Doctoral Position in Pharmaceutical Science

University of Gothenburg Department of Pharmacology


Doctoral student in Pharmaceutical Science - Molecular Pharmacokinetics- Oligonucleotide therapeutics

Ref PAR 2021/391


The University of Gothenburg tackles society’s challenges with diverse knowledge. 53 500 students and 6 500 employees make the university a large and inspiring place to work and study. Strong research and attractive study programmes attract scientists and students from around the world. With new knowledge and new perspectives, the University contributes to a better future.

The Department of Pharmacology is located at the Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology at the Faculty of Health Care Sciences at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg. Several research groups are active at the Department and research is conducted within pharmacology, in particular regarding the central and autonomic nervous system, pharmacokinetics and drug metabolism, oncology, addiction and rational use of medicines. We teach at an undergraduate and graduate level at most programmes within the Sahlgrenska Academy, not the least at the Pharmacy and Medical programmes.

Project title: Mechanisms of Small-Molecule Induced Endosomal Escape of Oligonucleotide Therapeutics

Job assignments

The PhD education in Pharmaceutical Science comprises carrying out a scientific project and completing at least 30 credits of courses at third-cycle level. The doctoral student must also write a scientific compilation thesis or monograph corresponding to at least 120 credits. For more information about third-cycle studies at Sahlgrenska Academy, see

Project: Oligonucleotide therapeutics offer groundbreaking possibilities for pharmacological intervention by enabling potent, sequence-specific modulation of principally any disease-related gene product. However, inefficient delivery of oligonucleotide drugs to the cytosol remains a major challenge. The goal of this doctoral research project is, therefore, to clarify the mechanisms and molecular interactions that lead to small-molecule induced endosomal escape of oligonucleotide therapeutics.

The PhD student will combine high-content live-cell imaging, biophysical measurements, and computational modeling to identify endosmolytic small molecules and characterize their impact on endosomal membrane integrity and oligonucleotide release. Ultimately, this could lead to generic ways of improving productive delivery of oligonucleotides, opening up this promising class of therapeutic agents to wider applications.

The studies will be performed in Pär Matsson’s research group at the Unit of Pharmacokinetics and Drug Metabolism, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology:, in collaboration with Claes Gustafsson’s research group at the Institute of Biomedicine:

See also for information about ongoing efforts in the oligonucleotide therapeutics field at the University of Gothenburg. 

The ideal candidate is a highly motivated, organized, reliable team player that can also work independently and has a thorough education and strong interest in the research field. Since the candidate may participate in the teaching of pharmacokinetics for students in the pharmaceutical sciences, good communication skills are desirable. Candidates must be able to communicate at a high level in written and spoken English.

Third-cycle studies are equivalent to four year full-time and lead to a Degree of Doctor. Those appointed to doctoral studentships shall primarily devote themselves to their studies. Those appointed to doctoral studentships may, however, work to a limited extent with educational tasks, research and administration (departmental duties). Before a PhD degree has been awarded, duties of this kind may not comprise more than 20 per cent of a full-time post.


To be eligible for third-cycle studies, the applicant must meet both the general and specific entry requirements.

A person meets the general entry requirements for third-cycle studies if he or she:
1. has been awarded a second-cycle qualification
2. has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second-cycle, or
3. has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad

A person meets the specific entry requirements for third-cycle studies in Pharmaceutical Science if he or she has successfully completed the English B/6 course or is considered to have acquired equivalent knowledge through previous studies


In selecting between applicants who meet the general and specific entry requirements, their ability to benefit from third-cycle studies shall be taken into account. The assessment shall attach particular importance to documented qualifications for:
- specific knowledge and skills within the subject area and related research fields
- experience of scientific theory and relevant research methodology
- scientific analysis and presentation verified through thesis, degree project, scientific journals or the like.

A background in relevant field is desired, for example Pharmaceutical Sciences, Biophysics, Biotechnology, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Biological/Chemical Engineering, or similar. Documented experience with oligonucleotide therapeutics, biophysical and cell-based experiments, cell culture, fluorescence microscopy, mass spectrometric bioanalysis, and computational modelling is benefical.   


After admission to third-cycle studies you will be appointed to doctoral studentship. Regulations for employment of doctoral students are given in SFS 1993:100. The initial appointment may apply for no longer than one year. An appointment may be renewed for no more than two years at a time. A person may be appointed to a doctoral studentship for a total of eight years. The total employment period may, however, not exceed the time corresponding to full-time third-cycle study for four years.

Location: Sahlgrenska Academy, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Pharmacology. Extent: 100%. First day of employment: as agreed.

Salaries for doctoral students are regulated in a local agreement at the University. 

For further information regarding the position

For more information about the project please contact the principal supervisor, 
Pär Matsson, Professor, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology,


Union representatives at the University of Gothenburg:

Information for International Applicants

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How to apply

In order to apply for a position at the University of Gothenburg, you have to register an account in our online recruitment system. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the job advertisement, and that it is submitted before the deadline.

You must include the following, in pdf format

  • Personal letter
  • CV
  • Diploma and transcripts showing that you meet with the general entry requirement
  • Proof of completion of  English 6 course or the acquired equivalent knowledge through previous studies

If your degree is from a university outside of Sweden, make sure that you attach a diploma and full transcripts that makes assessing your degree easier.  

If your degree has not been verified by a Swedish authority you need to provide contact details to the issuing university, registrar or similar, that can verify the degree at our request.

For information on what you need to submit in order to fulfill the English language requirement see

Closing date: 2021-05-25

The University of Gothenburg promotes equal opportunities, equality and diversity.

Applications will be destroyed or returned (upon request) two years after the decision of employment has become final. Applications from the employed and from those who appeal the decision will not be returned.

In connection to this recruitment, we have already decided which recruitment channels we should use. We therefore decline further contact with vendors, recruitment and staffing companies.


In your application, please refer to


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