PhD Position in Physiology

Uppsala University Department of Medical Cell Biology


PhD student in physiology

Published: 2021-11-08

Uppsala University is a comprehensive research-intensive university with a strong international standing. Our ultimate goal is to conduct education and research of the highest quality and relevance to make a long-term difference in society. Our most important assets are all the individuals whose curiosity and dedication make Uppsala University one of Sweden’s most exciting workplaces. Uppsala University has over 45,000 students, more than 7,000 employees and a turnover of around SEK 7 billion.

The Department of Medical Cell Biology at Uppsala University is a strong and international research environment. The department has about 100 employees, of which about 25 are doctoral students, 20 postdoctoral fellows, and 30 researchers, teachers and professors.

Read more about our benefits and what it is like to work at Uppsala University

Every year ca 500.000 people worldwide are diagnosed with hepatocellular carcinoma, which makes this form of liver cancer one of the most common cancers. Mortality is high, since hepatocellular carcinoma is characterized by a high resistance against chemotherapy and it is currently unknown which patients would respond to the existing therapeutic options. Hepatocellular carcinoma usually develops in patients with an underlying liver disease, such as cirrhosis. In this inflammed and fibrotic liver, there are hepatic stellate cells, which become activated and are responsible for the deposition of extracellular matrix, which chances the biophysical properties of the liver. We have previously shown that these activated stellate cells play a central role in the development of liver cancer and it is known that they can contribute to drug resistance.

Job description
The PhD-project aims at studying the mechanisms that regulate the development of hepatocellular carcinoma. Specifically we are interested in looking at fibroblasts, extracellular matrix and the role of liver stiffness. We will also investigate new strategies that could decrease chemoresistance in liver cancer.

The project contains mostly in vivo studies, including a mouse model for inducing hepatocellular carcinoma. Tissue from these mice will be analyzed with microscopy, immunostaining and molecular biology methods. Isolated primary cells will be cultured to further define the molecular mechanisms. We also use different 3D cell culture models that resemble the different physiological aspects (including stiffness) of tumors seen in patients.

The position as a Ph.D. student is limited to four years of full-time studies, consisting of research and coursework. Other duties at the department, related to teaching and administration, may extend the position at a level of most 20%

The applicant needs to be very motivated to persue experimental cancer research. The applicant is expected to have a master degree in medicine, biology, biomedicine, cell and/or molecular biology or similar, at the time of admission. The applicant must have good knowledge of written and spoken English.

Consideration will also be given to good collaborative skills, drive and independence. We will evaluate broadly how the applicant’s experience and skills can complement and strengthen ongoing research.

Additional qualifications
Training corresponding to a FELASA-C is recommended and previous experience with in vivo studies is considered an additional merit.

Documented prior experience of any of the following subjects will be considered as additional merit: Cell culture (specifically 3D in vitro models), molecular techniques and imaging techniques (such as fluorescence microscopy and confocal microscopy).

The application should include a personal letter, explaining scientific interests and motivation for pursuing a Ph.D. degree, CV, and a verified list of course grades. If available, a Master’s thesis (finished or in draft form) can also be included. Also, contact information of at least two reference persons should be included.

Rules governing PhD students are set out in the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5, §§ 1-7 and in Uppsala University's rules and guidelines.

About the employment
The employment is a temporary position according to the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5 § 7. Scope of employment 100 %. Starting date as agreed. Placement: Uppsala

For further information about the position, please contact: Femke Heindryckx,

Please submit your application by the 6th of December 2021, UFV-PA 2021/4186.

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Submit your application through Uppsala University's recruitment system.

Placement: Department of Medical Cell Biology

Type of employment: Full time , Temporary position longer than 6 months

Pay: Fixed salary

Number of positions: 1

Working hours: 100 %

Town: Uppsala

County: Uppsala län

Country: Sweden

Union representative: ST/TCO
Seko Universitetsklubben

Number of reference: UFV-PA 2021/4186

Last application date: 2021-12-06

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