Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology

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Department of Molecular Biology. The department provides a vibrant interfaculty research environment and there is access to a wide range of state-of-the-art imaging, metabolomics, genomics and screening facilities.

The position

You will join a research team that is part of the Laboratory for Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS), which is internationally well-connected through the EMBL (European Molecular Biology Laboratory) Nordic Partnership for Molecular Medicine. The Billker lab is looking for a postdoc to join an interdisciplinary research team. The project forms part of a major effort funded by the European Research Council to systematically identify parasite gene functions in malaria transmission. The position is full time for two years and is placed at the Department of Molecular Biology, Umeå University, Sweden. The position is expected to start in September 2018 or as otherwise agreed.The research project is long-term and we expect that new positions continuously will be announced in the project. For additional information, visit our lab page (, or contact Oliver Billker (

The project

The development of an effective vaccine to block malaria parasite infectivity to their mosquito vectors is considered a priority in ongoing efforts to eradicate malaria. Current targets undergoing clinical trials are all still from the pre-genomic era and pose significant challenges. With the advent of genetic screening technology in the rodent model parasite Plasmodium berghei (Bushell et al., 2017) it has now become possible for the first time to screen systematically for essential sexual stage antigens and evaluate their potential as future vaccine candidates.

Description of tasks

The project aims to identify and characterise new essential surface proteins of Plasmodium transmission stages. You will identify putative new targets through forward genetic screens of candidate genes and use reverse genetics to study their localization, expression timing, abundance and function. Using antibodies raised against native or recombinantly expressed proteins in laboratory transmission assays, you will assess their transmission blocking potential.


You have a PhD in a relevant area such as genetics, genomics, cell and molecular biology or infectious disease research, as well as a proven ability to deliver high-quality scientific outputs. To be eligible you should have completed your PhD degree a maximum of three years before the end of the application period, unless special circumstances exist. You should be able to work as well independently as in a team. You should have a keen interest and sound understanding and proven experience in vaccine research in animal models. You should prove evidence of your ability to test and implement new assays and techniques including their troubleshooting. You need to be willing to undertake research involving animals. You are proficient in oral and written communication in English. You should be able to communicate your science effectively and to develop creative approaches to solving scientific problems.

Good skills in recombinant DNA technologies protein expression and molecular parasitology and a solid understanding and experience in immunology research would be advantages.


The application should include:

  • A personal cover letter explaining why you are interested in the position, how you can contribute to the project and in which direction you may want to develop it (no more than 2 A4 pages).
  • A curriculum vitae that documents academic education and past and previous employments.
  • Your publication list.
  • A copy of the PhD certificate.
  • Names and contact details with e-mail addresses of two to three academic references.
  • Other relevant documentation you wish to include in support of your application.

The application shall be written in English (preferably) or Swedish. You apply through our recruitment system. Log into the system and apply via the button at the bottom of the webpage. The deadline for application is 2018-07-30.

More about us: More information about the department Umeå University wants to offer an environment where open dialogue between people with different backgrounds and perspectives lay the foundation for learning, creativity and development. In each recruitment we aim to increase diversity and the opportunity to affirmative action. We kindly decline offers of recruitment and advertising help.

Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
Contract type Full time
First day of employment 2018-09-01
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100%
City Umeå
County Västerbottens län
Country Sweden
Reference number AN 2.2.1-1088-18
  • Oliver Billker, professor,
Union representative
  • SACO, 090-786 53 65
  • SEKO, 090-786 52 96
  • ST, 090-786 54 31
Published 13.Jun.2018
Last application date 30.Jul.2018 11:59 PM CET

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