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.

PhD-position in Medical Biosciences with an orientation towards pathology

A position as PhD student at the Department Medical Bioscience is available for the study of the neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Since 1993, internationally competitive interdisciplinary research with primary focus on the role of superoxide dismutase-1 (SOD1) in the pathogenesis of ALS has been conducted at Umeå University.

Description of the PhD-project
Earlier results from the group has identified neurotoxic effects of SOD1 as a central component of various types of ALS. Recently, we found that aggregates of SOD1, which arise in the CNS, can propagate further templated SOD1 aggregation in a prion-like manner and thereby cause ALS. The core of this project is to produce SOD1 aggregates/prions in vitro using CNS-derived aggregates as seeds. The pure in vivo-relevant SOD1 aggregates/prions plan to be used for determination of structures, for in vivo inoculation studies, and for production of prion-specific antibodies to be utilized for development of diagnostics and therapeutics.

Project assignment
We are looking for a PhD candidate that together with other coworkers in the group (fellow PhD students, post docs, biomedical analysts, and senior scientists) has an interest to conduct science about ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases. The employment aims at a PhD degree and the main task of the PhD student is to pursue their doctoral studies. This includes participation in research projects with laboratory work (main focus is on biochemical, molecular biology, and morphological techniques), take part in postgraduate courses organized by the Faculty of Medicine and other relevant courses, and learn how to write scientific papers. Teaching and other work at the department may occur (maximum 10%).

Admission requirements
To be admitted for doctoral studies the applicant is required to have completed a second-cycle level degree, or completed course requirements of at least 240 ECTS credits, of which at least 60 ECTS credits are at second-cycle level or have an equivalent education from abroad, or equivalent qualifications.

In order to meet the requirement of specific competence to be admitted for doctoral studies in medical science, the applicant is required to have completed courses in the field of pathology or another subject considered to be directly relevant to the specialization in question.

Experience in Biochemistry or equivalent as well as good language skills in English, both spoken and written is required.

Other merits
The main focus of the laboratory work is based on protein biochemistry. Basic theoretical knowledge in biomedicine and protein biochemistry, gained through university studies or other equivalent education, as well as thorough experience in laboratory work (e.g. western blot, ELISA and other antibody-based methods) is of high merit value. There are work with animals and autopsy material. Practical experience of work with mice is of merit value. Good knowledge about Excel and Adobe Creative Suite is of merit value. The applicant must be able to work both independently and as part of a team, with very high accuracy, and high focus will be given to the candidate’s potential collaborative skills.

A complete application, written in Swedish or English, must contain the following documents:

  • A cover letter including a description of your research interests and motivation for applying for the position
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Certified copies of degree certificates, including documentation of completed academic courses, obtained grades and other relevant certificates
  • Name and contact information of at least two reference persons

Additional information about the position
For additional information about the position, please contact Thomas Brännström, e-mail address: or Per Zetterström, e-mail address:

The application must be completed using the Umeå University on-line recruitment system Varbi. The application deadline is 8 November, 2019.

Start date
As soon as possible or upon agreement.

PhD student local salary agreement.

Other information


Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
Contract type Full time
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100 %
City Umeå
County Västerbottens län
Country Sweden
Reference number AN 2.2.1-1562-19
  • Thomas Brännström, professor, 090-785 15 23
  • Per Zetterström, dr,
Union representative
  • SACO, 090-786 53 65
  • SEKO, 090-786 52 96
  • ST, 090-786 54 31
Published 22.Oct.2019
Last application date 08.Nov.2019 11:59 PM CET

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