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Postdoctoral fellow (f/m) in microfluidic modelling of type 2 diabetes (scholarship)
Postdoctoral studies in microfluidic modelling of type 2
Karolinska Institutet, Institutionen för fysiologi och farmakologi
At the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology we teach and conduct internationally acclaimed,
high-quality research in Physiology, Pharmacology, Anesthesiology and Intensive care. We have around
400 employees, 30 research groups, and 90 doctoral students. Our research fields include cellular
signaling, cardiovascular and respiratory systems, neuropsychopharmacology, neuroinflammation,
pharmacogenetics, regenerative medicine, Renal System, anesthesiology and intensive care, muscle
physiology and pain. Our collaboration with the clinics at Karolinska University Hospital provides
unique opportunities for translational research within our subjects. More information about research at
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) constitutes a global health problem affecting 1 in 20 adults worldwide.
Insulin resistance in muscles, liver and adipose tissue, loss of pancreatic islet cell function and decrease
of beta cell mass are key hallmarks of T2DM. However, they are largely unaddressed by today's
therapeutics that focus on disease management rather than regression or cure. T2DM manifests due to a
dysfunctional interplay of multiple tissues and organs. However, because of the complexity and speciesspecificity
of these interactions, there is a lack of experimental tools that faithfully reflect human T2DM
biology, which impedes the development of new anti-diabetic medications. The main objective of the
proposed project is to develop, characterize and validate a platform capable of modelling human T2DM.
Liver function and Drug Development.
Research Profile: http://ki.se/en/fyfa/section-of-pharmacogenetics-lauschke-lab.
The research will be conducted in the group of Assistant Professor Volker Lauschke (Liver Function and
Drug Development). In the group, we use 3D cell culture systems of primary human cells, microfluidics
and integrative bioinformatics approaches to develop better model systems for prediction of drug toxicity
and to identify novel therapeutic strategies for complex metabolic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes. In
addition, we are interested in understanding the molecular basis of hepatic plasticity in liver injury and
regeneration. Furthermore, we study the genetic basis of drug response and adverse drug reactions on a
population-scale. The research of the group is financed by The Swedish Research Council, the Malin and
Lennart Philipson Foundation, the Strategic Research Program in Diabetes, as well as the Harald
We are looking for a post doctoral fellow who will work towards the development of an in vitro platform
for T2DM modelling. The project is subdivided in two synergistic parts:
The successful candidate will expand our work on microphysiological 3D models for key organs
involved in T2DM biology (liver, pancreas, myocardium and adipose tissue) and benchmark their
molecular phenotypes and functionality against their in vivo
The fellow will participate in design and calibration of a co-culture compatible microfluidic chip in
which we integrate the engineered tissue models.
Following this validation, the platform will be utilized to identify novel secreted biomarkers for T2DM
onset and progression and to decipher the role of genetic factors that have been reproducibly linked to
T2DM risk, but whose mechanistic implications are currently unknown. Importantly, understanding the
mechanisms behind these genetic risk factors holds promise to reveal new strategies for therapeutic
interventions and, using a rational design approach and virtual screening, we aim to develop and test
compounds targeting these factors. The announcement is for a research position and does not include
mandatory teaching obligations.
Scholarships for carrying out postdoctoral research may be granted to persons living in other countries
who come to Sweden with the intention of only staying in Sweden for all or part of their postdoctoral
education at KI. Persons who are resident in Sweden and/or have carried out all or part of their academic
education at KI or some other educational department in Sweden cannot be considered for scholarships
from KI. Qualified to be admitted as a postdoctor is one who has obtained a doctorate or has equivalent
scientific competence. The head of the department determines whether their previous training and
scholarly qualifications correspond to a Swedish PhD or higher.
The candidate in question should have at least two years of laboratory experience and in-depth
knowledge and interest in cell biology. A proven track record of cell culture work is required and a
strong proficiency in spoken and written English is necessary. Understanding of diabetes biology and/or
previous experience with microfluidic systems will be an asset. We value a person with good
communications skills who is able to work quite independently. Ambition to apply for external
postdoctoral fellowships is explicitly encouraged.
Type of scholarship
A scholarship for carrying out postdoctoral research can be granted for a maximum of two years within a
four year period following the receipt of a doctoral degree or equivalent. This educational scholarship is
tax-exempt. The amount is set for twelve months at a time and is paid out on a monthly basis. In
exceptional cases, shorter periods may be acceptable.
An application must contain the following documents in English:
1. A complete curriculum vitae, including date of the thesis defence, title of the thesis, previous
academic positions, academic title, current position, academic distinctions, and committee work
2. A complete list of publications
3. A summary of current work (no more than one page)
4. Personal letter
5. Verifications for crediting of illness, military service, work for labour unions or student
organisations, parental leave or similar circumstances
6. Verification from the thesis defence committee or the equivalent (only if the thesis defence is
scheduled within three months after the application deadline)
The application is to be submitted on the Varbi recruitment system.
Karolinska Institutet is one of the world's leading medical universities. Its vision is to significantly
contribute to the improvement of human health. Karolinska Institutet accounts for the single largest share
of all academic medical research conducted in Sweden and offers the country's broadest range of
education in medicine and health sciences. The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet selects the Nobel
laureates in Physiology or Medicine.
Pursuant to the regulations of the Swedish National Archives, applications are kept on file for two years
after the appointment has gained legal force. The regulations do not apply to attachments that have been
printed or otherwise published.
Karolinska Institutet strives to provide a workplace that has approximately the same number of women
and men, is free of discrimination and offers equal opportunity to everyone.
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First day of employment