorder.
The prospective doctoral student will have the opportunity to become acquainted with a wide range of cutting-edge methods including generation and characterization of viral barcode libraries; in vivo barcode delivery into the mouse brain; 3D intact-tissue RNA-sequencing; high resolution imaging using spinning disk confocal microscopy; fluorescence image processing; single-cell data analysis.

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:

  • have been awarded a second-cycle/advanced/master qualification (i.e. master degree), or
  • 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
  • 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.

    (A) and (B)can only be certified by the documentation requirement for doctoral education .

    Skills and personal qualities

    Necessary skills and personal qualifications:

    • Education in experimental life science with a qualifying degree e.g. in biomedicine, neuroscience, etc. 
    • Experience with histology procedures (e.g. embedding and sectioning of mouse brains).
    • Expertise in methods in molecular biology (e.g., FISH, DNA extraction, PCR, molecular cloning, Sanger sequencing).
    • Expertise with immunostaining and fluorescence imaging of cells and/or tissue.
    • Familiarity with cultivation of mammalian (primary) cells (e.g., HEK293T cells, primary neurons).
    • Basic knowledge about mouse brain anatomy. 
    • Interest in working with laboratory mice, mouse models of autism spectrum  disorder as well as single-cell/spatial transcriptomics data analysis approaches.
    • Ambition of leading this interdisciplinary project in a proactive manner.
    • Excellent communication and presentation skills. 
    • Collaborative and curiosity-driven approach to basic scientific research. 
    • Fluent written and spoken English. 

    Advantageous qualifications:

    • Experience with imaging-based in situ RNA-seq.
    • Experience with handling laboratory mice (e.g. FELASA B).
    • Experience in computational analysis (e.g. R or Python). 

    Terms and conditions

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

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    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. We prefer that your application is written in English, but you can also apply in Swedish.

    Your application must contain the following documents:

    - A personal letter and a curriculum vitae
    - Degree projects and previous publications, if any
    - Any other documentation showing the desirable skills and personal qualities described above
    - 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.

    Ratz lab: 

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