Do you want to contribute to top quality medical research?

The research group

In the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Professor Mattias Carlström specializes in Cardiorenal Physiology, while Professor Jon Lundberg focuses on Nitric Oxide Pharmacology. Together, these research group leaders collaborate on investigating the role and regulation of nitric oxide (NO) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the cardiovascular and renal systems, exploring their implications in both health and disease. Their research places significant emphasis on exploring the therapeutic potential of innovative dietary and pharmacological approaches aimed at mitigating oxidative stress and restoring NO bioavailability in cardiometabolic disorders and associated renal disease. One promising avenue involves dietary supplementation with inorganic nitrate (NO3-), abundantly present in various vegetables. With the help of oral commensal bacteria, this dietary supplementation has the potential to enhance NO formation by facilitating the reduction of nitrate and nitrite. Additionally, research accumulated over the past two decades underscores the crucial role of disrupted oral and gut microbiota in the onset and progression of various conditions, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and renal disorders.

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student

In this research project, the doctoral candidate will delve deeper into understanding the role and regulation of nitric oxide in triad of cardiovascular, renal, and metabolic diseases, exploring its interaction with commensal bacteria, and examining novel therapeutic approaches targeting these systems. This project stands at the forefront of investigating the intricate dynamics of nitric oxide and reactive oxygen species in cardiometabolic diseases and associated kidney dysfunction.

The research endeavors will specifically focus on exploring the potential therapeutic effects of inorganic nitrate and nitrite, along with other bioactive nitrogen species. Additionally, the study will investigate how these anions or bioactive molecules are regulated in the cells (absorption and secretion, especially in salivary glands and in renal tubular cells) and how they may interact with and influence our oral and gut microbiota in both health and disease states. The doctoral candidate will benefit from access to a comprehensive experimental platform and gain experience in a translational research approach.

This PhD project promises to equip the student with a broad knowledge base in physiology, pharmacology, and pathophysiology. The candidate will develop a profound understanding of experimental in vivo, ex vivo, and in vitro techniques, as well as the skills to plan, design, conduct, and evaluate both preclinical and clinical studies. This multifaceted training will be invaluable for the student's future career, whether in academia or the pharmaceutical industry.

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

Our Laboratory has a strong pharmacological profile, and investigates novel therapeutic strategies, so knowledge in this topic on a more advanced level, such as Master Degree, is desirable. In particular, we are looking for someone with a sincere passion for science and translational research, particularly focusing on cardiovascular and renal systems, as well as metabolism. Valuable qualifications include prior knowledge/experience in medicinal chemistry, translational studies, and practical expertise in conducting in vivo monitoring of cardiovascular, renal and metabolic functions.

Proficiency in relevant ex vivo and in vitro studies is highly regarded. For example, candidates with hands-on knowledge of experimental techniques in rodents, such as in vivo blood pressure monitoring (utilizing tail-cuff and telemetry systems), renal function assessment and metabolic studies (including glucose and insulin tolerance tests, and body composition analysis), as well as in vitro cell culture studies are encouraged to apply. Familiarity with utilizing Xenopus Laevis and their oocytes for microinjections and gene expression studies as well as functional characterization is of particular interest for this project since these techniques will be utilized for cellular handling of nitrate and nitrite. While prior experience in microbiota studies and expertise in biochemistry analysis for detecting nitric oxide and its metabolites, as well as markers of oxidative stress using electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) and HPLC techniques, is desirable, it is not mandatory.

Given that teaching is an integral component of doctoral education, prior experience in this area is advantageous. Particularly beneficial is experience with a focus on human cardiovascular physiology and EKG measurement, work physiology, metabolic function, and respiratory physiology.

Above all, we are seeking someone who truly enjoy collaborative teamwork and possess excellent communication skills in English.

Terms and conditions

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

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.

Your career continues here, please see links below for the supervisors KI-webpages:

Mattias Carlström

Jon Lundberg

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

Type of employment PhD placement
Contract type Full time
First day of employment Upon agreement
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100
City Stockholm
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Reference number STÖD 2-1274/2024
  • Mattias Carlström, mattias.carlströ
Union representative
  • Helin Norberg, SACO ,
  • Niklas Andersson, ST,
  • Henry Wölling, SEKO, henry.wö
Published 22.Mar.2024
Last application date 12.Apr.2024 11:59 PM CEST

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