Doctoral (PhD) student position in human lung NK cell immunology

Updated: 4 months 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 Team of Dr. Marquardt is studying the regulation and function of human Natural Killer (NK) cells in human tissues with a particular focus on the lung. We are striving to investigate the role of NK cells in the pathology of respiratory viral infections such as influenza or COVID-19, as well as NK cell regulation and their therapeutic potential in lung cancer. Through several well-established clinical collaborations, our Team has access to different sources of unique human tissues. We also tightly collaborate with the research group of Dr. Jakob Michaëlsson as well as with other groups within the Center of Infectious Medicine (CIM) at the Department of Medicine Huddinge, Karolinska Institutet, where the research will be conducted. CIM is an internationally renowned research center focusing on the human immune system in infectious diseases, inflammation, and cancer.

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student

The doctoral project will focus on mapping NK cell heterogeneity and function in human lung tissues, aiming at expanding the knowledge about NK cell regulation in the human lung in health and disease. Furthermore, the student will investigate how NK cells can be harnessed for therapeutic applications in lung cancer. For this, the PhD student will dissect human lung tissue, perform in vitro infections and functional assays, and apply diverse analysis platforms such as advanced multicolour flow cytometry, live cell-imaging using the IncuCyte platform, and RNA-sequencing in collaboration with other research groups at CIM. For this project, excellent communication skills and the ability to work in a team are crucial, as well as to be well-organized and independent. The work will include laboratory work in a BSL3 environment at regular level, and strict application of GLP principles is always mandatory. In addition to the main supervisor Nicole Marquardt, the student will have three co-supervisors: Assoc. Prof. Anna Smed-Sörensen, Assoc. Prof. Marcus Buggert, and Prof. Hans-Gustaf Ljunggren. The successful candidate will take part in all research-related activities such as group meetings, departmental seminars, relevant national/international meetings, supervision of other students and researchers, if necessary, as well as contribute to common lab routines. Finally, the PhD student will work to fulfil the course requirements of the PhD program as outlined in the relevant rules and documentation available at the website.

This project is supported by an internal Karolinska Institutet KID grant.

Location: Flemingsberg

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

    For this PhD project we are seeking a highly self-motivated person with a strong desire to study the human immune system. The successful applicant needs to be fluent in English and have excellent communication skills and the ability to interact effectively and work productively in a team but also to work independently and well-organized. Previous laboratory experience with working in a BSL3 environment as well as experience of human immunology studies and co-authorships on peer-reviewed research articles with an immunological focus are a merit. A great advantage is previous work with primary immune cells, in vitro cell cultures, working with SARS-CoV-2- or other virus-infected human specimens, IncuCyte live-cell imaging, flow cytometry, basic molecular biology techniques, as well as language skills in Swedish. The applicant must hold a Master degree in the field of immunology, molecular biology, biomedicine, cell biology, or similar.

    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.

    Read more about the Department of Medicine, Huddinge (MedH)
    Read more about our research group

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