PhD Candidate in membrane dynamics and cancer cell invasion

Updated: 30 days ago
Deadline: 25 Apr 2024

25th April 2024

  • English

PhD Candidate in membrane dynamics and cancer cell invasion
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Job description

A 3-year position in a Research Fellowship as PhD candidate is available at the Section for Biochemistry, Department for Molecular Medicine, Institute for Basic Medical Sciences, University of Oslo, Oslo. The position is associated with the «membrane trafficking» group led by Assoc. Prof. Kay Oliver Schink.

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More about the position

The Schink lab is looking for a highly motivated PhD student to work on the molecular mechanisms of membrane organisation and the role of dysregulated membrane trafficking for cancer cell invasion and metastasis.

Our research focusses on membrane trafficking, where we study the molecular mechanisms of how vesicles are formed and how they get their correct identity. Moreover, we are interested in how dysregulation of membrane transport processes contributes to diseases such as cancer and infectious diseases. A key focus of our studies is the role of macropinocytosis as a nutrient scavenging route in cancer cells. In addition, we are studying how membrane trafficking contributes to cancer cell invasion and metastasis.

In this project, we will investigate how cells can establish and control the identity of their endomembranes, and how changes in these membrane transport processes can allow cancer cell invasion and metastasis.

The candidate will:

  • Characterize how cells ensure that newly formed vesicles gain the correct membrane identity markers. To this end, the candiate will generate fluorescently tagged cell lines, use advanced life cell microscopy to track endocytic trafficking in 3D, and use a CRISPR/Cas9-based genetic screen to identify key regulators of membrane organisation.
  • Characterize how changes in membrane trafficking – especially macropinocytosis - can allow cells to adapt to confined environments and allow them to effectively migrate and form metastases. A key aspect of this subproject will be to study how cells reorganize their membrane system in response to physical constraints to allow effective cell migration, e.g. in a tumor setting.

The candidate will join a young and enthusiastic team of scientists working at the cutting edge of molecular cell biology. We use state-of-the-art molecular cell biology and genetic techniques and combine these methods with advanced life cell microscopy, single cell light sheet microscopy and super resolution microscopy.

Depending on the candidate, the position can be expanded to 4 years by including 25% teaching and supervision tasks.

The research fellow must take part in the Faculty’s approved PhD program and is expected to complete the project within the set fellowship period. The main purpose of the fellowship is research training leading to the successful completion of a PhD degree.

Qualification requirements
  • A master’s degree in molecular cell biology, biochemistry or equivalent. The Master’s degree must have a minimum grade B (ECTS grading scale) or equivalent, and include a thesis of at least 30 ECTS
  • A strong drive for fundamental mechanistic cell biology research
  • The ability to take scientific initiatives and troubleshoot complex challenges
  • Excellent communication skills, including proficiency in spoken and written English
  • Work experience in molecular and cell biology, especially experience in molecular cloning, lentiviral gene delivery, CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome editing and related techniques, as well as experience with advanced fluorescence microscopy and image processing will be a major advantage
  • The working language of the lab is English, and excellent communication skills in English are required

Personal skills
  • Motivation for the position and commitment to carry out high-level research
  • Eagerness to integrate and work in a versatile and cross-disciplinary team
  • Good presentation skills
  • Capability to design and perform experiments
  • Good organizational skills
  • Capability to work both independently and as a team player

We offer
  • Salary NOK 532 200 – 575 400 per annum depending on qualifications in a position as PhD Research fellow, (position code 1017)

  • Attractive welfare benefits and a generous pension agreement, in addition to Oslo’s family-friendly environment with its rich opportunities for culture and outdoor activities

How to apply

The application must include

  • cover letter statement of motivation and research interests
  • CV (summarizing education, positions and academic work)
  • copies of educational certificates (academic transcripts only)
  • a complete list of publications and academic works
  • list of reference persons: 2-3 references (name, relation to candidate, e-mail and phone number)

The application with attachments must be delivered in our electronic recruiting system, please follow the link “apply for this job”. Foreign applicants are advised to attach an explanation of their University's grading system. Please note that all documents should be in English (or a Scandinavian language).

When evaluating the application, emphasis will be given to the eventuelt “project description” and the applicant’s academic and personal prerequisites to carry out the project. Applicants may be called in for an interview.

Formal regulations

Please see the guidelines and regulations for appointments to Research Fellowships at the University of Oslo.

No one can be appointed for more than one PhD Research Fellowship period at the University of Oslo.

According to the Norwegian Freedom of Information Act (Offentleglova) information about the applicant may be included in the public applicant list, also in cases where the applicant has requested non-disclosure.

The appointment may be shortened/given a more limited scope within the framework of the applicable guidelines on account of any previous employment in academic positions.

The University of Oslo has an agreement for all employees, aiming to secure rights to research results etc.

Contact information

Associate Professor Kay Oliver Schink, [email protected]

via Unsplash
About the University of Oslo 

The University of Oslo is Norway’s oldest and highest ranked educational and research institution, with 28 000 students and 7000 employees. With its broad range of academic disciplines and internationally recognised research communities, UiO is an important contributor to society.

The Institute of Basic Medical Sciences overall objective is to promote basic medical knowledge in order to understand normal processes, provide insight into mechanisms that cause illness, and promote good health. The Institute is responsible for teaching in basic medical sciences for the programmes of professional study in medicine and the Master's programme in clinical nutrition. The Institute has more than 300 employees and is located in Domus Medica.

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25th April 2024


University of Oslo




Fulltime (1 positions) Fulltime (%)



Place of service
Domus Medica, Sognsvannsveien 9, 0317 Oslo


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