Postdoc Position in Cancer Cell Biology – Protein Centric Studies of Cancer Drug Mechanisms of Action and Resistance (Scholarship)

Updated: about 1 month ago

Do you want to contribute to top quality medical research?

In spite of major advances in oncology in recent decades, many cancers cannot be controlled with current therapies. Unfortunately, in spite of huge research efforts, the mechanism of action of many of our most used cancer drugs is still incomplete and in some cases only rudimental. More detailed and complete understanding for how cancer drugs work is therefore urgently needed. This when such understanding can improve cancer therapy by; delivering true personalized medicine strategies based on mechanistic biomarkers; more rational strategies for combination therapies; as well as guide the development of next generation cancer drugs.


Proteins are key players in most cellular events but a detailed understanding of protein action in many cellular processes and during drug therapy is often lacking. Pär Nordlund’s research group is developing novel approaches to study proteins in cells and tissues based on biophysical readouts. The group has developed the transformative CETSA (Cellular Thermal Shift Assay) method (Martinez Molina, Science, 2013, 41:84; Dai, Cell, 2018, 173:1481). The mass-spectrometry implementation of the method (MS-CETSA) allows for interactive and stringent studies of proteins in cellular proteomes while cells transfer through a process or when a drug acts in the cell. This gives unique insights into the mechanics of the cell, e.g. if and when a protein is involved in a process as an executer or regulator and which specific interactions are changed. The group is now exploring this novel approach, in parallel with other omics and cell biology approaches, to understand cancer related process as well as the action of clinical and novel cancer drugs. The ultimate goal of the project is to generate detailed and more complete understanding of mechanisms of action and resistance of different cancer drugs to provide critically needed biomarkers for therapy as well as novel candidate drug targets for developing improved cancer therapies.

Your mission

We are looking for a Postdoc to join Pär Nordlund´s research group. The focus of the project is to elucidate the mechanism of action and resistance of cancer drugs and drug candidates, with a particular emphasis on drugs used in colon, breast, lung and haematological cancers, including immune modulating drugs. The project will explore a range a different methodologies but MS-CETSA will serve as a core discovery strategy - we will provide training in state of the art MS-CETSA techniques. Ultimately the projects aims to identifying novel drug targets and mechanistic biomarkers with implications for cancer therapy.

Your profile

We are looking for a highly motivated scientist with a doctoral degree and strong background in mechanistic cancer cell biology including experiences with techniques such as imaging, cell sorting, genetics and molecular biology. Experiences in omics data generation and analysis is a plus.

Applicants are expected to work independently but as part of a multidisciplinary team and to be proficient in English. They are expected to play a leading role in the design and execution of their experiments as well as the analysis and the presentation/publication of the results. Before and while being in the lab, the applicant will be encouraged to apply for competitive national and international postdoctoral fellowships and career grants and will receive support in those endeavours.

The position will be financed by funds from the Swedish Cancer Society administrated by the Karolinska Institute.

Entry requirements

Scholarships for postdoctoral qualification can be established for foreign researchers who place their qualifications in Sweden. The purpose of scholarships for postdoctoral qualification is to promote internationalization and contribute to research qualification after a doctorate or equivalent.

A scholarship for carrying out postdoctoral research can be granted for a maximum of two years within a four year period following the receipt of a doctoral degree or equivalent.

To be eligible for a postdoctoral scholarship, the person must have obtained a doctorate or a foreign degree deemed to be equivalent to a doctorate. Applicants who have not completed a doctorate at the end of the application period may also apply, provided that all requirements for a completed degree are met before the (intended) start date of the post doctoral education.

The head of the department determines whether their previous training and scholarly qualifications correspond to a Swedish doctorate or higher.

Location: Department of Oncology and Pathology, Bioclinicum, Solna, Stockholm, Sweden

Department of Oncology-Pathology

Pär Nordlund's group

Type of scholarship

The amount is tax free and it is set for twelve months at a time, paid out on a six months basis. In exceptional cases, shorter periods may be acceptable.

Application process

An application must contain the following documents in English or Swedish:

  • A complete curriculum vitae, including date of the thesis defence, title of the thesis, previous academic positions, academic title, current position, academic distinctions, and committee work
  • A complete list of publications
  • A summary of current work (no more than one page)

The application is to be submitted on the Varbi recruitment system.

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