2 postdoctoral positions in human adipose tissue biology

Updated: about 2 months ago

The research group

The Department of Cell and Molecular Biology (CMB) is a department with a strong focus on basic science. CMB conducts research and education in cell biology, molecular biology, developmental biology, stem cell biology, cancer and infection biology. CMB is located in Biomedicum, a new interdisciplinary research center designed to concentrate much of the experimental research conducted at Karolinska Institutet Campus Solna under one roof to promote collaboration. Biomedicum houses approximately 1,200 researchers and other personnel and allows expensive equipment to be shared and utilized more effectively.

The main interests of the Spalding research group are to investigate properties of human adipose tissue, with particular attention to human adipocyte biology. We investigate basic cellular functions, such as senescence, adipocyte lipid and cell turnover, adipocyte response to obesity and hyperinsulinemia and cellular heterogeneity in human adipose tissue depots. Understanding the cell biology and heterogeneity of adipocytes in human adipose tissue, with the aim of understanding their contributions to health and pathology, is a major focus of the group.

The Spalding group has established strong clinical collaborations within Sweden and abroad, ensuring high quality access to human adipose tissue. All necessary platforms, such as FACS, single cell sequencing and microscopy etc. are available.


Many metabolic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, strongly associate with obesity, making obesity one of the major health challenges facing the world today. Understanding how adipocytes respond to obesity and contribute to pathological processes is more relevant than ever, especially with juvenile and adult levels of obesity reaching epidemic proportions world-wide.

The Spalding lab has recently identified that human fat cells can activate a cell cycle program and senesce. Senescent fat cells, which release factors that cause inflammation and dysfunction, increase in adipose tissue and associate with pathology. The proposed projects will investigate (i) adipocyte cell cycle activation and (ii) the senescent cell secretory phenotype.

The postdoctoral fellows will work with human adipose tissue samples to perform adipocyte cell culture, immuno-histo/cytochemistry, flow cytometry, confocal microscopy, and other molecular biology techniques. Protein (mesoscale and western blot) and RNA (single cell and bulk sequencing) analyses will also be performed.

Entry requirements

We seek individuals with a background in molecular biology, biomedicine, or the equivalent. The candidates should have a good team spirit, be self-motivated and a keen interest in human adipose biology. Experience in working with molecular biology techniques, confocal microscopy, FACS, and the isolation and culture of primary cells are a strong plus. A solid background in statistics or programming is also an advantage. The student is required to have good communication skills in English (written and verbal).

Qualified to be employed as a postdoctor is one who has obtained a doctorate or has equivalent scientific competence. Applicants who have not completed a doctorate at the end of the application period may also apply, provided that all requirements for a completed degree are met before the (intended) date of employment. This must be substantiated by the applicant's main supervisor, director or equivalent.

Terms and conditions

The postdoctoral positions are fixed term (i) adipocyte cell cycle activation (12 months) and (ii) the senescent cell secretory phenotype (8 months).

Please indicate in your application which one the positions you are interested in.

What do we offer?

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 better health for all. At Karolinska Institutet, we conduct innovative medical research and provide the largest range of biomedical education in Sweden. Karolinska Institutet is a state university, which entitles employees to several benefits such as extended holiday and a generous occupational pension. Employees also have free access to our modern gym and receive reimbursements for medical care.

Location: Solna


An employment application must contain the following documents in English or Swedish:

  • 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 complete list of publications
  • A summary of current work (no more than one page)

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

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