PhD Scholarship Position in Systems Biology at Chalmers University of Technology

Chalmers University of Technology has an opening PhD position in computational biology. Successful candidate will have funding to work and study for five years in Sweden. Potential candidates should apply before October 31, 2018.

The Department of Biology and Biological Engineering was founded January 1 2015, and started off with high ambitions. The aim was to grow and become a leading center of innovation by combining the latest research in life sciences with biochemistry. And the department got off to flying start. In its first year, the numbers for publication, citation and external funding have been excellent.

The department consists of four divisions, each conducting outstanding research in the areas of industrial biotechnology, systems biology, chemical biology and food science. The overall goal is to help build a sustainable society and improve human health. Nearly 200 people from 20 countries are currently working at the department. The working environment is characterized by respect, cooperation, responsibility, creativity and job satisfaction. The Department of Biology and Biological Engineering has summarized its mission in four points: - To be an attractive environment for top-level researchers in biological engineering - To deliver top-level research results and innovative solutions for use in a sustainable society - To offer excellent education that develops creative engineers and scientists - To be a major contributor to international visibility of Chalmers Information about the research

Jens Nielsen lab is searching for a PhD student to work in translational medicine projects resulting from research in the systems biology of cancer metabolism. The number of people diagnosed with cancer is increasing steadily. At the same time, patients live longer with the disease thanks to continuous advancements in treatments' efficacy. These two factors are contributing to a shift from cancer as an acute condition to a chronic condition. At this pace, on one hand the need for convenient diagnostics to monitor longer and longer follow-ups will become severely urgent. On the other hand, precise diagnostics can allocate patients to a personalized treatment to which they are more likely to respond. Examples of convenient diagnostic procedures for follow-up and stratification are minimally invasive tests based on blood or urine biomarkers or on other readily available specimen. Unfortunately, cancer heterogeneity remains a paramount challenge to develop effective such biomarkers. Therefore, a systems biology approach to discover novel biomarkers to implement in clinical studies is at the core of the proposed research. In particular, the candidate will perform research within multiple collaborations on ongoing exploratory clinical studies to discover novel diagnostics and translate the findings to the benefits of the patients.

Jens Nielsen lab at Chalmers collaborates with Elypta AB in 5 clinical trials in Gteborg, Uppsala, and Milan to research the potential of glycosaminoglycan profiling to monitor treatment response in various cancer indications. In addition, Nielsen lab collaborates with the Department of Oncology at Sahlgrenska Academy to characterize gut microbiome metagenomics to stratify responders in immunogenic cancer indications. The candidate will perform research on data generated from these studies as well as eventual follow-up studies.

Major responsibilities

The candidate will be responsible to investigate, support, explore, and publish the above-mentioned studies as well as eventual follow-up or exploratory studies. The role will consist of these duties:

- Gather and process the data from the trials;

- Liaise with the clinical collaborators;

- Analyse the data in the context of the endpoints of each trial;

- Explore the data to discover novel associations between the measured biomarkers and cancer;

- Draft or support the drafting of the manuscripts;

- Publish and disseminate the manuscripts.

The candidate will report to the Principal Investigator Jens Nielsen and will in the day-to-day work be supported and supervised by co-principal investigator Francesco Gatto (Elypta).

Full-time temporary employment.The position is limited to a maximum of five years. Preferred start date is in February 2019, but we are flexible with later start dates.


You should have a M.Sc. degree in Biotechnology / Bioinformatics / Computational Biology. Preferred experience includes R (preferred) or Python based biological data analysis (omics and networks), a research background in systems biology and in metabolism, as well as proven ability in the design and analysis of experiments. Leadership positions as well as teaching or other educational activities are highly valued. Fluency in English in speaking and writing is a key requirement.

Chalmers offers a cultivating and inspiring working environment in the dynamic city ofGothenburg.

Read more aboutworking at Chalmersand ourbenefitsfor employees.

Application procedure

The application should be marked with Ref 20180534 and written in English. The application should be sent electronically and be attached as pdf-files, as below:

CV: (Please name the document: CV, Family name, Ref. number)


Other, for example previous employments or leadership qualifications and positions of trust.

Two references that we can contact.

Personal letter: (Please name the document as: Personal letter, Family name, Ref. number)

1-3 pages where you introduce yourself and present your qualifications.

Previous research fields and main research results.

Future goals and research focus.Are there any specific projects and research issues you are primarily interested in?

Other documents:

Copies of bachelor and/or master's thesis.

Attested copies and transcripts of completed education, grades and other certificates, eg. TOEFL test results.

Application deadline: 31 October 2018

For questions, please contact:

Division Head, Jens Nielsen,

Department of Biology and Biological Engineering,


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