Doctoral (PhD) position in T-cell biology in rheumatic diseases, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Myositis

Updated: about 2 months ago

The Department of Medicine, Solna, is one of the largest departments at Karolinska Institutet. The department consists of several divisions that are separated into different research groups. The core activities of the department are research, doctoral education and undergraduate education for medical and biomedical students. The research has three main profiles: allergy, cardiovascular medicine and inflammatory diseases.

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 studies will be performed in the team of senior researcher Karine Chemin (, and in the research groups of Professor Vivianne Malmström and Professor Ingrid Lundberg, together with Lina Diaz-Gallo ( We are studying the effector function of T cells at the site of inflammation in Rheumatoid Arthritis and Myositis. We aim to understand their pathogenic effector function, their antigen specificity and the mechanisms implicated in their migration and retention in the tissue. We are using single cell biology technologies as well as multi-parameter flow-cytometry and classical immunology/molecular biology techniques.

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student

The overall goal of this project is to deeply characterize T cells present in the synovial joints of RA patients and in the muscle of patients with myositis. The student will collect and handle human samples including synovial fluids, synovial biopsies, muscle biopsies and peripheral blood. The project involves lab work such as multi-parameter flow cytometry, single cell sorting, single cell library preparation (spatial transcriptomics), immunofluorescence, qPCR, ELISA and western blot but also comprises bioinformatics analyses.

The student will be interacting with clinicians at the rheumatology clinic and collaborators at the single cell facility (Scilife, Stockholm). The student is expected to plan experiments (with supervision), write reports and present data at group meetings and conferences. The student will work on independent projects but will also have the possibility to collaborate with other group members.

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

    We are looking for a highly motivated student with a background in Immunology or Cell Biology. Ability to design and perform experiments in a rigorous manner is required. The student should have a critical and creative mind as well as a solving-problem attitude. Since the project involves several collaborators, the student should have the capacity to interact with team members with different backgrounds. Previous basic experience with multi-parameter flow cytometry and/or basic bioinformatics knowledge (Python or R) is needed.

    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.

    Your application must contain the following documents. We prefer that your application is written in English, but you can also apply in Swedish:

    - 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.


    The Department of Medicine, Solna, consists of twelve divisions and each division consists of several research groups. The position is located in research group Malmström, team Karine Chemin, within the Rheumatology division. The group is located at the Center for Molecular Medicine (CMM) at the Karolinska University Hospital area.

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