Uppsala universitet, Institutionen för medicinsk cellbiologi

PhD student in chemokine immunobiology - HORIZON-MSCA-2022-DN Doctoral Network “B-ACTIVE”

These projects, funded by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA)-doctoral network program  "B-ACTIVE", is a EU-funded collaboration between the universities of Leuven, Copenhagen, Graz, Ljubljana, Uppsala and several industrial partners located in Copenhagen, Uppsala, Graz, Cambridge and Paris (see https://b-active-dn.eu). In the B-ACTIVE consortium, fundamental and clinical scientists and companies will study the impact of posttranslational modifications of chemokine ligands and receptors while training 10 doctoral candidates into future experts with translational and interdisciplinary mindsets. The doctoral candidates will characterize interactions between chemokine ligands, receptors and glycosaminoglycans, study signaling pathways and recognize their importance in inflammatory reactions. B-ACTIVE thus provides training in the complexity of inflammatory responses from basic science to clinical applications and industrial development. B-ACTIVE aims to unite fundamental and clinical scientists with pharmaceutical companies to explore the impact of posttranslational modifications of chemokine ligands and receptors. The project’s goal is to enhance our comprehension of inflammatory responses, pinpoint the right drug targets, and actively contribute to pharmaceutical development, ultimately improving patient treatment. The MSCA doctoral networks aim to train creative, entrepreneurial, innovative and resilient doctoral candidates, able to face current and future challenges and to convert knowledge into societal benefit.

Uppsala University, Department of Medical Cell Biology
The Department of Medical Cell Biology at Uppsala University is a strong and international research environment. The department has more than 100 employees, of which about 25 are doctoral students, 10 postdoctoral fellows, and 40 researchers, teachers and professors. More information about the department and its activities can be found at https://www.mcb.uu.se/.

The research group of Professor Mia Phillipson is offering a 4-year funded PhD Student position in chemokines immunobiology with rotation of 6 months to Ilya Pharma AB, a biopharmaceutical development company in Uppsala. The team is an international, dynamic and very successful research group with a well-established collaborative network and strong funding. The conducted research is aiming to uncover novel roles of immune cells and to find means to regulate their specific functions in settings spanning from organ development and regulation of homeostasis to tissue healing, angiogenesis and inflammation. The laboratory is equipped with or have access to advanced technical tools and technologies.

PhD project: Investigation of chemokine proteoform and microbiome profiles of non-healing wounds in patients with diabetes
The bioactivity of chemokines in vivo is highly dependent on the local microenvironment. Progression of diabetes and associated complications including non-healing wounds are driven by changes of the local microenvironment, which in turn affects local numbers as well as behavior of the immune cells, often resulting in increased recruitment but impaired function. Recently, the composition of the microbiome was demonstrated to be different in non-healing wounds, which in turn have been correlated to clinical outcome predictions for healing. It is likely that the microenvironment also affects chemokine ligand and receptor proteoform formation and thereby their local activity.

In this project, the PhD student will characterize the chemokine profiles as well as chemokine bioactivity in plasma and wound fluid from otherwise healthy subjects and in patients with diabetes using different assays, and correlate the results with the healing status of the respective wound. In addition, the PhD student will characterize the wound microbiome composition and correlate this to the healing status of the wound, as well as to the profiles of chemokine (proteoforms) and chemokine processing enzymes and processing kinetics in plasma and wound fluid. Today there are no pharmaceuticals based on chemokine ligands as such, but there are some drug candidates in development aiming to alter the bioactivity of immunomodulatory proteins including chemokines, and this project aims at supporting this field of science and drug development.

Ilya Pharma AB
Ilya Pharma is a biopharmaceutical development company, with its own technology platform and drug candidates for the healing of skin or epithelial wounds. The projects are in various stages of development from translational to late phase 2 clinical trials, and are mainly targeting interdisciplinary unmet medical needs such as surgical wounds or as lung infections in obese and diabetic patients and immune check point inhibitor-induced colitis in cancer patients. The company is private and was founded in 2016, have since attracted significant funding from EU-programs and investors, and have hosted 2 Industrial PhD students which graduated during 2023. More information can be found at www.ilyapharma.se

