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OPEN POSITIONS PhD position in Medical Science - Glycopeptides and diagnosis of emerging viruses

Project title:O-GalNAc glycopeptide epitopes: A novel target for serodiagnosis of emerging virus infections.

Job assignments

General information about third-cycle studies: The PhD education in Medical Science corresponds to studies of 240 credits in total. The studies are equivalent to four year full-time and lead to a Degree of Doctor. The studies comprise carrying out a scientific project and completing at least 30 credits of courses at third-cycle level. The doctoral student must also write a scientific compilation thesis or monograph corresponding to at least 120 credits. For more information about third-cycle studies at Sahlgrenska Academy, see http://sahlgrenska.gu.se/english/doctoral-student-portal/from-admission-to-defending-your-thesis/phd-subjects/

Project: Several serious viral diseases, including emerging Zika and Dengue infections, may escape detection even by the most sensitive molecular diagnostic methods. The viral genomes are only diagnostically available in patient specimens within a narrow time window; delayed patient sampling means false negative. However, the diagnostic time window may be expanded by efforts to detect the long-lasting specific antibodies induced by virus infection using serological methods. But many emerging viruses will cross-react serologically with previous passed infections by related viruses, obscuring interpretation of the results.

This is because the targets for serology, the viral envelope glycoproteins, yet display disturbing cross reactivity. However, certain viral envelope glycoproteins contain potentially ideal target epitopes, because they react with the patient antibodies with high specificity and virus selectivity. But these epitopes are not available for the current serology procedures, because they will only bind to cognate antibodies provided they are equipped with a specific glyco-chemical signature, characteristic for the virus-infected tissue of the patient. Current procedures therefore ignore those antibodies of the patient, being to most valuable for adequate serological diagnosis.

The aim of the current project is to apply these methods on emerging viruses, thereby accomplishing a novel virus selective serological procedure.

The PhD student will apply recently developed methods to (i) identify the relevant glyco-chemical signatures and (ii) based on these results, create synthetic virus antigens with the relevant patient glyco-chemical signatures, prerequisites for selective serology, distinguishing antibodies to different closely related viruses without cross-reactivity. The project contributes to enhancing the preparedness as to the increased threat posed by exotic emerging virus infections because of the current climate change.


To be eligible for third-cycle studies, the applicant must meet both the general and specific entry requirements.

A person meets the general entry requirements for third-cycle studies if he or she:
1. has been awarded a second-cycle qualification
2. has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second-cycle, or
3. has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad

A person meets the specific entry requirements for third-cycle studies if he or she: has successfully completed the English B/6 course or is considered to have acquired equivalent knowledge through previous studies


In selecting between applicants who meet the general and specific entry requirements, their ability to benefit from third-cycle studies shall be taken into account. The assessment shall attach particular importance to documented qualifications for:
- specific knowledge and skills within the subject area and related research fields
- experience of scientific theory and relevant research methodology
- scientific analysis and presentation verified through thesis, degree project, scientific journals or the like.

A documented experience of working with viruses in cell culture combined with skills in Glycobiology methods is considered as a merit for the position.


Time limited employment (temporary), 4 years. Extent: 100%. Location: Sahlgrenska Academy, Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Infectious Diseases. First day of employment: as agreed.

Regulations for employment of doctoral students are given in SFS 1998:80. Only those who are admitted to third-cycle studies may be appointed to doctoral studentships. Those appointed to doctoral studentships shall primarily devote themselves to their studies. They may, however, work to a limited extent with educational tasks, research and administration according to the regulations.

The initial appointment may apply for no longer than one year. An appointment may be renewed for no more than two years at a time. The total employment period may not exceed the time corresponding to full-time third-cycle studies for four years.

Salaries for doctoral students are regulated in a local agreement at the University.

For further information regarding the position

For more information about the project please contact the project supervisor Sigvard Olofsson,
+46 (0)31 342 4659, sigvard.olofsson@gu.se

For more information regarding PhD education at Sahlgrenska Academy visit http://sahlgrenska.gu.se/english/doctoral-student-portal/


Union representatives at the University of Gothenburg: http://www.gu.se/english/about_the_university/job-opportunities/union-representatives

How to apply

In order to apply for a position at the University of Gothenburg, you have to register an account in our online recruitment system. Attach verified copies of your education and English proficiency proving your eligibility. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the job advertisement, and that it is submitted before the deadline. The selection of candidates is made on the basis of the qualifications registered in the application.

Closing date 2017-11-22

The University of Gothenburg promotes equal opportunities, equality and diversity.

Applications will be destroyed or returned (upon request) two years after the decision of employment has become final. Applications from the employed and from those who appeal the decision will not be returned. 

The University of Gothenburg tackles society’s challenges with diverse knowledge. 38 000 students and 6 000 employees make the university a large and inspiring place to work and study. Strong research and attractive study programmes attract scientists and students from around the world. With new knowledge and new perspectives, the University contributes to a better future.

In connection to this recruitment, we have already decided which recruitment channels we should use. We therefore decline further contact with vendors, recruitment and staffing companies.

Page Manager: rekrytering@gu.se|Last update: 2/23/2017

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