Doctoral Student in Medical Science
University of Gothenburg Institute of Medicine

Doctoral student in Medical Science - Epigenetic control in T cells during arthritis

Diary id:PAR 2020/854
Employment level:Fixed term
Location:Institute of Medicine
Apply by:2020-08-17

Project title: Chromatin interactions of survivin in cellular pathology and therapy response in RA

Job assignments

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

Project: In rheumatoid arthritis, RA, the immunological tolerance is severely hampered. The importance of epigenetic factors in this process has however not been studied to any larger extent. One important epigenetic control point is the modification of histones, around which the DNA is winded. These modifications determines cell-type specific gene expression pattern and cellular identity.

Survivin is a small protein which belongs to the family of apoptosis inhibitors. It has been widely studied as an oncoprotein expressed in solid tumors, where in healthy tissues, survivin expression is essential for cell renewal and differentiation, being consistently expressed in for example thymocytes, and hematopoietic progenitors and stem cells in the bone marrow. In the context of RA, survivin is important for formation of functional T and B cells, and for the process of antigen presentation. Measurement of serum-survivin assists the early recognition of RA patients with poor prognosis, and there is an association between survivin and a progressive joint damage and a low rate of treatment response. We have recently described a new cellular function of survivin, namely control of transcription and miR biogenesis.

The aim of this project it to study the chromatin associations of survivin in CD4 T cells of RA patients, aiming to understand its role in regulation of T helper subsets maturation and its relevance for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Specific aims are (a) to study localization of chromatin-bound survivin in CD4 cells and to co-localize with histone modifications, DNA methylation and transcriptional profile; (b) to study changes in chromatin-bound survivin in relation to interferon-gamma signaling in CD4 T cells of RA patients; (c) to study how treatment with JAK-inhibitors changes chromatin binding and function of survivin in RA patients.  

Third-cycle studies are equivalent to four year full-time and lead to a Degree of Doctor. Those appointed to doctoral studentships shall primarily devote themselves to their studies. Those appointed to doctoral studentships may, however, work to a limited extent with educational tasks, research and administration (departmental duties). Before a PhD degree has been awarded, duties of this kind may not comprise more than 20 per cent of a full-time post.


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 in Medical Science 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.

Documented experience of cell biology and laboratory work is a merit, as well as bioinformatics and statistical analysis.
Good collaboration and communication skills are desirable.


After admission to third-cycle studies you will be appointed to doctoral studentship. Regulations for employment of doctoral students are given in SFS 1993:100. 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. A person may be appointed to a doctoral studentship for a total of eight years. The total employment period may, however, not exceed the time corresponding to full-time third-cycle study for four years.

Location: Sahlgrenska Academy, Institute of Medicine, Department of Rheumatology. Extent: 100%. First day of employment: as agreed.

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 principal supervisor, 
Maria Bokarewa, Professor, Institute of Medicine, e-mail: 


Union representatives at the University of Gothenburg:

Information for International Applicants

Choosing a career in a foreign country is a big step. Thus, to give you a general idea of what we and Gothenburg have to offer in terms of benefits and life in general for you and your family/spouse/partner please visit:

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. 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.

You must include the following, in pdf format

  • Personal letter
  • CV
  • 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, check what you need to submit at where you can also see what you need to submit in order to fulfill the English language requirement.

  • 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.

Closing date: 2020-08-17

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.

If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Medicinoxy


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