We are seeking a highly motivated PhD candidate to contribute to this project at Uppsala University under supervision of Prof. Mia Phillipson. Applicants should have a master degree in Biomedical Sciences, Biochemistry, Pharmacy, Biotechnology, Immunology, Microbiology, or closely related fields, and a genuine interest in immunology and physiology. We require candidates to be self-driven, ambitious,  well-organized and enthusiastic about science and to work well in teams. Emphasis will be placed on previous work in laboratory environment and research experience. Experience with proteomics and metagenomics is considered meritorious for applicants when filling the position. Successful candidate will be part of an international network with industrial and scientific partners across Europe via the MSCA/Doctoral Network 'B-ACTIVE'. Regular meetings, workshops and international secondments within the B-ACTIVE network will supplement the training and support provided at the host laboratory.

Rules governing PhD students are set out in the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5, §§ 1-7, in Uppsala University's rules and guidelines and by the HORIZON-MSCA-2022-DN Doctoral Network (https://marie-sklodowska-curie-actions.ec.europa.eu/actions/how-to-apply#PhD).

We welcome applications from Doctoral Researcher candidates fulfilling the following criteria:

  1. Researchers must be doctoral candidates, i.e. not having already received a PhD or equivalent degree by any institution; researchers who have successfully defended their doctoral thesis but who have not yet formally been awarded the doctoral degree will not be considered eligible.
  2. Applicants can be of any nationality but must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Sweden for more than 12 months in the 36 months immediately before their recruitment date. Time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention (1951 Refugee Convention and the 1967 Protocol), compulsory national service, and/or short stays such as holidays are not considered. Applicants preferably have not more than 3 years post-master seniority.
  3. Applicants must be eligible to work as PhD student in Sweden according to national and European regulations (e.g. visa requirements), and also to travel/work in other European countries for collaborations/secondments and trainings.
  4. Applicants should be proficient in written and spoken English and agreeing to use such language both for work and for any other official matter, including the selection process.
  5. Applicants must be available to enroll full-time by November 2024, but an earlier start date is possible.
  6. Applicants are aware of and adhere to the principles set out in the Commission Recommendation on the European Charter for Researchers (https://euraxess.ec.europa.eu/jobs/charter/european-charter).
  7. Applicants agree to undertake the PhD training program associated to this position (https://www.uu.se/en/staff/disciplinary-domain/medicine-and-pharmacy/education-and-teaching/doctoral-studies), in case they are selected.

Selection process
Applicants must attach the following documents:
- a CV including info on study results (including transcripts of marks obtained during master education, ranking within student group), publications (if any), previous laboratory experience, knowledge of languages, and a brief statement of research interests;
- 1-page motivation letter, with the expected date of availability;
- Recommendation letters (min 2; max 3);

Be aware that official transcripts of any degree achieved, preferably including average or final marks and explanation of the related assessment scale or criterion (mandatory for the main graduate degree, optional for the others) will be required for the enrolment in the University/PhD program. All documents should be in English.

The selection of the Doctoral Researcher candidates will be carried out in compliance with the general rules for MSCA-DN projects and will be based just on individual merit. The selection process will be entirely carried out in English. Candidates fulfilling the eligibility criteria will be pre-selected for online interviews. A Selection Committee was appointed by the B-ACTIVE Consortium for the evaluation of the application of the candidates. Applications which do not meet the minimal prerequisites listed in the Eligibility Criteria section, or which are not submitted according to the procedure specified in the Offer Description section, or which are received after the submission deadline has expired, will be rejected. Whenever necessary, it will be also entitled to ask the candidates to provide any further document, information or clarification deemed useful to properly complete the assessment process. Personal data will be stored for the purpose of carrying out the application procedure only.

About the employment
The employment is a temporary position according to the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5 § 7. Scope of employment 100 %. Starting date as agreed. Placement: Uppsala

For further information about the position, please contact: Mia Phillipson, mia.phillipson@mcb.uu.se

Please submit your application by 31 May 2024, UFV-PA 2024/1062.

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 As agreed
Salary According to local collective agreement
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100%
City Uppsala
County Uppsala län
Country Sweden
Reference number UFV-PA 2024/1062
Union representative
  • ST/TCO, tco@fackorg.uu.se
  • Seko Universitetsklubben, seko@uu.se
  • Saco-S-föreningen, saco-s@uu.se
Published 28.Mar.2024
Last application date 31.May.2024 11:59 PM CEST

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