Umeå University, Medicinska fakulteten

Umeå University is one of Sweden’s largest institutions of higher education with over 35,000 students and 4,200 faculty and staff. We are characterised by world-leading research in several scientific fields and a multitude of educations ranked highly in international comparison. Umeå University is also the site of the pioneering discovery of the CRISPR-Cas9 genetic scissors - a revolution in genetic engineering that has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

At Umeå University, everything is nearby. Our cohesive campus environment makes it easy to meet, collaborate and exchange knowledge, which promotes a dynamic and open culture where we rejoice in each other's successes.

The Faculty of Medicine, which consists of 13 departments, is responsible for biomedical research and courses in the field of nursing and health care and has an extensive research and graduate education in more than 80 subjects.

The Department of Molecular Biology has about 200 employees. The department's main tasks involve research, graduate education, and undergraduate education as well as interactions with the community. Affiliated with both the Faculty of Science and Technology and the Faculty of Medicine, the department's research and education activity includes several molecular biological areas within science and medicine: cell biology, microbiology, infection biology, tumour biology and neurobiology in conjunction with the use of genetic model organisms (except plants).

The Department of Molecular Biology seeks a postdoctoral scientist to the project “genome-scale deep phenotyping of malaria parasite genes that determine parasite-host interactions”. The position is funded by Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). The position is full-time for two years with access as soon as possible or by agreement.

Project description and work tasks

The malaria parasite causes disease by invading and replicating within red blood cells. The interaction between the parasite and host determines the outcome of infection and disease. In our lab we develop and apply high throughput genetic screening tools to identify and characterise novel molecular determinants of malaria parasite-host interactions.

Using a scalable gene knock-out method we call barcode sequencing (barseq, Bushell et al, Cell 2017) we have previously mapped out which of the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei genes that are essential for the parasite to grow in the blood stream of infected mice. The readout from barseq screens is mutant growth rate, and precisely pin-points the gene products essential for different life cycle stages. However, growth rate measurements alone do not reveal complex phenotypes, nor does it offer information regarding molecular function. In contrast, single cell RNA-sequencing allows the read out of transcriptome of individual mutant parasites and facilitates precise staging of mutant parasites across the intraerythrocytic cycle.

By coupling single-cell readout with barcoding (Perturb-seq, Dixit et al, Cell 2017), it is possible to phenotype a large number of parasites in parallel. The aim of this project is to for the first time adapt and develop a perturb-seq approach for the study of P. berghei in vivo gene function in a range of different host backgrounds.

You will carry out experimental and bioinformatic work, design experiments, present your findings, write manuscripts, help supervising students and actively contribute to a collegial lab culture.

You will be based in the lab of Ellen Bushell (, and will be co-supervised by Johan Henriksson ( The Bushell and Henriksson labs are based at Department of Molecular Biology and are a part of The Laboratory of Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS,, which is the Swedish node within the Nordic EMBL Partnership for Molecular Medicine.


A person who has been awarded a doctorate (PhD) or a foreign qualification deemed to be the equivalent of a doctorate qualifies as a postdoctoral fellow. Priority should be given to candidates who have completed their doctoral degree no more than three years before the closing date of the application. A candidate who has completed their degree prior to this may be considered if special circumstances exist. Special circumstances include absence due to illness, parental leave or clinical practice, appointments of trust in trade unions or similar circumstances.

You should be highly motivated and able to work productively in a team as well as independently. Excellent communication skills for interacting effectively with senior colleagues and peers are required. Proficiency in written and spoken English also required. Great emphasis will be placed on personal suitability.

The successful candidate should have experience in advanced molecular biology, a keen attention to detail and an interest in developing complex molecular biology protocols. Experience in, or aptitude for learning, bioinformatics and programming is essential.

Desirable qualifications

Experience in library preparation and analysis of transcriptomic/epigenetic/other omics data is desirable. Knowledge of modern cloning protocols is also beneficial.

Key words:

Single-cell, Malaria, RNA-seq, ATAC-seq, high-throughput, molecular biology, methods development


You apply through our recruitment system Varbi. The application should be written in English (preferably) or Swedish. The deadline for application is 10 August 2021. The application should include:

  • A personal cover letter explaining why you are interested in the position, how you can contribute to the project and in which direction you may want to develop it (no more than one A4 page).
  • A curriculum vitae that documents academic education and past and previous employments.
  • Your publication list.
  • A copy of the PhD certificate and other relevant degree certificates.
  • A copy of doctoral thesis
  • Names and contact details with e-mail addresses of two or three academic references.
  • Other relevant documentation you wish to include in support of your application, for example a link to your github account of if you have previous programming experience.

We welcome your application!

Further information

For more information, please contact Dr Ellen Bushell ( For more information about The Department of Molecular Biology please visit our webpage

Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
Contract type Full time
First day of employment As soon as possible or by agreement
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100%
City Umeå
County Västerbottens län
Country Sweden
Reference number AN 2.2.1-602-21
  • Ellen Bushell,
Union representative
  • SACO, 090-786 53 65
  • SEKO, 090-786 52 96
  • ST, 090-786 54 31
Published 19.Apr.2021
Last application date 10.Aug.2021 11:59 PM CEST

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