Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology

Umeå University is dedicated to providing creative environments for learning and work. We offer a wide variety of courses and programmes, world leading research, and excellent innovation and collaboration opportunities. More than 4 300 employees and 33 000 students have already chosen Umeå University. We welcome your application!

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 transmission of malaria parasites to their mosquito vectors is absolutely dependent on the sexual reproduction of the parasite in the mosquito midgut. However, much of the underlying biology is poorly understood. With the advent of genetic screening technology in the rodent model parasite Plasmodium berghei (Bushell et al., Cell, 2017), it has now become possible for the first time to screen systematically for essential gene functions in transmission. Following our recent identification of a transcriptional master regulator of transmission (Sinha et al., Nature, 2014), this project aims to uncover the molecular mechanisms of sex determination and sexual differentiation which are critical to the spread of these important pathogens.

Description of tasks: You will develop assays to identify Plasmodium fertility genes through genome scale genetic screens. By combining reverse genetics with a range of microscopic and biochemical assays (RNAseq, single cell transcriptomics, proteomics, microscopy, ChIP-seq) you will for the first time reveal molecular mechanisms of life cycle progression in a malaria parasite.

Essential qualifications

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 exists. You should be able to work as well independently as in a team. You should have a keen interest and sound understanding of molecular and cell biology. There should be evidence of your ability to test and implement new assays and techniques including their troubleshooting, and you should have excellent skills in recombinant DNA technologies. 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.

Experience analyzing large data sets would be an advantage, as well as an understanding of programming and analysis software such as R, perl or python. A background in malaria research or with rodent models of disease would be highly desirable, but not essential, as would be knowledge, skills and experience in molecular parasitology and genomics.


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 2.2.1-1089-18
  • 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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