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OPEN POSITIONS PhD position in Medical Science - Mucosal crosstalk in IBS

Project title: Mucosal crosstalk at the intestinal barrier in irritable bowel syndrome

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/

Background: Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is considered to be one of the most frequent clinical problems in gastroenterology with an estimated prevalence in the community of between 10 to 25 %. Despite this, effective therapeutic strategies for IBS are limited and there is a clear unmet medical need for treating IBS. The gut microbiota is increasingly being seen as a potential factor in the pathogenesis of IBS. Further, IBS patients have been reported to have a compromised gut barrier and low grade mucosal inflammation, resulting in abnormal motility and visceral hypersensitivity. Human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) reach the large intestine and serve multiple roles including acting as selective substrates for specific bacterial strains, modulation of the immune system and prevention of intestinal pathogens adhesion to epithelial cells. Due to their prebiotic and related anti-infective and anti-inflammatory characteristics, HMOs potentially have a beneficial role in IBS treatment strategies.

Aim: The primary aim of this study is to determine the effects of HMO in the dietary management of IBS patients, with regards to symptoms relief. Further, the effect of HMO supplementation on intestinal microbiota, mucosal immunity and gut barrier function will be explored. The effects will be compared to pre-treatment status and to placebo.

Methods: This PhD project will analyse clinical and experimental data obtained from an ongoing, double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial in adult IBS patients undergoing a four week dietary supplementation of HMO or placebo. Effects of the dietary intervention with HMOs in IBS patients will be determined, especially with focus on effects on patients’ reported symptoms, gut microbiota, immune system and intestinal barrier function. The student will use several experimental laboratory techniques such as 16s microbiota sequencing using Illumina Miseq platform, cultures of primary intestinal cells and gut organoid systems, flow cytometry and PCR arrays and make use of bioinformatics tools.


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.


Time limited employment (temporary), 4 years. Extent: 100%. Location: Sahlgrenska Academy, Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Microbiology and Immunology. 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, Lena Öhman,
+46 (0)31 786 6214, lena.ohman@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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