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 Malin lab ( is a young, dynamic research group working to understand how the immune system interacts with metabolic dysfunction and cardiovascular disease. As a part of a well-established larger network of researchers within the Cardiovascular Medicine Division at the Department of Medicine Solna, we focus on identifying early disease mechanisms, taking discoveries from our novel mouse disease models to patient samples. The project is part of the Leducq transatlantic Network in cardiovascular disease: As part of this project, there will be opportunities for the scholars to perform research exchanges at Harvard University, Cambridge University, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, University Of Vienna and University of Virginia. Recent publications from our lab: Gisterå et al, Circ Res. 2022 Jun 10;130(12). Caravaca et al Proc Natl Acad Sci. 2022 May 31;119(22), Jurado et al EMBO J. 2022 Apr 4;41(7), Calderon et al Sci Immunol. 2021 Jul 23;6(61), Liu et al Journal of Experimental Medicine 2020 Nov2; 217(11), Sedimbi et al Proc Natl Acad Sci 2020 Apr 21;117(16), Centa et al Circulation 2019 May 21;139(21), Centa et al Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2018 Aug;38(8) 

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student

Our central question is: Do APOB-lipoproteins systemically alter normal physiological function before atherosclerotic plaque development, or does immune dysfunction only follow plaque formation? This fully funded doctoral project will address two discrete immune compartments: hematopoiesis and hematopoietic stem cells in the bone marrow and tissue-resident macrophages.  The aim of the project is to place APOB-lipoproteins driven perturbations of these in the context of atherosclerosis plaque development. Studies involve extensive histological and pathological analysis of our novel mouse models. This is combined with scRNA-seq, bulk RNA-seq, spatial transcriptomics, and spectral cytometry of tissues and secondary lymphoid organs, together with bioinformatic analysis.

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 a student with a keen interest in physiology and molecular medicine and motivation to discover novel disease mechanisms. Excellent communication skills in spoken and written English are a must, as is the ability to work in a team consisting of different nationalities and personalities. We encourage individuals from all biological backgrounds to apply, particularly those with interests in Immunology, Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Molecular Biology. Experience in mouse work and bioinformatics would be advantageous. However, the most important qualities are curiosity, determination, and a positive attitude.

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 Stephen Malin at the Cardiovascular Medicine Division. The team currently has 5 people and is an integrated part of a larger research division which comprises around 55 basic and clinical researchers working on metabolism, cardiovascular disease and inflammation. The successful PhD student will work with many international colleagues, as well as participating in the larger cardiometabolic and immunology networks within Karolinska Institutet that organize yearly. The labs are located in the brand-new research building BioClinicum in Solna, with close proximity to both the clinics at the Karolinska Hospital and the research resources of Karolinska Institutet. The university has a nice green campus area with gym, cafeterias and several lunch options, as well as infrastructure for networking and career development for early career researchers.

Stephen Malin research group

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 2-4526/2022
  • Stephen Malin, +46852480000
Union representative
  • Afsar Rahbar OFR,
  • Louisa Cheung, SACO,
  • Bruna Gigante, SACO,
Published 17.Nov.2022
Last application date 16.Dec.2022 11:59 PM CET

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