Ref PAR 2023/619
The University of Gothenburg tackles society’s challenges with diverse knowledge. 56 000 students and 6 600 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.
Doctoral position in Medical Science
Project title: Development of next-generation probiotics from the human gut micribiota
The Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, is located at the Institute of Medicine at the Faculty of Medicine at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg. Our primary research focus is on metabolism, diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease. We support and promote research and teaching in translational medicine to improve health and to benefit society.
General information about being a doctoral student at the University of Gothenburg can be found on the university’s doctoral student pages https://medarbetarportalen.gu.se/doktorand/?languageId=100001&skipSSOCheck=true
The PhD education in Medical Science comprises 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 https://www.gu.se/en/sahlgrenska-akademin/doctoral-studies
Project: The human body is colonized by trillions of microorganisms that cover all surfaces. The types and numbers of microorganisms differ at different body sites where they form specific communities (microbiota). The gut is host to the most densely populated microbiota and is dominated by selected Bacteria from a small number of phyla but with high diversity at species and strain level. Our knowledge of the gut microbiota has greatly expanded over the last three decades, and it is now clearly recognized that the gut microbiota affects the regulation of both immune and metabolic functions. Indeed, alterations to the gut microbiota have been found in different diseases including type 2 diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, intestinal bowel diseases and certain types of cancer. Advances in DNA sequencing techniques have shown that the gut microbiota is diverse and that a part of this diversity is lost in disease. In particular, the gut microbiota associated with human metabolic diseases has reduced levels of propionate and butyrate producers, with anti-inflammatory properties, such as Akkermansia muciniphila, Faecalibacterium prausnitzii and Christensenella minuta. However, sequencing studies also show that a number of intestinal bacteria associated with human health, that are found in lower abundances in metabolic diseases, remain uncharacterized (e.g., members of the Christensenellaceae and Erysipelotrichaceae), and overall 70% of the microbial species in the gut microbiota lack cultured representatives. Through optimization of culturing methods, we have isolated bacterial species from 87% of the genera identified to date in the human gut microbiota, including the extremely oxygen sensitive F. prausnitzii and rare bacteria in Erysipelotrichaceae. The major unmet challenge of gut microbiota research is to move from descriptive associative studies to the development of microbiota-based therapeutics using the knowledge gathered by us and others. Therefore, our goal in this PhD project is to isolate and characterize bacteria from the human gut microbiota, focusing on Christensenellaceae and C. minuta, which can be used as next-generation probiotics.
Education at third-cycle level comprises four years of full-time study, and leads to a doctoral degree. As part of your employment as a doctoral student, you may have departmental duties corresponding to up to 20 % of full-time employment, distributed throughout your study period. Departmental duties usually consist of teaching at first- and second-cycle levels, but may also include research and administration.
Education at third-cycle level requires general eligibility and specific eligibility as set out in the general syllabus for the subject.
The general eligibility requirements for education at third-cycle level are: 1. having completed a degree at second-cycle level, or2. the fulfilment of course requirements totalling at least 240 credits, of which at least 60 credits must be at second-cycle level, or 3. the acquisition of equivalent knowledge in some other way, either in Sweden or abroad. Specific entry requirements for this subject, according to the general syllabus, are: having completed the English B/6 course or is considered to have acquired equivalent knowledge through previous studies.
The selection of applicants who are considered to have the ability required to benefit from the study programme and who meet the general and specific eligibility requirements are assessed based on the following documented qualifications:- 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.
It it desirable that the PhD student has significant experience in microbiology and documented experience of culturing and isolation of strictly anaerobic bacteria. It is a merit to have worked with fecal anaerobic bacteria, especially using Coy chambers, and have experience in preparing and developing culture media as well as in analysis of 16S rRNA gene profiles and bacterial genomes.
Once you have been admitted for education at third-cycle level, you will be employed as a doctoral student at the University of Gothenburg. The provisions for employment as a doctoral student can be found in ordinance SFS 1993:100. Initial employment as a doctoral student may apply for a maximum of one year, and may be renewed by a maximum of two years at a time. A doctoral student may be employed as a doctoral student for a maximum of eight years, but the total period of employment may not be longer than the equivalent of full-time education at third-cycle level for four years.
Location: Sahlgrenska Academy, Institute of Medicine, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine. Extent: 100%. First day of employment: as agreed.
The University applies a local agreement on salaries for doctoral students.
For more information about the project please contact the principal supervisor, Fredrik Bäckhed, Professor, Institute of Medicine,e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Union representatives at the University of Gothenburg can be found here: https://www.gu.se/om-universitetet/jobba-hos-oss/hjalp-for-sokande
You can apply to be admitted for education at third-cycle level via the University of Gothenburg’s recruitment portal. It is your responsibility to ensure that the application is complete as per the vacancy notice, and that the University receives it by the final application deadline.
You must include the following, in pdf format
- Personal letter
- Diploma and transcripts showing that you meet with the general entry requirement
- Proof of completion of English 6 course or the acquired equivalent knowledge through previous studies
If your degree is from a university outside of Sweden, make sure that you attach a diploma and full transcripts that makes assessing your degree easier.
If your degree has not been verified by a Swedish authority you need to provide contact details to the issuing university, registrar or similar, that can verify the degree at our request.
For information on what you need to submit in order to fulfill the English language requirement see https://www.universityadmissions.se/en/entry-requirements/english-language-requirements/
Applications must be received by: 2023-06-15