Doctoral Student in Pharmaceutical Science

University of Gothenburg


Doctoral student in Pharmaceutical Science - Molecular Pharmacokinetics

Diary id: PAR 2020/119
Employment level: Fixed term
Location: Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology
Apply by: 2020-03-16

Project Title: Prediction of intracellular exposure of non-traditional drug molecules

Job assignments

The PhD education in Pharmaceutical Science comprise 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: More than 70% of all new drug targets are localized in the cell interior, but are often difficult to modulate with traditional small molecule drugs. New types of structurally complex drug molecules give potent and selective target modulation, but at the same time their molecular properties lead to poor permeation across cell membranes, severely limiting intracellular target exposure and therapeutic application. We have demonstrated that some molecules are able to adapt their molecular structure to the surrounding environment, leading to dramatically improved permeability. Improved knowledge of such dynamic properties may allow rational design of drugs against difficult-to-target proteins. So far however, the effects on tissue, cellular and subcellular pharmacokinetics and drug efficacy are largely unknown.

The PhD student will combine cell-based and biophysical experiments with advanced computational modeling to investigate the links between molecular structure and intracellular exposure and effects of structurally complex drug molecules. The project includes adaptation of state-of-the-art techniques for intracellular drug quantification to new, structurally complex drug molecules, analysis using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) and high content fluorescence microscopy, and computational modeling and simulation using Molecular Dynamics and Systems Pharmacology modeling approaches. The PhD student will participate in the teaching of pharmacokinetics for students in the pharmaceutical sciences.

The studies will be performed in Pär Matsson’s research group at the Unit of Pharmacokinetics and Drug Metabolism, Department of Pharmacology, see: 

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.

It is desirable that applicants have a background in a relevant field, for example Pharmaceutical Sciences, Biophysics, Biotechnology, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology or similar. Documented experience with biophysical and cell-based experiments, computational modelling (computational chemistry, molecular dynamics simulation, and/or systems pharmacology/pharmacokinetic modeling), cell culture, fluorescence microscopy and mass spectrometric bioanalysis is beneficial. Good communication skills, high motivation factor and strong interest in the research field are desirable. 


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:

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, check what you need to submit at where you can also see what you need to submit in order to fulfill the English language requirement.

  • 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.

Closing date: 2020-03-16


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 your application, please refer to


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