Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten

Umeå University is one of Sweden’s largest higher education institutions with over 37,000 students and about 4,700 employees. The University offers a diversity of high-quality education and world-leading research in several fields. Notably, the groundbreaking discovery of the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing tool, which was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, was made here. At Umeå University, everything is close. Our cohesive campuses make it easy to meet, work together and exchange knowledge, which promotes a dynamic and open culture.

The ongoing societal transformation and large green investments in northern Sweden create enormous opportunities and complex challenges. For Umeå University, conducting research about – and in the middle of – a society in transition is key. We also take pride in delivering education to enable regions to expand quickly and sustainably. In fact, the future is made here.

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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.

We are looking for a postdoctoral fellow to the Department of Molecular Biology, Umeå University, Sweden. Using genetic, molecular and biochemical experiments, you will study infection biology in Borrelia spirochetes. Understanding the interplay between Borrelia spirochetes and surface molecules of cells on the human host. Characterization of the functional domains of the outer membrane protein in Borrelia spirochetes. The position is full time for a maximum of 2 years, with a starting date of January 1st 2023 or as agreed.

Description of the project

This project includes the development of experimental models to understand the virulence properties of various outer surface proteins using different molecular, biochemical and biophysical techniques. The project aims to investigate outer surface properties on Borrelia spirochetes using genetics and biophysics as tools to decipher the host/parasite interactions during Lyme and relapsing fever borreliosis.

Work responsibilities

The overall aim of this project is to gain increased knowledge on the biology and virulence properties of Borrelia spirochetes. We will further investigate membrane architecture, structure and function of outer surface proteins of Borrelia spirochetes with the aim to characterize proteins important for virulence. Borrelia spirochetes binds to several integrins, which are mammalian cell-surface receptors that are key to signaling between the extracellular and intracellular environments. Integrins are critical to diverse functions including maintenance of tissue integrity and participating in the immune response. 

The planned Postdoc project has two main parts:

1)      Membrane structure and function of Borrelia spirochetes. The critical gaps that remain in our knowledge of the mechanisms that Borrelia spirochetes uses to cause infection are manifold. Further studies on the membrane architecture of Borrelia involve i) a proteomic approach to identify the proteins in the B. burgdorferi s.l. outer membrane. ii) Protein EM and electron crystallography will be used to investigate the membrane architecture of the borrelial outer surface. iii) Pore forming activity, substrate specificity and structure of P66; A particular Bb protein that is essential to the ability of the bacterium to cause infection in mice, but not in ticks, is P66 (also termed OMS66). 

2)     Bioinformatic analysis of genes important for borrelial stress response and complement system evasion.


A person who has been awarded a doctorate or a foreign qualification deemed to be the equivalent of a doctorate in Molecular Biology, Microbiology or biochemistry is eligible for appointment as postdoctoral researcher. This eligibility requirement must be met no later than the time at which the appointment decision is made. 

The applicant must have documented (i.e. published) experience of biochemical and genetic work as well as experience in growing and handling of Borrelia spirochetes. Knowledge of biophysical analyses of outer membrane proteins in Borrelia burgdorferi in general and particular knowledge on handling of lipid bilayer technology is important. The applicant must also have documented experience in next generation sequencing techniques, including RNA extraction, library construction, bioinformatics and statistical analysis. 

Additional useful qualifications 

Since appointment as a postdoctoral researcher is a career-development position for junior researchers, we are primarily interested in applicants who completed their doctoral degree no more than three years before the application deadline. If there are special reasons, an applicant who has completed their degree earlier than that may be considered. Special reasons include absence due to illness, parental leave, clinical practice, appointments of trust for a trade union organisation or other similar circumstances, and for relevant duties/assignments within the subject area. 

More information about the position

The appointment is a full-time, fixed-term position for a two years in accordance with the terms of contract for fixed-term employment as a postdoctoral researcher from 1 February 2022. 

More information about the group's research can be found on our website



The application must include:

  • A brief description of your research interests and a statement describing why you are interested in the position.
  • CV
  • List of publications
  • Degree certificate from doctoral studies and other relevant degrees
  • Contact details of two reference persons

The application must be written in Swedish or English. The application must be made via our e-recruitment system Varbi and must be received latest December 8th 2022. 

We look forward to receiving your application!

Type of employment Temporary position
Contract type Full time
First day of employment January 1st 2023 or as agreed
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100%
City Umeå
County Västerbottens län
Country Sweden
Reference number AN 2.2.1-1782-22
  • Sven Bergström,
  • Jan Larsson,
Union representative
  • SACO, 090-7865365
  • SEKO, 090-7865296
  • ST, 090-7865431
Published 18.Nov.2022
Last application date 08.Dec.2022 11:59 PM CET

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