Doctoral (PhD) student position in Radiotherapy and Neuroinflammation

Updated: 28 days ago

The Department is organized in 10 divisions: Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pediatrics, Pediatric Endocrinology, Pediatric Surgery, Neuropediatrics, Pediatric Oncology, Neonatology, Reproductive Endocrinology, Neuropsychiatry (KIND), Reproductive and Perinatal Health. The divisions have separate scientific profiles and vary in size and have several research groups, dealing with both basic and clinical science.

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 student will join the research group of Prof. Klas Blomgren under the supervision of the Assistant Professor Adamantia Fragkopoulou. The group uses a multi-disciplinary approach integrating methods like bioinformatics, molecular cell biology, cell culture and animal models, to characterize the complex neuroinflammation mechanisms of radiotherapy in childhood brain tumour models. Our goal is to develop new interventions to reduce the neuroinflammation and cognitive decline in childhood cancer survivors. Current lines of work include elucidation of cellular reactions and interactions after radiation using bulk and single cell RNA sequencing, in an effort to unravel the time course of neuroinflammation and to identify biomarkers (see for example Osman et al., Cell reports, 2020) that can be used to develop novel treatments to ameliorate cognitive decline in childhood brain tumour survivors. Proposed treatments include lithium (see for example Zanni et al., Mol. Psychiatry, 2019) and antisense technology drugs.

The lab is located in BioClinicum on floor 9 and work is also performed in the KMB animal facility. The group provides excellent training opportunities in an international working environment, national and international collaborations, and possibilities to publish articles in high-impact journals.

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student

This research project will focus on prevention and treatment of cognitive decline in a mouse model of cranial radiotherapy. The PhD student will primarily perform computational analysis of bulk and sc-RNA seq data generated from mice to determine the brain immune cell dynamics after cranial irradiation, and to identify mechanisms leading to cognitive decline after radiotherapy. The successful applicant will acquire basic as well as specialized knowledge and understanding in irradiation models, neuroinflammation, brain tumour biology, antisense technology and computational analysis.

The PhD student is expected to take a lead in project design, management, data analyses and interpretation. The duties also include working in a team and to adhere to high scientific standards and responsibilities. The ability to work in an interdisciplinary and international environment and to engage in continuous professional development is a must.

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 an enthusiastic and highly motivated candidate who has a degree in bioengineering or chemical engineering. Proven experiences with animal models and RNA sequencing data analysis are mandatory. Previous experiences with irradiation models, molecular and cellular techniques (e.g. qPCR, immunohistochemistry) and with software for statistical analyses (i.e., GraphPad, SPSS, R) are particularly advantageous. A strong interest in interdisciplinary research and creative thinking abilities are essential. Applicants wishing to integrate computational and experimental biology approaches are especially encouraged to apply.

    The ideal candidate should be collaborative, scientifically adventurous, curiosity-driven, and should bring independent and original ideas into the project. Since the applicant will work in a multidisciplinary environment the ability to work with other scientists and good communication skills (proficiency in spoken and written English) are necessary.

    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.

    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.

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