We are looking for a new colleague – a driven PhD student with previous experience gained from the pharmaceutical or biotech industry for an open position as PhD fellow in the EU-funded Innovative Training Network BonePainII (www.bonepain.eu). The successful candidate will be given an exciting opportunity to develop novel in vitro assays and methods for mimicking the interactions of pathological tissue with sensory neurons that occur in chronic pain. The resulting knowledge gained during the study may pave the way for new therapeutic options for the millions of people suffering from chronic pain.
About the BonePainII Network:
BonePainII is a European Innovative Training Network to promote frontline research, innovation and education within bone pain. Millions in Europe and beyond suffer from bone pain, which is a debilitating complication of many musculoskeletal disorders such as arthritis and bone metastasis. The BonePainII network has participants from 6 European countries and encompasses 8 academic groups and 4 industries all committed to creating an outstanding training program for 15 early stage researchers (ESRs) to elucidate the mechanisms of bone pain and develop new medicines. This project is part of the EU-funded project BonePainII, (see www.bonepain.eu for more info) and the project is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No 814244.
The BonePainII network encompasses academic and industrial partners committed to create an outstanding training program for early stage researchers (ESRs). The students will obtain interdisciplinary, state-of-the-art training e.g. by secondments with industrial and academic partners, including some of the foremost pain researchers in Europe, within the network. The overall goal for the BonePainII network is to train ESRs to become highly skilled and innovative researchers and provide ESRs with expertise that will maximise their future employability and strengthen their career possibilities. This will be achieved by integrated, yet individual research projects, where the ESRs will develop new technologies, identify novel targets, and apply a wide range of cutting-edge techniques to ultimately cure chronic pain.
PhD project title:
Development of novel methods and assays for assessment of macrophage and bone cell driven changes in nociceptor excitability in antibody-induced arthritis.
In the PhD project, the successful candidate will participate in the development of novel in vitro assays, methods and technologies to mimic the interactions of a pathological bone environment with sensory neurons. Example technologies are microfluidic-based, compartmentalised chambers for creation of “disease in a dish” systems and high throughput assays. Subsequently, the developed methodologies, in addition to Cellectricon’s established models, will be used to investigate novel biomarkers of osteoarthritis (OA) pain and for drug screening to identify compounds that may be developed into therapeutics for patients suffering from bone pain.
During the project, the candidate will develop and validate plate-based co-culture systems between DRG neurons and for example macrophages or osteoclasts to understand the interactions between nociceptors with different types of non-neuronal cells relevant for bone pain. Moreover, it will be investigated how antibody-driven activation of macrophages or osteoclasts modulate DRG neuronal excitability and how this can be manipulated pharmacologically.
Cellectricon is a collaborative services provider dedicated to advance drug discovery and research in the areas of chronic pain and neurodegenerative disease. We are a team of highly experienced neurobiologists, stem cell researchers and engineers, with a proven track record of developing innovative in vitro assays of enhanced translational value for our clients.
What sets us apart from the competition is our proprietary discovery platform. In collaboration with leading academic institutions and pharmaceutical companies, we have over the last 10 years continuously refined and validated our patented core technology to a point where we feel we can establish testing paradigms that are impossible to recreate with other methods. We excel at the generation of high quality primary neuronal cell cultures from e.g. peripheral ganglia, spinal cord and brain, as well as from human iPSC-derived neurons. Our assays fill the gap between less complex model systems, such as high throughput screening in over-expressing cell lines, and in vivo animal models and are enabling our clients to better prioritize which molecules to advance into the clinic.
The successful PhD candidate must hold a master’s degree in a relevant scientific discipline (e.g. biomedicine, biotechnology, biomedical engineering, natural sciences or pharmacy).
The candidate must have a minimum of six-to-twelve months experience from an industrial setting (pharmaceutical or biotech company) with hands-on experience and knowledge of the drug discovery process (such as assay development, drug screening in in vitro or in vivo models).
The candidate is expected to be highly motivated, to have good verbal and written English skills and excellent interpersonal and cooperation skills to be able to work on collaborative, challenging research projects that ultimately have commercial utility.
Further, it is desirable that the candidate has a strong interest in neurobiology/neuroscience and has previous experience from cell culturing and primary cell-based assays. Also, experience from assay development and high throughput screening activities (including compound logistics and liquid handling) is desired.
General job description:
Your key tasks as a PhD fellow are to:
- Manage and carry through your research project
- Participate in the BonePainII training and network activities
- Take PhD courses
- Write scientific articles and your PhD thesis
- Participate in national and international congresses and scientific meetings
- Research stay at an external research laboratory within the BonePainII network
- Disseminate your research
Key criteria for the assessment of applicants:
- Relevant skills and knowledge
- Previous publications
- Relevant work experience
- The grades achieved during bachelor/master studies
- Other professional activities
- Language skills
- Assessment of the candidate’s motivation letter
Formal requirements, Mobility and eligibility criteria:
The candidate must not have resided or carried out his/her main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Sweden for more than 12 months in the last 3 years immediately prior to his/her recruitment – unless as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention.
The candidate must be an Early-Stage Researcher (ESR): at the date of recruitment he/she must be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of his/her research career and must not have been awarded a doctoral degree (more information available here).
For more information regarding the general entry requirements, please see: General entry requirements
Terms of employment:
The terms of employment and salary are in accordance with the local and national rules and in accordance to the rules and regulations laid down by the European Union’s Horizon2020 Marie Sklodowska-Curie Action European Training Network. Exact salary will be confirmed upon appointment.
The candidate will be employed by and working at Cellectricon, Gothenburg, Sweden and will be registered at the Karolinska Institutet (KI) and affiliated with professor Camilla Svensson’s group. The principal supervisor will be Professor Camilla Svensson, Karolinska Institutet. Email: email@example.com
Paul Karila, Cellectricon, will serve as main contact and co-supervisor. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, direct phone +46 733 673532.
The graduate program covers four years of full-time study. Rules governing PhD candidates are set out in the Higher Education Ordinance Chapter 5, §§ 1-7 (available here) and in KI’s rules and guidelines. For more information regarding doctoral education at Karolinska Institutet (KI) follow the link.
Type of position:
Full time position, four years
For further information, applicants are encouraged to contact the supervisors (see above).
How to apply:
Applicants are requested to submit their application by email to email@example.com (in Word or pdf format). The application should be written in English and consist of:
- Cover letter: Letter stating the interest in and qualifications for the project including information about previous experience of industrial research (max. one page).
- Full CV.
- List of publications (if any).
- Diploma and transcripts of records: Master´s degree diploma (including grade transcripts for bachelor´s and master´s degrees). Applicants with a Master´s degree from abroad should also enclose a short description of the grading scale used.
- Two letters of recommendation including contact details for references.
- For those applicants whose principal language of instruction during their BSc/MSc was not English it will be an advantage if they enclose IELTS or TOEFL test scores or equivalent proof of English skills.
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: General entry requirements
Deadline for applications:
March 15, 2019.
Applications will be evaluated by an assessment committee consisting of the principal supervisor and 1-2 other members of the BonePainII network or the Department. Short-listed candidates will be invited for an interview (e.g. via Skype). In case of highly qualified, but unsuccessful applications, applicants might have the choice of having their application forwarded to another suitable BonePainII network member for consideration.
Expected starting date:
September 1st, 2019 or earlier.