Doctoral Student In Medical Science - B Cells In Neoehrlichia Mikurensis Infection

Göteborg University
June 15, 2023
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
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Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
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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: Protective and pathologic B-cell responses in Neoehrlichia mikurensis infection

The Department of Infectious Diseases is located at the Institute of Biomedicine at the Faculty of Medicine at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg.

General information about being a doctoral student at the University of Gothenburg can be found on the university's doctoral student pages https: //


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.

Project Background: Our group described one of the first cases of human infection with a previously unknown tick-borne bacterial species, N. mikurensis, 13 years ago. Our theory is that the bacteria give rise to latent infections of the vascular endothelium, which can become symptomatic when B-cell defenses decline. Chronic activation of B-cells may lead to autoimmunity and/or malignant transformation of B cells. We have recently published a study launching the hypothesis that N. mikurensis can cause malignant B-cell lymphomas.

Goals: To increase the knowledge on protective and pathologic B-cells responses evoked by N. mikurensis infection. To determine the origin and maturational grade of lymphoma B-cells from infected patients, and to assess if they are antigen-dependent, i.e., driven by bacterial or endothelial antigens. To identify bacterial antigens recognized by antibodies and the protective antibody isotypes for development of high-throughput antibody diagnostic methods for N. mikurensis. This is required to determine the prevalence of N. mikurensis in different patient and population groups, the cut-off antibody levels for when a latent infection reactivates, and the specificity of antibodies produced by lymphoma B-cells.

Project design: Mononuclear cells from patients with malignant B-cell lymphomas, with and without N. mikurensis infection, are stimulated with bacterial and endothelial antigens and phenotyped regarding 23 different B-cell markers, and the generated multiparameter data is analyzed by Helios mass cytometry and cluster analyses. Comparisons are made with the B- and T-cells responses evoked by the infection in patients with normal immune defenses and without malignant B-cell lymphoma. In silico analyses of the N. mikurensis genome, bacterial extracts, and recombinant bacterial proteins and peptides are employed to develop high-throughput antibody diagnostics for N. mikurensis. The image flow cytometry method for antibody analysis is used for comparison.

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, or 2. 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.

Assessment criteria

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.


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 Biomedicine, Department of Infectious Diseases. Extent: 100%. First day of employment: as agreed.

The University applies a local agreement on salaries for doctoral students.

Contact information

For more information about the project please contact:

Principal supervisor Christine Wennerås, Professor, Institute of Biomedicine, e-mail: [email protected]

Assistant supervisor Christine Lingblom, Associate professor, Institute of Biomedicine, e-mail: [email protected]


Union representatives at the University of Gothenburg can be found here: https: // www.


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
  • 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, 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. requirements/english-language-requirements/

    Applications must be received by: 2023-06-15

    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:

    https: // www. https: // www.

    The University works actively to achieve a working environment with equal conditions, and values the qualities that diversity brings to its operations.

    Salaries are set individually at the University.

    In accordance with the National Archives of Sweden's regulations, the University must archive application documents for two years after the appointment is filled. If you request that your documents are returned, they will be returned to you once the two years have passed. Otherwise, they will be destroyed.

    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.

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