Karolinska Institutet,

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.

We are recruiting a student for doctoral education.

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

Research Group
This doctoral education project is a collaboration between Emma R Andersson´s group (Karolinska Institutet, Sweden) and Matthew W. Kelley´s group (National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, USA). The student would divide their time between the two institutes for this joint KI-NIH PhD project.

The Andersson Lab at Karolinska Institutet (www.anderssonlab.com) is interested in embryonic development, with a focus on genetic mutations which result in serious developmental disorders. Alagille syndrome is caused by mutations in JAGGED1 or NOTCH2, and results in sever liver and heart defects, as well as spontaneous bleeding and other symptoms in children (Masek & Andersson Development 2017). Our lab recently developed a mouse model for Alagille syndrome (Andersson et al Gastroenterology 2018), and combined with single cell approaches, clinical samples and epidemiology we address how Notch controls development, and the mechanistic roots of Alagille syndrome, in order to develop therapies for this disease, or other disorders affecting the liver. We are also developing rapid methods to manipulate gene expression in utero, to quickly test gene function in vivo, and reduce the numbers of animals used in research.

The Kelley Lab at the NIDCD (https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/research/labs/section-developmental-neuroscience), a part of the National Institutes of Health located in Bethesda, Maryland, focuses on molecular mechanisms regulating cochlear development. Our lab uses single cell RNA-Sequencing technology to identify profiles of unique cell types within auditory and vestibular epithelia and spiral ganglion neurons (Burns et al Nature Comm), and investigates the molecular regulation of cell fate and patterning in the cochlea using a combination of mouse mutants and in vitro manipulations.

The doctoral education project and the duties of the student
This doctoral education project is a collaboration between the Andersson and Kelley Labs to utilize the inner ear as a model to dissect the function of Notch components in patterning. The inner ear is a highly stereotypically patterned organ (Sjöqvist & Andersson Dev Biol 2017) ideally suited to investigating lateral inhibition and lateral induction using gain and loss of functions experiments in vivo.

The student will become an expert at generation and administration of lentivirus, microinjection and mouse handling, and working with mouse embryos. Also, the student will become proficient in techniques such as immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridization and qPCR. Finally, the student will learn techniques related to analysis of whole-genome transcriptomics and how to apply these results to in vivo research.

The student will learn to develop specific hypotheses, and to design well-controlled experiments to test those hypotheses. Also, the student will learn to write manuscripts and formulate oral and written presentations to present and communicate science.

The student will obtain broad yet in-depth knowledge of the embryonic development of the central nervous system, with a focus on inner ear and cell fate choices.

The student will also learn about the causes of congenital and acquired deafness with a particular emphasis on genetic conditions that lead to syndromic or non-syndromic deafness. Potential approaches to ameliorate deafness using gene therapy will also be examined.

Finally, the student will understand the methodologies used in the fields of developmental biology and transcriptomics, among others, and be aware of techniques to answer specific questions, even if these are not used in this project.

Entry requirements for doctoral education at KI
To be eligible for doctoral education, the following requirements have 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
  1. has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.

For more information regarding the general entry requirements, please see:

Specific entry requirements
Proficiency in English equivalent to the course English B/English 6 at Swedish upper secondary school. Applicants who meet the general entry requirements (1 or 2 above) from a university in one of the Nordic countries fulfill the English language requirement.

For information on how other applicants can certify their English proficiency (such as through IELTS or TOEFL, previous upper secondary or university level studies), please see:

Previous experience in embryonic development, animal/human surgery, cell culture work, or work with lentivirus, is also a merit.

Since the project entails work with animals, experience in laboratory animal work, specifically mice, is a merit.

Previous work on the inner ear is a merit.

Skills and personal qualities
We are looking for a curious, driven and creative person with an interest in embryonic development. An ability to take initiative and good communication skills are 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

- 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.

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

  • A personal letter and a curriculum vitae
  • A 1-page project suggestion within the field of inner ear and Notch signaling
  • Academic degree diplomas, transcripts of records in original language and, if applicable, authorised translations
  • Copies of degree projects and any previous publications
  • Proof of English proficiency as stated in the specific requirement above

All documents certifying the entry requirements must be scans of originals (scans of copies or certified copies will not be accepted). The scanned documents must be in color and both the front and the back of the documents must be scanned. Please note that there are specific documentation requirements for a number countries, please read the instructions at:


The application and supporting documents are to be submitted through the Varbi recruitment system.

Type of employment Doktorandplats
Contract type Full time
Reference number 2-4333/2018
  • Emma Andersson, Assistant professor, Emma.Andersson@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 16.Aug.2018
Last application date 26.Sep.2018 11:59 PM CET

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