The Department of Clinical Science, Intervention and Technology (CLINTEC) operates mainly at The Flemingsberg Campus in connection to Karolinska University Hospital Huddinge. The Department also operates at Karolinska University Hospital in Solna and Solna Campus. There are 14 Divisions and 1 Section at CLINTEC. The activities include clinical research, education and development.

We work in an international and multicultural environment with undergraduates, graduate students, exchange students in the ERASMUS program, postdoctoral researchers, educators and scientists at Karolinska Institutet and organizations with a common vision of excellence in research, education and development. CLINTEC has about 180 employees, about 200 graduate students and 400 affiliated scientists and educators.

Research group
The PhD student will primarily be working at the Renal Lab at Karolinska Institutet Huddinge on studies related to phenotyping and ex vivo assessment of vascular functions of uremic and control arteries. The Renal Lab currently employ 4 persons and 2 PhD students and is headed by Assoc Prof Karolina Kublickiene. The Renal Lab work in close collaboration with the Renal Clinical at the Karolinska University Hospital and Baxter Novum. Since the present project include collaborations with the Labs of Prof Ulf Hedin and Prof Magnus Bäck at Karolinska University Hospital at Solna and CMM part of the work and research training will be done in their Vascular Labs.

Objective 
Successfully combatting a complex disease requires multi-disciplinary and methodically well-trained scientists. CaReSyAn strives to accomplish exactly this: we will train scientists to successfully integrate proteomics, clinical, experimental and bioinformatic analyses to enhance the understanding, diagnosis and therapy of the cardiorenal syndrome (CRS). CRS comprises disorders of the heart, vessels and kidneys, including the increased development of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). With ~45% of all deaths in CKD patients caused by CVD, the socio-economic burden of CRS is extremely high. 

CaReSyAn will train scientists in a close cooperation between academia, small-medium enterprises (SME) and industry partners. Key objectives are to provide:

  • 1) Excellent scientific training on CRS pathology, integrating clinical/mechanistic knowledge with technological skills (animals and in vitro, molecular and functional studies, proteomics and bioinformatics) to generate innovative insights triggering the understanding, diagnosis and treatment of the CRS;

 

  • 2) Excellent complementary skills in personal and career development as well as business training required to extend beyond scientific research

 

  • 3) Exposure to both academic and non-academic environments, required to build bridges between researchers and entrepreneurs and support the future translation of research findings in innovative products and services.

 CaReSyAn builds on already available patient cohorts, advanced technologies and established cooperations. CaReSyAn is complementary to ongoing European programs focusing solely on CKD or CVD and strives to synergistically improve structural training on European level. CaReSyAn will nurture the development of young, broadly-trained scientists able to successfully bridge clinical with basic research as well as academia and industry. This is a cornerstone in effectively combatting complex diseases as CRS, a major killer of this century. 

The duration of the program is 48 months, consisting of 11 early-stage researchers (ESR) projects of 36 months each. The CaReSyAn programme will start as from 1/1/2018. Among the 11 ESR projects, KI stands as beneficiary for one project. The chosen candidate for each of these four project will be employed 48 months at KI (provided that admission to third-cycle studies will be accepted).

Short description of the PhD project
The PhD position title is “Chronic kidney disease (CKD) - a clinical model of premature vascular aging”. Based on available and forthcoming clinical data and a biobank (serum/plasma, vascular, muscular and fat biopsies) on patients with end-stage renal disease this PhD project explores the hypothesis that premature vascular ageing is not only caused by phosphate retention, but also by persistent inflammation, vitamin K deficiency, inactive MGP, and increased vascular expression of apoptotic genes and bone proteins. We plan to study the chemical anatomy of vascular lesions associated with CKD, relate uremic calcification to markers of established and novel markers of bioageing, the relation between uremic calcification and in vivo and ex vivo vascular function and structure (using isometric ‘wire’ and perfusion myography, cell and organ culture susytems), effects of a number of candidate compaunds with proposed beneficial vascular effects under uremic environment.

This project is expected to yield new mechanistic insights into the driving factors in premature vascular aging in the uremic milieu. The project is also expected to yield information on the relation between vascular calcification and functional endothelial characteristics and biomarkers of interest that could predict presence of vascular abnormalities towards calcification and senescence.

Eligibility criteria
H2020 EU funding imposes strict eligibility criteria:

According to the EU rules for the (Innovative Training Network) ITN projects, the recruited researchers must comply with the following conditions: 
- are — at the date of recruitment — early-stage researchers (i.e. NOT have a doctoral degree AND be in the first 4 years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research career)
- be employed for at least 3 months and up to 36 months. 
- be employed full-time, unless the Agency has approved a part-time employment for personal or family reasons 
- work exclusively on the research training activities 
- must comply with the following mobility rule: not have resided in the country of the recruiting beneficiary for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date (and not have carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in that country) — unless as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention. For beneficiaries that are international European interest organisations or international organisations: not have spent with the beneficiary more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date. 

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
The PhD student should have excellent skills in the English language. Previous experience in molecular biology, vascular physiology, tissue staining, PCR and protein analyses will be a merit.

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
- ITN eligibility criteria
- Outstanding academic quality (as apparent from marks, recommendations)
- Motivation to work in translational research
- Potential to become a future leader in science 
- 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 letter of motivation and referees
  • 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 Varbi recruitment system.

For more information regarding doctoral (PhD) education, see: http://www.ki.se/doctoral

Type of employment Doktorandplats
Contract type Full time
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100
City Huddinge
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Reference number 2-598/2018
Contact
  • Peter Stenvinkel, Main supervisor, Head of div.,, 0858582532
Union representative
  • Emilie Hultin, SACO, 08-585 811 68, emilie.hultin@ki.se
  • Henry Wölling, SEKO, henry.wolling@ki.se
  • Monika Armuand, Monika.Armuand@ki.se 0760-50 23 42
Published 31.Jan.2018
Last application date 21.Mar.2018 11:59 PM CET

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