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OPEN POSITIONS PhD position in Medical Science - The role of striatal circuits in addictive disorder

Project title: Rewiring of striatal circuits elicited by drugs of abuse

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/

Substance use disorders cause immense suffering and impact society on multiple levels. Available interventions are limited, and it is thus pivotal to find new effective treatment approaches for drug abuse and addiction. We hypothesize that maladaptive recruitment of integrative circuits coursing through the striatum promotes drug-seeking and drug-taking behavior. Published and ongoing research from our preclinical laboratory show that drugs of abuse produces an assembly of neuronal transformations (observed as changes in firing frequency, spine density and receptor densities) in the dorsomedial part of the striatum (DMS), a brain region associated with goal-directed behavior. Following protracted drug-use these neuroadaptations are progressively transferred and stored in the dorsolateral striatum (DLS), a brain region linked to automatic and habitual responses. We hypothesize that these progressive transformations, in which neuroadaptations are relocated between striatal subregions, reflect a rewiring of striatal circuits. We also postulate that striatal rewiring drives the transition from recreational drug use towards compulsive drug intake.

This PhD-student project aims to outline the processes underlying these characteristic temporal and spatial neuroadapations, define interventions to prevent or reverse established rewiring, and delineate behavioral correlates of established neuroadapations. The PhD student will learn different behavioral models, ex vivo electrophysiology (field potential recordings and whole cell recordings), and molecular biological techniques. These methods will be combined with chemogenetic and optogenetic approaches. The project will be performed at the Addiction Biology Unit, which is a large center with several PIs performing their independent line of research, thereby providing scientific, and educational support from other PhD students and PIs in the group. In addition, two laboratory technicians will be available to assist the PhD student.


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.

Previous expertise using any of the following techniques will be advantageous: electrophysiology, behavioural studies (rodent), voltametry, microdialysis, DREADDs, optogenetics.


Time limited employment (temporary), 4 years. Extent: 100%. Location: Sahlgrenska Academy, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry. 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 Louise Adermark, +46 (0)31 786 3975, louise.adermark@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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