Karolinska Institutet, Institutionen för onkologi-patologi, Forskargrupp Lehtiö

At the Department of Oncology-Pathology basic, translational and clinical research and educational activities related to cancer is carried out. Approximately 300 people from over 40 nations are currently working at the department. 37 research groups with various cancer research profiles are involved and we have around 120 PhD students. The Department of Oncology-Pathology is responsible for undergraduate courses in Pathology, Oncology and Forensic Medicine for medical students, as well as for Tumor biology courses for biomedicine students and Pathology courses for opticians.

A doctoral position is an available doctoral education project to which a PhD student is to be recruited. After the selection process the process for admission to doctoral education will commence. An admission decision will not be taken until an individual study plan has been approved by the departmental admission board.
For more information regarding doctoral (PhD) education, see: http://www.ki.se/doctoral

Research group
The Department of Oncology-Pathology is announcing a PhD student position in Janne Lehtiö’s research group. The Lehtiö group carries out research projects within proteomics, a field aiming to study global changes in a proteome, for example, to determine the function of a specific protein in the context of a biological network. The Lehtiö research group develops mass spectrometry based methods and applies them to cancer research with the overall aim to improve cancer therapy. As such, one of our main projects involves proteome scale analysis in order to obtain a proteome view of a system. Our proteomics research project is perfomed in a translational frame-work within a large collaborative network with preclinical and clinical researchers in Sweden and around the world.

The doctoral education project and the duties of the student
Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among females with about 1.7 million new patients annually in the world.  Stratification of patients are done using different markers (mainly ER, PR, HER2) in the clinic. However, patients are still relapsing following these guides, and new ways of stratifying the patients into the right treatment is needed.

We have recently developed a new method to perform deep proteome  analysis (Branca et al. Nature Methods, 2014). We have now used this method to profile breast tumors to obtain a proteome view of breast cancer. Based on the proteome view, we have identified a set of potential protein markers for stratification of breast tumors related to treatment and outcome. In addition, we have in our proteomics data identified markers for endocrine resistance and chemotherapy response. The aim is to have a marker, which is also a drug target for tailored therapy.

We are now looking for a dedicated PhD student to join our research team to work on solidifying these markers in independent clinical cohorts. Immunohistochemistry is routinely used in the clinic and will be the main method to allow easy transfer of validated markers to the clinic. The project also includes combining experimental data on multiple omic levels (genome, transcriptome and proteome) to connect with   biomarkers and increase biological understanding of the marker. Functional in vitro studies will also be carried out to gain biological knowledge about the biomarker. Altogether, this PhD project provides a great opportunity to learn and work on the cutting edge of omics and cancer research, and in the long term provide new information leading to improved cancer treatment.

The PhD student will be part of an active research team and the PhD project includes learning techniques related to experimental proteomics data and public domain data resources. Moreover, the project will include use and development of immunohistochemistry tools for multiplexing, to be able to simultaneously analyze multiple proteins in a larger number of tumors. The student will analyze experimental data, interpret and present results and participate in writing of scientific papers. This project is conceptually novel and expected to generate important knowledge on tumor biology and how protein biomarkers can be used to tailor therapy.

Project title: Cancer proteomics - stratification of breast tumors by protein biomarkers
Supervisor: PhD. Henrik Johansson, Dept. of Oncology-Pathology, Karolinska Institutet
Time period: 4 years full-time studies, starting summer, 1 June,  2017.
For further information, see Lehtiö research lab homepage:

Entry requirements for doctoral education at KI
To be eligible for doctoral education following requirements has to be met:

General entry requirements
A person meets the general entry requirements for doctoral/third-cycle/PhD education (according to Higher Education Ordinance Chapt 7, section 39) if he/she:

  1. has been awarded advanced/second-cycle/master qualification (i.e. master degree) or
  2. has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second-cycle/master level, or
  3. has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.

Specific entry requirements
Proficiency in English equivalent to the course English B/English 6 at Swedish upper secondary school:
Proficiency in the English language can be documented by an internationally recognized test such as TOEFL or IELTS, see web-link below for more information.
Applicants who meet the general entry requirements (1 or 2 above) from a university in one of the Nordic countries fulfill the requirements in English.

For more information regarding general and specific entry requirements: http://ki.se/en/education/entry-requirements-eligibility-for-doctoral-education

Skills and personal qualities 
We are seeking a highly motivated and creative student. The candidate should have a degree in molecular life sciences, molecular biology, biomedicine, medicin, or equivalent. The applicant should have basic laboratory skills and basic knowledge of cell biology. The applicant should have good communication skills and ability to work productively in a team of researchers. Emphasis will be placed on personal ability and previous experience of working with and evaluating tumor stainings. Pathology background in preferred but not required. Excellent ability to express themselves in speech and writing, including scientific writing, in English is a requirement. Previous experience in statistical analyses, and in the fields of proteomics, molecular biology, tumor biology and protein chemistry is considered as an advantage for this project.
We will offer an intellectually stimulating and diverse learning and working environment in a team of motivated co-workers; and a possibility to contribute on important research to improve current cancer treatments.

Assessment criteria
A selection will be made among qualified applicants on the basis of the ability to benefit from doctoral education. Karolinska Institutet uses the following bases of assessment:
- Documented subject knowledge of relevance to the area of research
- Analytical skill
- Other documented knowledge or experience that may be relevant to doctoral studies in the subject

The qualifications of the applicants will be evaluated on an overall basis.

Terms and conditions
All doctoral students at KI receive financial support during their doctoral education and employment on a doctoral studentship is the most common sort of support. During the time between recruitment and admission a short-term employment can be offered for up to 6 months.

Application process
An application must contain the following documents in Swedish or English:

  • A personal letter and curriculum vitae
  • A copy of degree certificates and associated certificates
  • A copy of degree projects and any previous publications

The application is to be submitted through the MyNetwork recruitment system.

Type of employment PhD placement
Contract type Full time
Reference number 2-2295/2017
  • Henrik Johansson, Scientist,Henrik.Johansson@ki.se, +46 8 524 81210
Union representative
  • Andreas Lundqvist, SACO, 46 8 517 76884, andreas.lundqvist@ki.se;
  • Mimmi Shoshan, SACO, 46 8 517 75460
  • Helen Eriksson, OFR, 46 8 517 76279
Published 04.May.2017
Last application date 25.May.2017 11:59 PM CET

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