Doctoral student to the Division of Clinical Geriatrics

Karolinska Institute Stockholm
January 05, 2023
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Do you want to contribute to top quality medical research?

To be a doctoral student means to devote oneself to a research project under supervision of experienced researchers and following an individual study plan. For a doctoral degree, the equivalent of four years of full-time doctoral education is required.

The research group

The Division of Clinical Geriatrics, with over 100 employed and affiliated researchers are located both in Neo, Campus Flemingsberg and in the Q-building in Solna. We conduct research focusing on cognitive impairment, dementia, and other aging related disorders, and education, among other medical graduates. Our research is multi-faceted and is in close collaboration with leading institutions and clinics worldwide. The research is clinically oriented with an emphasis on diagnosis, prevention and treatment. The division has a close cooperation with Theme Inflammation and Ageing at Karolinska University Hospital.

The Nordberg lab at the division of Clinical Geriatrics with over 15 members with multi-disciplinary background has extensive experience in neuroimaging research with a special focus on the translational development of novel ligands for PET imaging that could help us understand the molecular underpinnings driving neurodegenerative diseases. We aim to develop new diagnostic markers and drug targets for early intervention during the disease process of neurodegenerative disorders. The lab is located in the Neo building at KI Campus Flemingsberg. The main supervisor of this PhD position is Konstantinos Chiotis (MD, PhD; Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska University Hospital) and co-supervisors Agneta Nordberg (MD, PhD, professor; Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska University Hospital), Konstantinos Poulakis (PhD, Karolinska Institutet) and Antoine Leuzy (PhD, Lund University). The constellation of supervisors is characterized by complementary expertise and longstanding experience in biomarker development and statistics. Expertise within the lab: in vitro development of PET tracers, quantification of in vivo PET data, clinical experience in Geriatrics and Neurology, long experience with biofluid and cognitive markers, and neuropathology. We work also closely with external collaborators that have unique expertise, such as the PET center at Uppsala University and the neurochemistry lab at Gothenburg University.

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student

The doctoral student project is entitled “ Tracking the interplay between protein deposition and neuroinflammatory response in dementia disorders as measured with multimodal imaging and biofluid markers ”.

Background : Dementia disorders are associated with the accumulation in the brain of protein aggregates (e.g., amyloid-beta and tau aggregates), neuroinflammation, neuronal death and heterogeneous rates of cognitive decline. However, the interplay leading to dementia remains unclear and there is an absence of markers for the accurate diagnosis of the underlying cause of dementia and for prognosis in terms of disease progression. Recent evidence from our group has shown that neuroinflammation and protein aggregation (as measured with neuroimaging Positron Emission Tomography; PET and biofluid plasma and cerebrospinal fluid; CSF markers) are key in the development of dementia disorders and have potential as clinical diagnostic and prognostic markers.

Aims : The development of imaging and biofluid biomarkers for protein aggregates and neuroinflammation, which would allow us to 1) detect earlier and with higher accuracy the cause of dementia disorders, and 2) understand the heterogeneity among patients with the same or different dementia diagnosis in terms of clinical presentation and disease progression.

Methods : Multi-modal imaging data (PET and MRI) from local and international cohorts are going to be used to address the aims, together with bio-fluid (CSF and plasma) and cognitive measures. For a subset of individuals there is available extensive neuropathological evaluation. The studies will involve for the doctoral student neuroimage data processing, handling of clinical data, statistical analyses of the association between clinical data, neuroimaging, biofluid and autopsy measures. A special focus in these analyses will be on statistical analyses including longitudinal modeling, clustering techniques, group comparisons and correlation analyses.

Significance : Multi-modal imaging studies, in conjunction with biofluid biomarkers and autopsy data in the same patients, provides a unique platform for evaluating and validating new biomarkers, and elucidating the underlying interplay between protein aggregation and neuroinflammation in different dementia disorders. This will allow us to bring the markers closer to clinical routine for improving the diagnostic certainty and prognosis, enriching clinical trials, and monitoring the effect of disease modifying therapies.

Responsibilities : The student will be responsible for neuroimage processing, statistical analyses, the drafting of manuscripts, and reporting the results in conferences. The student will have an active role in the coordination of the collaboration with the partner Universities. The education involves apart from local PhD courses, international courses for neuroimaging data processing and statistical analyses for enriching the student's knowledge in the latest methods. Furthermore, active participation of the student is expected in monthly journal clubs and neuroimaging seminars, and weekly seminars on Alzheimer's disease.

What do we offer?

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.

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 requirement

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

  • have been awarded a second-cycle/advanced/master qualification (i.e. master degree), or
  • 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
  • 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

    Prerequisites:

  • - Background in computational science, neuropsychology, statistics, medicine or related field
  • - Documented hands-on experience in pre-processing of neuroimage data (i.e., MRI, PET)
  • - Documented experience of handling clinical data
  • - Good statistical knowledge
  • - Excellent social and collaborative skills are very important since the applicant will work closely with other members of the research team and collaborators
  • - Research experience with aging and/or neurodegenerative diseases
  • Merits

  • - Previous scientific publications and/or presentations at international conferences
  • - Documented experience with software for neuroimaging data processing (i.e., SPM, Freesurfer, FSL)
  • - Documented experience with software for statistical analyses (i.e., SPSS, R).
  • - Documented scripting experience (i.e., Matlab, R, bash, python).
  • Terms and conditions

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

    Application process

    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)

    Selection

    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.

    https: // staff.ki.se/people/konstantinos-chiotis

    https: // ki.se/en/nvs/nordberg-translational-molecular-imaging-lab

    Want to make a difference? Join us and contribute to better health for

    all

    Type of employment PhD placement
    Contract type Full time
    First day of employment According to the agreement
    Salary Monthly salary
    Number of positions 1
    Full-time equivalent 100
    City Stockholm
    County Stockholms län
    Country Sweden
    Reference number STÖD 2-4623/2022
    Contact
    • Konstantinos Chiotis, 0720-392450
    Union representative
    • Henry Wölling, SEKO, henry.wolling@ki.se
    • Carina Eklund, OFR, 08-58582665
    • Taher Darreh-Shori, SACO, taher.darreh-shori@ki.se
    Published 14.Dec.2022
    Last application date 05.Jan.2023 11:59 PM CET

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