Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences

1-2 Postdoc positions in Molecular Epidemiology with a focus on the role of the human gut microbiota and the plasma metabolome in cardiovascular health

The Department of Medical Sciences is a large clinical institution with more than 250 employees and over 900 additional coworkers connected via the Uppsala University Hospital. The Department of Medical Sciences has a broad research profile with strong research groups in a number of different areas. The research carried out at the department is performed in close connection with the clinical activities at the Uppsala University Hospital, which includes both basic studies on the causes of a variety of illnesses and the development and evaluation of improved diagnostics and new treatment methods. More information about the Department of Medical Sciences can be found at www.medsci.uu.se

The Department has an opening for one to two positions as a postdoc in the group of Molecular Epidemiology led by Professor Tove Fall. The research in the group focuses on diabetes and cardiovascular disease using various methods. These methods range from modern molecular epidemiology techniques with ‘omics’ data to more traditional epidemiology approaches with large datasets. The research environment is international, and English is the working language. The group currently includes several members with extensive training and experience in advanced statistical, epidemiological, and bioinformatics methods. Additionally, the group has secured funding from the European Research Council and national funding agencies.

The primary work responsibilities involve study design, data analysis, and manuscript preparations under the supervision of Tove Fall. The overall goal of the project is to assess the causality between gut microbiota, the plasma metabolome and atherosclerotic disease. To this end, the research project has three main objectives: 1) Identification of gut microbiota characteristics (assessed with shotgun metagenomics) associated with incident myocardial infarction and ischemic stroke measured by coronary computed tomography angiography in a population-based sample of 17,000 individuals, 2) Identification of plasma metabolites associated with image-based subclinical atherosclerosis in 8,000 participants, and 3) Clarification of the causal effects of gut microbiota characteristics and plasma metabolites on atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction and stroke by developing of novel genetic instruments and applying Mendelian Randomization analysis. The project is expected to lead to identification of characteristics of atherosclerosis-enhancing gut microbiota and associated plasma biomarkers that may open up new avenues for effective prevention of atherosclerotic disease. The group has a strong track record of publishing high-quality research in peer-reviewed journals, including most recently in Nature Communications and Circulation on microbiome and metabolome.

The group consists of 12 people, and is located within the Epidemiology Hub in Uppsala, where more than 40 active epidemiologists and statisticians have their work place, enabling collaboration and support in a unique environment. The group values open communication, collegiality and strives for work-life balance. Uppsala is centrally located, and is a short train ride to Stockholm.

Note that no laboratory work is planned within the project. Moreover, the data that the applicant will work on is already curated, so no raw mass spectrometry, imaging or sequence data needs to be handled. The main statistical software used in the group are Stata, R and Regenie. We mainly work in a UNIX-environment on secure servers. The postdoc will have the opportunity to develop their skills through courses, and networks from collaborations and exchange visits to other research groups. Moreover, the postdoc will have, to some extent, the opportunity to develop their own research ideas. Currently, the faculty offers a mentorship program to provide career guidance for postdocs.

The ideal candidate is highly motivated and has a PhD in a relevant subject (e.g. biostatistics, epidemiology, bioinformatics) or a foreign degree equivalent to a PhD degree in a relevant subject. The degree needs to be obtained by the time of the decision of employment. Those who have obtained a PhD degree three years prior to the application deadline are primarily considered for the employment. The starting point of the three-year frame period is the application deadline. Due to special circumstances, the degree may have been obtained earlier. The three-year period can be extended due to circumstances such as sick leave, parental leave, duties in labour unions, etc.

Proficiency in both written and oral English is required. The applicant must demonstrate a record of high-quality scientific publications as the first author. Basic understanding of observational epidemiology study designs is a requirement.

Personal characteristics are important. The applicant should be stringent in their analysis, have high research ethics, a responsible attitude, a logical and structured mindset, and be able to work independently. The applicant must demonstrate the ability to document their work properly. The applicant should also be able to share their knowledge with colleagues both orally and in text.

The applicant should be able to independently conduct analysis in STATA or R.

Additional qualifications

Knowledge/interest within one or more of the following fields is an advantage:

  • Multi-layered -omics analysis
  • Mendelian randomization
  • Microbiology
  • Programming
  • Genetic Epidemiology including GWAS
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Medicine
  • Radiology
  • Visualization of research results
  • Large-scale epidemiological data

The following documents must be submitted with your application and may be written in English:

  • A full CV, including date of dissertation, title of thesis, previous academic appointments, academic title, current position and teaching experience; proficiency in various software
  • A full publication list
  • A brief statement (maximum 1 page) of why you applied to this position and your interests and goals
  • Transcripts of grades from previous education
  • Names and contact information of three references


About the employment
The employment is a temporary position of two years, according to central collective agreement, with opportunity to prolong for one additional year. Scope of employment 100 %. Starting date as agreed. Placement: Uppsala


For further information about the position, please contact: Tove Fall (tove.fall@medsci.uu.se).

Please submit your application by 27 September 2023, UFV-PA 2023/3171.

Are you considering moving to Sweden to work at Uppsala University? Find out more about what it´s like to work and live in Sweden.  

Type of employment Temporary position
Contract type Full time
First day of employment 20240101
Salary fast
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100%
City Uppsala
County Uppsala län
Country Sweden
Reference number UFV-PA 2023/3171
Union representative
  • Seko Universitetsklubben, seko@uadm.uu.se
  • ST/TCO, tco@fackorg.uu.se
  • Saco-rådet, saco@uadm.uu.se
Published 30.Aug.2023
Last application date 27.Sep.2023 11:59 PM CEST

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