PhD student with focus on medical biochemistry/medical biophysics

Umeå University
August 31 2017
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

The Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics at Umeå University is recruiting a PhD student for structural studies of RNA virus replication by cryo-electron tomography.

PhD project

The Carlson lab studies how viruses reshape the cells they infect. Our main interest is the drastic rearrangements of host-cell membranes that positive-sense RNA viruses carry out within hours of entering a cell. Such viruses induce the formation of organelles called replication complexes, which serve to copy the viral RNA genome. Hidden inside infected cells and associated with cellular membranes, replication complexes are the most mysterious manifestation of this vast group of viruses that cause diseases ranging from common cold, to hepatitis C and mosquito-borne tropical fevers.

We aim to recruit a PhD student to study the structure of viral replication complexes by cryo-electron tomography of virus-infected cells. A main focus of the research will be high-end cryo-EM, where ample access to the new instrumentation suite at the Umeå Core Facility for Electron Microscopy offers the best possible environment. The student will establish the necessary cell biology and virology to determine structures of replication complexes inside infected cells. In addition to cryo-EM and cell biology, advanced image processing will be an important part of the research. Other experimental methods employed may involve e.g. biochemistry and high-end fluorescence microscopy. 

Admission requirements

To fulfil the entry requirements to be admitted for doctoral studies in medical biochemistry or medical biophysics, the applicant is required to have completed a second-cycle level degree, or completed course requirements of at least 240 credits, of which at least 60 credits are at second-cycle level, in chemistry, biomedicine, molecular biology or equivalent, or have an equivalent education from abroad or equivalent qualifications.


The applicant must have completed relevant university studies of at least 240 credits with a major in a subject such as biophysics, biochemistry, molecular biology or biology. Very good communication skills in English are required, both orally and in writing. The applicant is expected to be an independent worker, but also to be able to work in a group. The research will entail both experimental and computational work. Therefore, experience in experimental molecular biology and cell biology is a merit, as is a solid understanding of physics and structural biology, and experience in computational work including programming.

About the position

The position is intended to result in a doctoral degree and the main task of the PhD students is to pursue their doctoral studies, which includes participation in research, the department seminar series, and courses. The duties within this position may also include teaching and other departmental work (up to a maximum of 20% of full working time). The employment is time-limited to four years of full-time work, with extension to compensate for part time teaching and other duties. Salary is set in accordance with the established salary ladder for PhD positions. Starting date according to agreement, as soon as possible.

The application

A complete application package should contain the following documents:

An application letter, stating your contact information and describing why you are interested in the advertised project.A curriculum vitae.A copy of your completed BSc and/or MSc thesis and, if applicable, other research publications.Verified copies of degree certificates, including documentation of completed academic courses and obtained grades.Contact information to at least two reference persons who can testify on your skills.Your application should be submitted via our e-recruitment system on November 5 2017 at the latest. Top ranked candidates will be contacted within two weeks from the closing date for an interview.

For more information, contact Dr. Lars-Anders Carlson at


- Lars-Anders Carlson, 090-786 50 00

This job comes from a partnership with Science Magazine and Euraxess

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