PhD Scholarship Position in Medical Science Mechanisms Underlying Colon Inflammation and Cancer

Outstanding international students are invited to apply for a PhD scholarship in medical sciences at University of Gothenburg. The funding allows successful candidate to work for 4 years. Applications should be sent before November 28, 2018.

The Department of Microbiology and Immunology is located at the Institute of Biomedicine at the Faculty of Health Care Sciences at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg. Research at the Department is conducted within microbiology and immunology, particularly at mucosal surfaces, and includes preclinical as well as clinical studies. The main research focus includes studies of the mechanisms of disease and immunity during various mucosal infections, vaccine research, adjuvant development and gastrointestinal disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease and colon cancer. Research in hematopoiesis, cellular ageing and protein quality control are also carried out at the department. Research is performed in close collaboration with Sahlgrenska University Hospital as well as research labs in Sweden, Europe, North and South America, Asia and Australia. We offer undergraduate courses in Medicine, Pharmacy, Biomedical Research Analyst and Biology/Immunology. At the Department there are 15 research groups with broad competence in the fields of microbiology and immunology.

Project title: The role of macrophages and dendritic cells in inflammatory bowel disease and colorectal cancer

General information about third-cycle studies: The PhD education in Medical Science corresponds to studies of 240 credits in total. The studies are equivalent to four year full-time and lead to a Degree of Doctor. The studies comprisecarrying 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


Background:Sweden has a high incidence and prevalence of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. IBD patients have recurring intestinal inflammation with severe pain. They also have 6 times higher risk of developing colorectal cancer, which is the third most common cause of cancer-associated death worldwide. Treatments available today have severe side effects and work only on a fraction of patients. Thus, new treatments are highly needed.

Project description:Aberrant immune-driven inflammation towards intestinal commensals is central to the pathogenesis of IBD. The hypothesis is that intestinal dendritic cells (DCs) and macrophages (MQs) drive the aberrant inflammation that progresses to colorectal cancer. The aim is to decipher the function of intestinal DCs and MQs, as well as the molecular mechanisms used by these cells, in the chronic inflammation that leads to colorectal cancer as a means to develop new treatments. Biopsies and surgical tissue from IBD patients and controls will be used to: 1) Determine the cytokines produced by intestinal DC and MQ in inflamed human intestine and their ability to influence T cell function 2) Determine the cytokines made by engaging the inflammation-amplifying receptor TREM-1 on intestinal DC and MQ, and whether blocking TREM-1 reduces inflammatory cytokines 3) Decipher the role of inflammasomes, and their regulation by autophagy, in driving the intestinal inflammation of patients Methods:The project will use multi-parameter flow cytometry, cell sorting, multiplex cytokine arrays, Western blot and fluorescence microscopy to study intestinal cell populations. Transcription and protein analyses will also be performed at the whole tissue, purified cell population and single cell levels. The gene expression and protein analyses will be performed using state-of-the-art platforms such as Nanostring technology, 10x Genomics, Cite-Seq and proteomics/mass spectroscopy. Significance:Mechanistic understanding of the forces driving the inflammation will reveal new treatment strategies to the halt intestinal inflammation in IBD patients and prevent colorectal cancer development. 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 studiesif 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 thespecific entry requirements for third-cycle studiesif 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. Time limited employment (temporary),4 years.Extent:100%. Location: Sahlgrenska Academy, Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Microbiology and Immunology. First day of employment: as agreed.

Regulations for employment of doctoral students are given in SFS 1998:80.Only those who are admitted to third-cycle studies may be appointed to doctoral studentships. Those appointed to doctoral studentships shall primarily devote themselves to their studies. They may, however, work to a limited extent with educational tasks, research and administration according to the regulations.

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. The total employment period may not exceed the time corresponding to full-time third-cycle studies for four years.

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

For more information about the project please contact theprincipal supervisor,

Mary Jo Wick, Professor, +46 31 786 6325, Union representatives at the University of Gothenburg: In order to apply for a position at the University of Gothenburg, you have to register an account in our online recruitment system. Attach verified copies of your education and English proficiency proving your eligibility. 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. The selection of candidates is made on the basis of the qualifications registered in the application.

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

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

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.


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