Umeå University, Medicinska fakulteten

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 4 000 employees and 30 000 students have already chosen Umeå University. We welcome your application!

The Faculty of Medicine, which consists of 13 departments, is responsible for biomedical research and courses in the field of nursing and health care and has an extensive research and graduate education in more than 80 subjects.

Description of the PhD-Project:

The aim of the project is to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms of nerve/tumor interactions during tumor progression.

During tumor progression nerves and tumors interact resulting in tumor cells using nerves as a metastatic route out of the organ, through a process called perineural invasion (PNI). While this is robustly documented at a histological level, the molecular mechanisms underlying this, remain poorly understood. You will join an interdisciplinary collaborative team focusing on the signaling between nerves and tumors, leading to provocation of nerve plasticity (such as growth and remodeling) and tumor metastasis via nerves. You will engage a systematic strategy to identify these mechanisms by (i) examining how nerves form/grow/remodel and migrate normally during embryo development and (ii) pathologically in tumor models with an initial focus on pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC).

The long-term goal of this work is to generate knowledge in order to minimize the influence of nerve/tumor interactions during disease progression.


By the time of PhD admission applicants must: Hold a university degree of at least 240 ECTS or equivalent or, have 120 Swedish (‘old system’) credits (Swe. poäng; corresponding to 180 ECTS credits) of higher education studies in the same fields or equivalent taken before July 1, 2007.

Specific admission requirements:

In order to be admitted to doctoral education, it is required that the applicant has:

1. Necessary knowledge from higher education or corresponding education and/or special professional experience that is assessed in relation to the research area.

2. Necessary language skills in English, concerning both verbal and written skills. Assessment of these skills is done by the intended doctoral student presenting his/her research plan in English to the department’s doctoral education group.


Preference will be given to candidates that can demonstrate the following:

1. Gained a basic theoretical knowledge in one or more of the following areas: medicine, biology, neuroscience, developmental biology, cancer biology, physiology, anatomy, cell biology or molecular biology (for example by a degree in this area).

2. Research laboratory experience for example Masters thesis work, laboratory internship experience or work as a technician, project assistant or equivalent.

3. Demonstrated skills/aptitudes/characteristics important for success of the project including a high level of motivation and commitment, a good aptitude/skills towards laboratory work and the willingness to learn. The applicant must also be organized, rigorous and be able to work both independently and as part of a team. The applicant can demonstrate these skills/aptitudes/characteristics for example by documented experiences and through references.

4. Experience in the research area of the PhD or any techniques used in the project including imaging, cell culture, tumour migration assays, vertebrate embryonic model systems - especially mouse handling and genetics, chick or mouse embryo electroporation and /or neurite outgrowth assays tumour biology, molecular biology techniques, tissue dissection, tumour models, histological techniques, anatomical tracing will be viewed favourably although full training will be given.

Important for your application is that:

1. In your cover letter (not more than 1.5 A4 pages) you explain clearly and succinctly your suitability for the position in relation to the above qualifications, requirements, and merits.

2. Include a short (2 A4 pages) CV.

3. Contact information for three referees should be included in your application, at least one of which should be a former laboratory supervisor.

Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
Contract type Full time
First day of employment As soon as possible
Salary The position is for four years with monthly salary according to local agreements
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100%
City Umeå
County Västerbottens län
Country Sweden
Reference number AN 2.2.1-1186-18
  • Universitetslektor Sara Wilson,
Union representative
  • SACO, 090-786 53 65
  • SEKO, 090-786 52 96
  • ST, 090-786 54 31
Published 18.Jun.2018
Last application date 24.Aug.2018 11:59 PM CET

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