Karolinska Institutet, Institutionen för cell- och molekylärbiologi

The Department of Cell and Molecular Biology (CMB) is a department with a strong focus on basic science. CMB conducts research and education in cell biology, molecular biology, developmental biology, stem cell biology, cancer and infection biology.

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
An exciting PhD project is available in the group of Laura Baranello at the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology (CMB), Solna. The group focuses on understanding how transcription and DNA topology are functionally coordinated in human cells and uses a combination of approaches spanning from biochemistry, molecular biology, next-generation sequencing and bioinformatics. The group is also associated to the laboratory of David Levens at the National Institutes of Health in US. The successful applicant will thus be part of multiple networks of recognized scientists, and have access to state-of-the-art infrastructure and facilities.

The doctoral education project and the duties of the student 
Topoisomerases are essential enzymes that regulate the topology of DNA favoring DNA replication and RNA transcription by cleaving and resealing DNA strands (Baranello et al., Transcription, 2013; Kouzine et al., Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol., 2013). Because cancer cells have higher rates of replication and global transcription compared to normal cells, they are highly dependent on topoisomerase activity. Therefore, strategies to target topoisomerases could provide a mean to selectively affect cancer cells.

The focus of this research project is to define the role for topoisomerases in transcription, to understand how topoisomerases are regulated and to derive new approaches that target these regulatory mechanisms. Although conventionally considered to be constitutively active enzymes, recent evidence show that topoisomerases execute their function through regulatory interactions with partner proteins that modulate their activity to affect transcription (Baranello et al., Cell, 2016). We will use biochemical assays, DNA and RNA sequencing approaches and CRISPR-based genome editing to reveal new factors regulating topoisomerase activity, decipher the molecular mechanism of topoisomerase regulation and interfere with this mechanism to affect the transcription of cancer cells.

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

State here any other formal entry requirements, beside the above, that an applicant must have to be considered for this project.

Skills and personal qualities

This project seeks a curious, highly motivated and creative scientist interested in transcription regulation and DNA topology. The successful candidate is expected to lead the project in collaboration with the PI and other members of the group. He/She will also provide updates of the project by delivering oral presentation in English. Previous experience with mammalian and bacterial cell cultures, protein biochemistry and large-scale bioinformatics analysis is a strength. Good knowledge of both spoken and written English is a requirement. 

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 complete curriculum vitae, including previous laboratory experience and list of publications (max 2 pages, font 12)
  • A copy of degree certificates and associated certificates
  • A brief motivation letter stating the reason why the candidate is interested in this project (no more than half a page, font 12)

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

Type of employment Doktorandplats
Contract type Full time
Reference number 2-1724/2017
  • Laura Baranello, PhD, Laura.Baranello@ki.se
Union representative
  • Magnus Anå, OFR, 08-524 864 37, magnus.ana@ki.se
  • Biborka Bereczky Veress, SACO, 46 70-173 85 75 , biborka.bveress@ki.se
  • Elisabeth Valenzuela, SEKO, 08-524 863 53, elisabeth.valenzuela@ki.se
Published 11.Apr.2017
Last application date 08.May.2017 11:59 PM CET

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