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PhD Position – Fetal Programing and Germline Epigenetics in Disease


Karolinska Institutet invites applications for a Ph.D. position that will investigate the effects of fetal programming and germline epigenetics with a focus on disease models including polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and type1 diabetes (T1D) project, at the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Sweden – Nov 2021

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General Info

Position: PhD Position
No. of Positions: 1
Research Field: ,
Deadline to Apply: Expired
Joining Date: ASAP
Contract Period: 4 Years
Salary: According to Standard Norms

Department of Physiology and Pharmacology
Karolinska Institute


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Qualification Details

Eligibility requirements for doctoral education

In order to participate in the selection for a doctoral position, you must meet the following general (A) and specific (B) eligibility requirements at latest by the application deadline.

It is your responsibility to certify eligibility by following the instructions on the web page Entry requirements (eligibility) for doctoral education.

A) General eligibility requirementYou meet the general eligibility requirement for doctoral/third-cycle/PhD education if you:

  1. have been awarded a second-cycle/advanced/master qualification (i.e. master degree), or
  2. have satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the advanced/second-cycle/master level, or
  3. have acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.*

Follow the instructions on the web page Entry requirements (eligibility) for doctoral education.

*If you claim equivalent knowledge, follow the instructions on the web page Assessing equivalent knowledge for general eligibility for doctoral education.

B) Specific eligibility requirement

You meet the specific eligibility requirement for doctoral/third-cycle/PhD education if you:

- Show proficiency in English equivalent to the course English B/English 6 at Swedish upper secondary school.

Follow the instructions on the web page English language requirements for doctoral education.

Verification of your documents Karolinska Institutet checks the authenticity of your documents. Karolinska Institutet reserves the right to revoke admission if supporting documents are discovered to be fraudulent. Submission of false documents is a violation of Swedish law and is considered grounds for legal action.

(A) and (B) can only be certified by the documentation requirement for doctoral education.

Skills and Personal qualities

The candidate we are looking for is highly interested in this PhD project and have a strong motivation to perform high-quality research. Particularly, it is desired that the applicant has a background in relevant subject and has previous research experience in related field. Research experience in basic laboratory techniques including cell culture, molecular biology and data analysis is needed. The candidate must be fluent in English and have excellent writing skills. We are looking for a cooperative candidate who thrives working with others. The candidate will join an enthusiastic, collaborative, hardworking and dynamic team.

Responsibilities/Job Description

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student

The project will investigate the effects of fetal programming and germline epigenetics with focus on disease models including polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and type1 diabetes (T1D). We aim to understand the underlying mechanisms of hyperandrogenism and hyperglycemia on fetal development and future offspring health, with focus on hypoxia signaling pathway in placenta function and organ development.  We aim to investigate different therapeutic interventions and examine the outcomes by different molecular and phenotyping approaches. Moreover, we want to relate our mouse model work with the clinical study aiming to build the relationship between placental function and pregnancy outcomes. The project includes extensive mice work, cell culture and molecular biology skills. Relevant clinical background is a strength.

The student is expected to fulfil the course requirements of the doctoral program, participate in regular group meetings, seminars, present at national/international meetings and take part in routine work within the research team. Most important the student is expected to plan and drive the research projects, perform experiments, analyze and present results.

How to Apply?

Online Application through "Apply Now" Button from this page

Reference Number: STÖD 2-4800/2021
(If any, use it in the necessary place)

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Documents Required

Submit your application and supporting documents through the Varbi recruitment system. Use the button in the top right corner and follow the instructions. We prefer that your application is written in English, but you can also apply in Swedish.

Your application must contain the following documents:

  • A personal letter and a curriculum vitae
  • Degree projects and previous publications, if any
  • Any other documentation showing the desirable skills and personal qualities described above
  • Documents certifying your general eligibility (see A above)
  • Documents certifying your specific eligibility (see B above)


A selection will be made among eligible applicants on the basis of the ability to benefit from doctoral education. The qualifications of the applicants will be evaluated on an overall basis.

Karolinska Institutet uses the following bases of assessment:

  • Documented subject knowledge of relevance to the area of research
  • Analytical skill
  • Other documented knowledge or experience that may be relevant to doctoral studies in the subject.

All applicants will be informed when the recruitment is completed.

About the Research Group

The doctoral project will be conducted in Assoc prof. Qiaolin Deng’s research group with the organizational affiliation to Dept. Physiology and Pharmacology. The major research interests of the group are germ cell biology, developmental programming and epigenetic inheritance of diseases. Our goal is to better understand the causal relationship between uterine environment and fetal development together with offspring’s reproductive and metabolic health. During this process, we focus on epigenetic regulation involved in cell fate specification and maturation with the state-of-the-art technologies.

The group has established several key resources and techniques in the lab including mouse reporter lines, in vitro lentiviral manipulation on human PSC differentiation, single-cell RNA and ATAC-sequencing and LCM-seq that enable us to perform high-throughput genomic and epigenomic studies. We have in-house automated library preparation pipeline and own computational server.

About the Employer: Karolinska Institute (KI)

Terms and Conditions

The doctoral student will be employed on a doctoral studentship maximum 4 years full-time.


A creative and inspiring environment full of expertise and curiosity. Karolinska Institutet is one of the world's leading medical universities. Our vision is to pursue the development of knowledge about life and to promote a better health for all. At Karolinska Institutet, we conduct successful medical research and hold the largest range of medical education in Sweden. As a doctoral student you are offered an individual research project, a well-educated supervisor, a vast range of elective courses and the opportunity to work in a leading research group. Karolinska Institutet collaborates with prominent universities from all around the world, which ensures opportunities for international exchanges. You will be employed on a doctoral studentship which means that you receive a contractual salary. Employees also have access to our modern gym for free and receive reimbursements for medical care.

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Contact details

  • Assoc prof. Qiaolin Deng, qiaolin.deng@ki.se
  • Rebecka Jakobsson, HR-partner, hr@fyfa.ki.se

Union representative

  • Henry Wölling, SEKO, henry.wolling@ki.se
  • Helin Norberg, SACO, helin.norberg@ki.se
  • Niklas Andersson, OFR, niklas.andersson@ki.se

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