Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine

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 Public Health and Clinical Medicine is looking for a PhD student in medicine with a focus on Biomarkers for studies within the project "Transthyretin amyloidosis: early diagnosis and evaluation of treatment". The employment is aimed at a doctoral degree and is time-limited to the equivalent of four years full-time.

You who are admitted to doctoral studies from July 1st 2021 will be enrolled in the faculty-wide doctoral education programme at the Faculty of Medicine. The doctoral programme comprises 25 credits and is offered in two study variants: 25 credits spread over 8 terms (a total of 4 years) or over 12 terms (a total of 6 years), starting each autumn and spring semester. More information about the programme can be found on the faculty’s web page for doctoral studies (

Project description and tasks
Transthyretin (TTR) amyloidosis is a rare disease caused by misfolding of TTR which in turn forms amyloid fibrils that are deposited in various tissues and organs of the body. There are two different forms of TTR amyloidosis, one genetic (ATTRv) and one acquired (wild type, ATTRwt). The genetic form is autosomal dominant inheritance and arises as a result of mutations in the TTR gene. The wild-type form occurs when normal TTR protein forms amyloid fibrils (the mechanism is unknown) and accumulates in particular the heart. The molecular mechanism of TTR amyloidosis is not fully understood but involves several mechanisms such as structural changes in the TTR protein due to mutations or aging. Untreated, the disease is fatal within 7-10 years of diagnosis. It is important to detect the disease as early as possible in order to start treatment as early as possible.

This project focuses on investigating molecular mechanisms behind the TTR amyloidosis disease as well as developing different diagnostic methods. The focus is on genetic factors as well as various metabolic processes that can result in the development of the disease.

The goal is to increase the understanding of mechanisms that drive fibril formation and obtain new simple biomarkers to be used as diagnostic as well as prognostic markers for the disease. The project is carried out together with clinical, molecular biological and biochemical collaborations. The PhD student will carry out laboratory work, data analysis and manuscript writing as well as participate in research discussions.

The project includes advanced methods in genetics, metabolomics, proteomics that enable detailed mapping of the disease in humans. In the project, the doctoral student will handle large amounts of data, which means the application of various bioinformatic methods for result interpretation.

Admission requirements
In order to be admitted to graduate level education, the applicant must have basic qualifications, special qualifications and be judged to have such abilities as are otherwise needed to complete the education.

Basic eligibility
Basic eligibility for postgraduate level education is for those who have completed a degree at advanced level, have completed course requirements of at least 240 credits (hc), of which at least 60 credits at advanced level, or who in some other order within or outside the country has acquired essentially the equivalent skills (HF 7 ch. 39§).

Special authorization
In order to be admitted to postgraduate education, the applicant must have the necessary knowledge from university education or equivalent education and/or professional experience that is assessed in relation to the postgraduate education area, as well as the necessary language skills in English. Both written and oral skills are intended. Assessment of these skills is done by a prospective doctoral student presenting his research plan in English before an assessment group appointed by the head of department.

Other qualifications
Particularly meritorious are good theoretical knowledge in chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology or equivalent. Good knowledge in bioinformatics is an advantage. To be able to do good work, you take initiative and find it easy to collaborate. The applicant must be able to work both independently and as part of an international team, and great importance is placed on the applicant's ability to write and understand scientific text.

Information: Associate professor Intissar Anan,

The application must contain:

  • A personal cover letter with justification for why you are applying and why you are suitable for the postgraduate training place.
  • CV.
  • Certified copies of diplomas, grades and certificates.
  • Copies of degree work and any publications.
  • Contact information for at least two reference persons.

Welcome with your application!

Type of employment Temporary position
Contract type Full time
First day of employment By agreement
Salary Månadslön
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100%
City Umeå
County Västerbottens län
Country Sweden
Reference number AN 2.2.1-360-23
  • Intissar Anan,
Union representative
  • SACO, 090-7865365
  • SEKO, 090-7865296
  • ST, 090-7865431
Published 23.Feb.2023
Last application date 31.Mar.2023 11:59 PM CEST

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