PhD student position in Structure and biology of vesicles with complex lipid structure

Updated: 5 months ago
Deadline: 14 Apr 2023

At the Department of Life Sciences, LIFE, (former Biology and Biological Engineering) we explore how biological systems and innovative technologies can be used to convert biomass into foods, pharmaceuticals, materials, chemicals and fuels. We develop and apply advanced experimental and computational technologies to discover how biomolecules, living cells and organisms function and interact. We pioneer new methods for the prediction, prevention, diagnostics and treatment of diseases.

The Holme group is looking for a highly motivated student with a background in cell biology, nanoparticle formulation, membrane biophysics, or similar, to design new lipid vesicles for delivery of nucleic acids. 

Project description
At the Holme group, we combine knowledge in biology, chemistry and physics to study nano-particles formulated from lipids. We characterise the composition and distribution of lipid molecules in synthetic and naturally occurring nano-particles (including extracellular vesicles), analyse their structure from the ensemble to single molecule level, and apply our findings to design new lipid nano-particles to study, diagnose and treat a range of diseases. We place particular focus on using neutron and X-ray scattering to characterise the membrane biophysics and morphology of these self-assembled lipid structures.
In this PhD project you will isolate extracellular vesicles from a library of cell lines and charcterise their lipid composition using lipidomics and biophysical techniques. You will use this information to formulate synthetic vesicles which closely mimic extracellular vesicle lipid composition, and study their intracellular trafficking and ability to deliver cargo.
Key parts of the work include: Extracellular vesicle isolation and purification; lipidomics; vesicle formulation; microscopy; image and data analysis.

Information about the division and the department
Based at the Department of Life Sciences,  the Division of Chemical Biology is the home of seven research groups. We combine and develop protein engineering, synthetic chemistry, and state-of-the-art biophysical methods (spectroscopy, live cell imaging and nanotechnology) to address cutting-edge questions in biology to meet medical challenges related to human health. Our joint expertise is strategic and spans from molecular biophysics of single molecules to cell and organism biology.

Major responsibilities
You will work in your own research project, but be part of a larger research team that develop complex lipid vesicles and methods to study them, and apply them to study and treat diseases.
You will also take part in mandatory and elective program in the training network and in the local research school (total 60ECTS required).
Supervision of master and bachelor theses, as well as teaching on the bachelor and master level can also be part of the training.

To qualify as a PhD student, you must have a Masters degree corresponding to at least 240 higher education credits in Biotechnology, Biochemistry, Biophysics, Microbiology or similar.
Hands on experience with mammalian cell culture and fluorescence microscopy is beneficial but not mandatory.
Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the work, you are expected to have good collaboration skills and be able to communicate in English, both orally and in writing. If Swedish is not your native language, Chalmers offers Swedish courses.

Contract terms
Full-time temporary employment. The position is limited to a maximum of five years.

We offer
Chalmers offers a cultivating and inspiring working environment in the coastal city of Gothenburg .
Read more about working at Chalmers  and our benefits  for employees.
Chalmers aims to actively improve our gender balance. We work broadly with equality projects, for example the GENIE Initiative on gender equality for excellence . Equality and diversity are substantial foundations in all activities at Chalmers.

Application procedure
The application should be marked with Ref 20230175 and written in English. The application should be sent electronically and be attached as PDF-files, as below. Maximum size for each file is 40 MB. Please note that the system does not support Zip files.

CV: (Please name the document: CV, Family name, Ref. number)
• CV
• Other, for example previous employments or leadership qualifications and positions of trust.
• Two references that we can contact.

Personal letter: (Please name the document as: Personal letter, Family name, Ref. number)
1-3 pages where you:
• Introduce yourself
• Describe your previous experience of relevance for the position (e.g. education, thesis work and, if applicable, any other research activities)
• Describe your future goals and future research focus

Other documents:
• Copies of bachelor and/or master’s thesis.
• Attested copies and transcripts of completed education, grades and other certificates, e.g. TOEFL test results.

Please use the button at the foot of the page to reach the application form. 

Application deadline: 14, April, 2023

For questions, please contact:
Margaret Holme
Assistant Professor, Chemical Biology

*** Chalmers declines to consider all offers of further announcement publishing or other types of support for the recruiting process in connection with this position. ***

Chalmers University of Technology conducts research and education in engineering sciences, architecture, technology-related mathematical sciences, natural and nautical sciences, working in close collaboration with industry and society. The strategy for scientific excellence focuses on our six Areas of Advance; Energy, Health Engineering, Information and Communication Technology, Materials Science, Production and Transport. The aim is to make an active contribution to a sustainable future using the basic sciences as a foundation and innovation and entrepreneurship as the central driving forces. Chalmers has around 11,000 students and 3,000 employees. New knowledge and improved technology have characterised Chalmers since its foundation in 1829, completely in accordance with the will of William Chalmers and his motto: Avancez!

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