Postdoctoral Researcher in Chromatin Biology and Bioinformatics

Updated: 2 months ago

Do you want to contribute to top quality medical research?

TheBaranello Lab: Drawing from our expertise in the fields of topoisomerase and cancer biology, we aim to answer fundamental questions about how transcription, replication and DNA topology are functionally coordinated in human cells. We use state-of-the-art approaches to assess transcriptomic, epigenomic and replisomic profiles, as well as bioinformatics, microscopy and drug screens to understand how topoisomerase regulation affects fundamental nuclear processes (key lab references: Baranello et al. Cell 2016; Wiegard et al. Molecular Cell 2021; Das et al. Molecular Cell 2022). The overall aim is to reveal novel cancer dependencies and develop new anti-cancer strategies more specific towards tumor cells and with fewer side-effects.

We are a young and dynamic research team with a well-established collaborative network. The group is also associated to the laboratory of Dr. Levens at the National Institutes of Health in the US and Dr. Shiraige at Tokyo University. The successful applicant will thus be part of multiple networks of recognized scientists. The group is placed in the Biomedicum, a top modern research building with a large repertoire of researchers and access to state-of-the-art infrastructure and facilities.

Your mission

Topoisomerases are essential enzymes that regulate the topology of DNA favoring replication and transcription by cleaving/resealing DNA strands. Because cancer cells have higher rates of proliferation compared to normal cells, they are highly dependent on topoisomerase activity. Therefore, strategies to target topoisomerases could provide a mean to selectively affect cancer cells.

The focus of this research project is to understand how topoisomerases are regulated during nuclear processes to develop new ways to target these regulatory mechanisms and affect the viability of cancer cells. Recent evidence show that topoisomerases execute their function through interactions with partner proteins that modulate their activity to affect transcription (Baranello et al. Cell 2016; Das et al. Molecular Cell 2022). We will use biochemical and molecular biology approaches, microscopy, single molecule tracking, DNA and RNA sequencing and CRISPR-based genome editing to investigate how topoisomerase dynamics within the nucleus controls topoisomerase activity. The outcome of the postdoctoral work will inspire a new strategy to target topoisomerases in cancer therapy.

The project is a combination of practical laboratory work (wet-lab work) and computational analysis (programming in R and/or Python). The program also includes supervision of students and attendance to seminars and conferences. The postdoc will plan and execute experiments, analyze data, interpret, and present the results as well as write scientific articles, initially under partial supervision but with greater independence going forward.

Your profile

We seek a curious, highly motivated and creative postdoc with a strong background in transcription dynamics, topoisomerases and DNA topology. The ideal candidate should have experience with programming languages to analyze sequencing and microscopy data. The candidate should also have a good team spirit and bring a keen interest in solving intricate scientific questions in chromatin biology. Experience with mammalian cell cultures, protein biochemistry, next-generation sequencing and large-scale bioinformatics analysis is a strength. Excellent interpersonal and communication skills (in English written and verbal) is required. Emphasis will be also placed on personal suitability, fitting well into the current research group.

To be eligible for employment as a postdoctor a doctoral degree or a foreign degree deemed to be equivalent to a doctoral degree is required. This eligibility requirement must be fulfilled at the latest at the time of the employment decision. It is considered as an advantage if you have completed your doctoral degree within the last three years, if there are special reasons, your degree may have been completed earlier.

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. At Karolinska Institutet, 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.


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An employment application must contain the following documents in English:

  • A complete resumé, including date of the thesis defence, title of the thesis, previous academic positions, academic title, current position, academic distinctions, and committee work
  • A brief motivation letter stating the reason why the candidate is interested in this project (no more than half a page, font 12)
  • A complete list of publications
  • A summary of current work and past work (no more than half a page, font 12) 
  • Contact details of two reference persons.
  • Verification from the thesis defense committee or the equivalent (only if the thesis defense is scheduled within three months after the application deadline)

Welcome to apply!

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

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