Doctoral (PhD) student position in human adipose tissue biology

Updated: 25 days 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 department of Cell and Molecular 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 utilised 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 ultimate 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.

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student

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 senescent cells, which can release factors that cause inflammation and dysfunction, increase in adipose tissue and associate with pathology. The proposed project will determine the prevalence and clearance of senescent adipocytes in human adipose tissue and characterize the pathological phenotype and contribution of these cells.

The PhD- student 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. Radiocarbon dating will be used to investigate senescent cell turnover.

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. 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 seek a student with a background in molecular biology, biomedicine or the equivalent. The candidate should have a good team spirit, be self-motivated and a keen interest in human adipose tissue 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).

    Terms and conditions

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

    -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.

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