Do you want to contribute to top quality medical research?

To be a doctoral student means to devote oneself to a research project under supervision of experienced researchers and following an individual study plan. For a doctoral degree, the equivalent of four years of full-time doctoral education is required.

The research group

The Division of Rheumatology at the Department of Medicine is home to several research groups studying autoimmune disease with the aim to understand the pathogenesis and develop better diagnostics and treatment, as well as preventive strategies. The successful candidate for the PhD student position will be part of Marie Wahren-Herlenius’ group at the Center for Molecular Medicine.

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student

DNA polymorphisms in the locus family with sequence similarity 167 member A-B lymphocyte kinase (FAM167A-BLK) are associated with several immune-mediated disease including Kawasaki disease, Sjögren's syndrome and SLE. BLK is a kinase acting downstream of the B cell receptor, while the function of the FAM167A gene is unknown. This gene, and the additional member of the gene family, FAM167B, encode the proteins DIORA1 and 2, respectively. The goal of this PhD project is to understand the cellular function of DIORA2 by identifying proteins it interacts with and analysing how genetically altered expression levels affects the phenotype at the cellular and whole organism level. [NP1] The project includes establishing novel cell lines for BioID, analysis of murine and human primary cells with genetically determined high or low expression of DIORA2 by immunological and biochemical assays. Large scale expression data are obtained from single cell RNA sequencing. The student will be expected, under supervision, to obtain broad knowledge and systematic understanding of the research field and specialized knowledge in the project area, to become familiar with research methodology in general and the methods specific to the project, to acquire the capacity for scholarly analysis and synthesis, as well as to review and assess new and complex phenomena autonomously and critically. The student should also make an important contribution to the writing of scientific articles based on the project, and write a literature review of the research field ahead of the half-time review and thesis ahead of its defence.

What do we offer?

A creative and inspiring environment full of expertise and curiosity. Karolinska Institutet is one of the world's leading medical universities. Our vision is to pursue the development of knowledge about life and to promote a better health for all. At Karolinska Institutet, we conduct successful medical research and hold the largest range of medical education in Sweden. As a doctoral student you are offered an individual research project, a well-educated supervisor, a vast range of elective courses and the opportunity to work in a leading research group. Karolinska Institutet collaborates with prominent universities from all around the world, which ensures opportunities for international exchanges. You will be employed on a doctoral studentship which means that you receive a contractual salary. Employees also have access to our modern gym for free and receive reimbursements for medical care.

Eligibility requirements for doctoral education

In order to participate in the selection for a doctoral position, you must meet the following general (A) and specific (B) eligibility requirements at latest by the application deadline.

It is your responsibility to certify eligibility by following the instructions on the web page Entry requirements (eligibility) for doctoral education.

A) General eligibility requirement

You meet the general eligibility requirement for doctoral/third-cycle/PhD education if you:

  1. have been awarded a second-cycle/advanced/master qualification (i.e. master degree), or
  2. have satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the advanced/second-cycle/master level, or
  3. have acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.*

Follow the instructions on the web page Entry requirements (eligibility) for doctoral education.

*If you claim equivalent knowledge, follow the instructions on the web page Assessing equivalent knowledge for general eligibility for doctoral education.

B) Specific eligibility requirement

You meet the specific eligibility requirement for doctoral/third-cycle/PhD education if you:

- Show proficiency in English equivalent to the course English B/English 6 at Swedish upper secondary school.

Follow the instructions on the web page English language requirements for doctoral education.

Verification of your documents Karolinska Institutet checks the authenticity of your documents. Karolinska Institutet reserves the right to revoke admission if supporting documents are discovered to be fraudulent. Submission of false documents is a violation of Swedish law and is considered grounds for legal action.

(A) and (B) can only be certified by the documentation requirement for doctoral education.

Skills and personal qualities

We are looking for an enthusiastic student with a technical or biology degree and experience of molecular biology, cell culture, immunological and biochemical methods such as BioID. Knowledge on and experience of working with human biomaterials and the FAM167 gene family is a strong merit. The candidate should have the ability to develop into an independent scientist, but also have good abilities for teamwork and scientific collaboration with other scientists, post docs and students in the laboratory. The applicant must be organized, thorough, proactive and a talented problem solver. He/she is expected to interact with patients, so fluency in Swedish is a requirement. Further, the successful candidate will participate in national and international networks, so English language skills at a high level are required.

Terms and conditions

The doctoral student will be employed on a doctoral studentship maximum 4 years full-time.

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Application process

Submit your application and supporting documents through the Varbi recruitment system. Use the button in the top right corner and follow the instructions. We prefer that your application is written in English, but you can also apply in Swedish.

Your application must contain the following documents:

- A personal letter and a curriculum vitae
- Degree projects and previous publications, if any
- Any other documentation showing the desirable skills and personal qualities described above
- Documents certifying your general eligibility (see A above)
- Documents certifying your specific eligibility (see B above)


A selection will be made among eligible applicants on the basis of the ability to benefit from doctoral education. The qualifications of the applicants will be evaluated on an overall basis.

Karolinska Institutet uses the following bases of assessment:

- Documented subject knowledge of relevance to the area of research
- Analytical skill
- Other documented knowledge or experience that may be relevant to doctoral studies in the subject.

All applicants will be informed when the recruitment is completed.


The employment will be at the Department of Medicine, Solna. The Department consists of twelve divisions and each division consists of several research groups. This position is located within the research group of Marie Wahren-Herlenius. We are located at the Center of Molecular Medicine.

Want to make a difference? Join us and contribute to better health for all

Type of employment PhD placement
Contract type Full time
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100
City Solna
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Reference number STÖD 2-1862/2022
  • Marie Wahren Herlenius, +46851773431
Union representative
  • Afsar Rahbar OFR,
  • Louisa Cheung, SACO,
  • Bruna Gigante, SACO,
Published 26.Apr.2022
Last application date 05.May.2022 11:59 PM CEST

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