Karolinska Institutet, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, division of Biomaterials

Research group
The research group of Ana Teixeira (https://ki.se/en/mbb/ana-teixeira-group) is part of the Division of Biomaterials (https://ki.se/en/mbb/research-division-of-biomaterials) at the Department for Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics (https://ki.se/en/mbb/startpage), located at the newly built Biomedicum research laboratory (https://ki.se/en/staff/biomedicum) at the Solna campus of Karolinska Institutet, Sweden. The group uses a multi-disciplinary approach integrating biophysics, DNA nanotechnology, cell biology and animal models to understand the roles of spatial organization in biological systems.
Applications are invited for a position in the Ana Teixeira group funded by the Marie Skodowska-Curie project “NANOSTEM” within the Horizon 2020 programme of the European Union, under grant agreement No. 764958. The appointment will be on a temporary basis for a maximum period of 4 years (PhD student), starting in early 2019.

NANOSTEM is a multidisciplinary and innovative project that investigates approaches to drug delivery targeting specifically neurogenic niches (https://www.nanostem.qmul.ac.uk). It brings together academic and industrial teams with interdisciplinary fields of expertise ranging from nanotechnology, in vitro Blood Brain Barrier (BBB) models, neural stem cell (NSC) biology, animal testing and clinical research. The NANOSTEM network is formed by 9 internationally recognised research institutions, complemented by 5 partner organisations that will contribute to the research training programme.
The scientific aim of this network is to develop and characterise a selected set of advanced nanomaterials and to study their suitability as novel drug delivery systems to target NSCs and to induce their differentiation and mobilization to areas of disease. The project aims to train a new generation of nanomedicine experts able to work and communicate across disciplines. Importantly, the project will also provide a substantial training program in complementary skills, targeting both professional and personal development as well as translation of research and entrepreneurship.

Education project
Blood Brain Barrier permeation and targeting of neurogenic niches using protein/DNA nanostructures
The PhD student will develop and test the effects of multimeric biological drugs based on DNA nanotechnology to control the spatial distribution of receptors in the BBB and NSCs. In particular, the scientific objectives of the doctoral education are to:

  • Investigate the stability of DNA nanostructure/protein conjugates in vivo in a zebrafish model
  • Investigate the roles of the nanoscale spatial distribution of ligands in receptor-mediated transport through the BBB using an in vitro model of the BBB
  • Investigate the roles of the nanoscale spatial distribution of ligands in receptor-mediated transport through the BBB and targeting of neurogenic niches in an in vivo zebrafish model

The candidate will have to accomplish the following tasks:

  • Secondments at Queen Mary University of London (UK, 1 month, zebrafish) and Centro de Neurociencias e Biologia Celular (Portugal, 1 month, in vitro BBB model).
  • Short visit to MJR Pharmjet GMBJ (Germany) to gain experience on drug encapsulation in an industry setting.
  • Participate in training events for researchers and Principal Investigators involved in the project.
  • Contribute to the reporting of project milestones and deliverables in accordance with EU deadlines.
  • Promote and disseminate results of the project, which includes contributing to newsletters and participating in outreach events.

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:

  • 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, or
  • has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.

For more information regarding the general entry requirements, please see: https://ki.se/en/phd/entry-requirements-eligibility-for-doctoral-education

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: https://ki.se/en/phd/entry-requirements-eligibility-for-doctoral-education

Essential requirements:
Applicants must satisfy the ITN eligibility requirements at the time of the recruitment by the host organizations. The candidates:

  • Must be in the first 4 years (full time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and have not been awarded a doctoral degree (PhD). Full-Time Equivalent Research Experience is measured from the date when the researcher obtained the degree entitling him/her to embark on a doctorate (either in the country in which the degree was obtained or in the country in which the researcher is recruited, even if a doctorate was never started or envisaged).
  • Must not have resided in Sweden for more than 12 months in the 3 years prior to selection
  • Excellent communication and organization skills
  • Fluent in spoken and written English
  • Excellent writing and presentation skills
  • Flexibility and ability to work in a team environment

Skills and personal qualities
Candidates should have a master's degree in Biomedical Sciences or Engineering Sciences (or a similar degree) with background knowledge in nanotechnology and cell biology. Previous experience with animal research is desirable but not 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.

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

  • A personal letter and a curriculum vitae
  • 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.

NANOSTEM values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

Type of employment Visstidsanställning längre än 6 månader
Contract type Full time
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100
City Solna
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Reference number 2-6829/2018
  • Ana Teixeira/ Associate Professor, +46 8 524 879 79
Union representative
  • Henry Wölling, SEKO, henry.wolling@ki.se
  • Anne Edgren, OFR/S, P, O, 08-524 87570
  • Biborka Bereczky Veress, SACO, 46 70-173 85 75 , biborka.bveress@ki.se
Published 04.Dec.2018
Last application date 04.Jan.2019 11:59 PM CET

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