Karolinska Institutet, Dept. of Oncology-Pathology, Research group Mellstedt

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. About 30 research groups with various cancer research profiles are involved and we have around 110 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.

We are recruiting a student for doctoral education with a focus on pre-clinical targeted therapy (Precision Cancer Medicine) in hematological and solid tumor malignancies. After a candidate is selected, an admission process commences. The decision on admission 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

Post-graduate education environment and research group
The Department of Oncology-Pathology announces a PhD student position within Håkan Mellstedt´s and Anders Österborg`s research group. The research group has a long-term experience of basic, translational and clinical research with focus on immune biology and immunotherapy of cancer, in particular of hematological malignancies.
The research work aims at developing new targeted therapies for the treatment of cancers both of hematological and non-hematological origin, by the identification of tumor-specific molecular and immunological targets.
The PhD student will work within a well-established local research environment including both basic and clinical researchers. The group works in collaboration with other basic and clinical researchers within the Institution, at Karolinska Institutet and other universities, and within a network including many other research groups abroad.

The doctoral education project and the duties of the student
The doctoral education project is of translational kind, strictly based on the principles of bench-to bedside medicine and performed partly in collaboration with the Clinical Department of Hematology and Pathology. The project focuses on the characterization of the receptor tyrosine kinase Ror1 molecule in patients with hematological malignancies and solid tumors, in particular diffuse large B cell lymphoma, mantel cell lymphoma, pancreatic and lung cancer. The aims are to investigate the function of ROR1 to the malignant attributes of tumor cells contributing to a deeper understanding of Ror1 in cancer and to analyze effects in tumor cells of ROR1 inhibition by small molecules. The goal is to develop a novel targeted therapeutic principle.
The project plan includes analyzed of ROR1 expression in fresh tumor materials and relate to the clinic as well as in cell lines and characterizing signaling pathways associated with ROR1. Study effects of unique small molecules inhibiting ROR1 functions in vitro and in animal models and how ROR1 inhibition might co-operate with other targeting drugs (dual targeting) to optimize tumor cells killing in pre-clinical models. The studies will form a basis for the further clinical development of a new therapeutic concept.

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

  • has been awarded advanced/second-cycle/master qualification (i.e. master degree) or
  • 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
  • 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 student who has a strong interest in translational cancer research and tumor biology. The project comprises both experimental analyses on tumor material as well as drug screening and analysis of clinical data incl. statistical processing. The applicant should preferably have a biomedical background and some previous experience in translational research. A master’s degree as well as previous publications in the research field of the PhD project are highly meritorious.
Candidates should have between 6-12 months’ experience of practical laboratory work. In particular, previous experience of handling of patients’ primary material (e.g. fresh blood and tumor samples), flow cytometry, aseptic cell culture, immunohistochemistry, are of advantage. The applicant should be able to work independently in the lab as well as to interact effectively and work productively in a team of researchers with both clinical and basic research background, and with external collaborators. Good communication skills, both oral and written, are required, in English and preferably also in Swedish. Good skills in scientific writing in English are required.

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.
Mohammad Hojjat-Farsangi PhD is the main supervisor for the doctoral project. Professor Håkan Mellsted, Professor Anders Österborg and Ali Moshfegh PhD at the Department of Oncology-Pathology will be co-supervisors.
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 Varbi recruitment system.

Type of employment Doktorandplats
Contract type Full time
Reference number 2-1317/2018
  • Håkan Mellstedt, Professor, hakan.mellstedt@sll.se, 070-658 98 09
Union representative
  • Mimmi Shoshan, SACO, 46 8 517 754 60
  • Andreas Lundqvist, SACO, 46 8 517 768 84, andreas.lundqvist@ki.se
  • Helen Eriksson, OFR, 46 8 517 762 79
Published 06.Mar.2018
Last application date 15.Mar.2018 11:59 PM CET

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