Doctoral (PhD) student position with doctoral grant in cancer biology

Updated: about 2 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. We are looking for a highly motivated, enthusiastic, and talented student to perform cutting-edge interdisciplinary research, with the overall aim to elucidate new mechanisms of growth restriction and identify new targets for cancer therapy.

The research group

The Bryceson group ( and ) studies primary immunodeficiency diseases. Our interdisciplinary research strives to understand life-threatening inflammatory syndromes and cytotoxic lymphocyte function in health, infection, and disease in the setting of human genetic variability and environmental factors. The studies are translational as they involve advanced basic molecular and cellular immunological investigations of precious human tissue samples to discover novel disease mechanisms and therapy targets. The group is internationally recognized as a leader in the field through several high impact publications in recent years (Immunity 2015, Immunity 2017, Blood 2017, Blood 2017, Science Immunol 2018, Blood 2021, Science Immunol 2021). The research will be carried out at the Center for Hematology and Regenerative Medicine (HERM) at the Department of Medicine Huddinge, Karolinska Institutet . HERM is an internationally renowned research center focusing on hematopoiesis, immunology and cancer. The work will be co-supervised by a team of accomplished investigators.

The doctoral student project

We and others recently identified disease-causing gain-of-function (GoF) mutations in SAMD9 and SAMD9L, two highly homologous genes, as a cause of severe syndromes including bone marrow failure, immunodeficiency, myelodysplasia and acute myeloid leukemia by loss of aneuploidy (Tesi et al., Blood 2017). These genes encode poorly characterized tumor suppressors. The >1500 amino acid proteins contain two nucleic acid binding domains and are cytoplasmic, interferon-induced, antagonized by a variety of viruses, as well as down-regulated in several cancers. How SAMD9 and SAMD9L potently block the cell cycle is unknown. Unpublished work from our group has uncovered a key role for specific protein domains in a novel mode of inhibition of the S-phase of cell cycle. The supervisor team represents researchers with strong, complementary track-records in immunogenetics, innate immunity to viruses, genome integrity, RNA/protein interactions, cancer, and systems biology. An ambitious PhD student will be part of an interdisciplinary and supportive research team, learning a range of molecular, proteomic, cellular and computational competences with an objective of ultimately benefitting clinical practice. As this is a team effort, excellent communication skills are essential, as is proven ability to work in multidisciplinary teams. It is expected that the PhD student eventually also supervises other students and researchers if necessary, as well as contribute to common lab duties.

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

    The candidate must hold a master degree in the field of molecular biology, biochemistry, cell biology, genetics, or computational biology/bioinformatics. The candidate must have experience in basic molecular biology and cloning techniques, biochemistry and proteomics. Strong analytical skills are a prerequisite. It is a merit if the applicant has some experience with softwares R or Python, the bash / Unix shell of Mac and/or experience in a Linux OS and have some, even if limited, experience analyzing complex datasets from proteomics or scRNA-seq. Experience in isolation and in vitro culturing of primary cells is a merit, as is basic functional in vitro assessments of cell function such as intracellular cytokine staining, ELISA etc. It is a merit if the applicant has some experience with flow cytometry analysis. The candidate should be self-motivated, have good communications skills and a proven ability to interact effectively and work productively in an interdisciplinary team. Fluency in English is a requirement.

    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:

    - 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 here and here.

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