Doctoral Student in Bone Biology

Solna, Sweden
30 Nov 2018
End of advertisement period
20 Dec 2018
Academic Discipline
Life sciences, Biological Sciences
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Karolinska Institutet,

The Department of Laboratory Medicine consists of 6 divisions and is active in many areas of Laboratory Medicine. The department is involved in advanced basic scientific, clinical and epidemiological research. The department is one of the largest departments of education at Karolinska Institutet.

We are recruiting a doctoral (PhD) student. For more information regarding doctoral education at Karolinska Institutet (KI), see:

Research group

We are seeking a highly motivated and ambitious individual to join Division of Pathology, Department of Laboratory Medicine, Flemingsberg, Karolinska Institutet as a doctoral student to develop a 3D in vitro-model for inflammatory osteolysis and to develop clinical diagnostics for periprosthetic inflammations and infections that may cause implant failure if allowed to proceed.

Dr. Tuomas Näreoja was recently provided starting grants from Swedish Research Council and Jane and Aatos Erkko foundation and is currently establishing his research group at the Karolinska Institute. The main research focus of Dr. Näreojas’s group is to understand signaling in bone remodeling, osteoclast function and inflammatory bone resorption and osteolysis. The group’s long-term aim will be to screen better small molecule drugs for osteoporosis; detect and alleviate inflammatory bone resorption; and to produce bone for applications in regenerative medicine. Dr. Näreoja’s current work focuses on pre-clinical in vitro studies on communication between bone resorbing osteoclasts (OC), osteocytes (OY) inhabiting channels inside bone and bone mineralizing osteoblasts (OB) as they remake bone; and clinical studies to develop diagnostics of inflammatory osteolysis.

The doctoral education project and the duties of the student

The primary aims of the proposed project are to

  • further develop this model to include OYs, OBs and OCs or foreign body giant cells (FBGC), and functionalization. We will differentiate the OYs and OBs from mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) from adipose origin and OCs or FBGC from monocytes in buffy coats and compare the resulting changes in signaling and mineralization efficacy. The co-cultures are then stimulated with pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines to model inflammatory conditions that cause osteolysis.
  • Develop a method to simulate physical loading in the in vitro model.

We develop an immunoassay panel to detect monocytes developing to FBGCs and promoting aseptic implant surface inflammation and leading to bone loss and ultimately implant loosening. The biomarker discovery will build on the in vitro –model where monocytes will be differentiated to OCs, activated to M1 or M2 macrophages in presence of foreign materials used on implants.

Validate these biomarkers of bone remodeling and inflammation in serum and synovial fluid of patients with known conditions.

The overreaching goal for the project is to identify inflammatory osteolysis and differentiate between periprosthetic joint infection and prosthetics associated osteolysis.

Entry requirements for doctoral education at KI

In order to participate in the selection for a doctoral position at Karolinska Institutet, the following requirements have to be met:

General entry requirements

  • A person meets the general entry requirements for doctoral/third-cycle/PhD education (according to
  • Higher Education Ordinance Chapt 7, section 39) if he/she:
  • has been awarded advanced/second-cycle/master qualification (i.e. master degree) or
  • has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second-cycle/master level, or
  • has acquired substantially equivalent konwledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.

Specific entry requirements

We are seeking a highly talented and enthusiastic doctoral candidate with a M.Sc. degree and a background in bone biology and documented experience in cell culture, in vitro –model development, experience in microscopy and immunoassay development. Knowledge in bone remodeling, osteoclastogenesis, OB differentiation OB-OC – coupling and osteocyte cultures is preferable. State-of-the-art experience in immunoassay development is a merit.

Proficiency in English equivalent to the course English B/English 6 at Swedish upper secondary school is an entry requirement for doctoral education at KI. Applicants who meet the general entry requirements (1 or 2 above) from a university in one of the Nordic countries has met the requirements in English.

Follow the link below for information on how other applicants can certify their English proficiency (such as through IELTS or TOEFL, previous upper secondary or university level studies).

For more information regarding general and specific entry requirements, please see:

Skills and personal qualities

The successful candidate should be self-motivated and able to keep herself/himself informed on developments of the relevant research field, and also, have excellent interpersonal and communication skills, organizational skills, and the ability to work productively and dynamically in a team. Applicant must be able to integrate well into the group and international and multidisciplinary research environment as a whole.

Excellent knowledge of spoken and written English is a requirement.

The selected candidate will work in close collaboration with other members of the team, hence emphasis is put on personal suitability.

Terms and conditions

The doctoral student will be employed on a doctoral studentship (Sw: doktorandanställning) during the 4 years doctoral education.

Application process

The application and supporting documents are to be submitted through the Varbi recruitment system.

An application must contain the following documents in Swedish or English:

  • A personal letter describing the candidates motivation to proceed with the aforementioned project (1 A4)
  • A complete curriculum vitae
  • Documents certifying the entry requirements*: Academic degree diplomas, transcripts of records, and if applicable, authorised translations
  • Copies of degree projects and any previous publications
  • Proof of English proficiency
  • Any other documentation showing the desirable skills and personal qualities described above
  • Names and contact details of two persons familiar with the applicant’s research and training and are able to provide a letter of reference.

*All documents certifying the entry requirements must be scans of originals (scans of copies or certified copies will not be accepted). The scanned documents must be in color and both the front and the back of the documents must be scanned. Please note that there are specific documentation requirements for a number countries, please read the instructions at:

If an applicant claims equivalent konwledge (point 3 under general entry requirements above) for the eligibility assessment, a form has to be filled in and submitted. Please find more information here:

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.

KI 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.
  • Academic merits
  • Personal suitability

The selection process will include several steps. The most suitable applicants will proceed to the next step which includes personal interviews. All applicants will be informed when the recruitment is done.

Research environment

At Division of Pathology, the groups are part of a highly interactive research environment within bone biology, cancer research and regenerative medicine. The Department of Laboratory Medicine consists of 9 divisions and is active in many areas of Laboratory Medicine. The department is involved in advanced basic scientific, clinical and epidemiological research. The department is one of the largest departments of education at Karolinska Institutet. The department is also tightly connected with clinical researchers and healthcare teams at several departments of the Karolinska University Hospital, which allows for translational research involving clinical material and the potential to bring new therapies from bench to bedside. The facilities at Laboratory Medicine offer state-of-the art cell culture, molecular biology, flow cytometry and microscopy facilities. Our vision is for the department's research to promote human health. This research often leads to new diagnostic methods, clinical practices or to new treatments.

Karolinska Institutet is one of the world’s leading medical universities. Its vision is to significantly contribute to the improvement of human health. Karolinska Institutet accounts for the single largest share of all academic medical research conducted in Sweden and offers the country’s broadest range of education in medicine and health sciences.

The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet selects the Nobel laureates in Physiology or Medicine.

Pursuant to the regulations of the Swedish National Archives, applications are kept on file for two years after the appointment has gained legal force. The regulations do not apply to attachments that have been printed or otherwise published.

Karolinska Institutet strives to provide a workplace that has approximately the same number of women and men, is free of discrimination and offers equal opportunity to everyone.

For temp agencies and recruiters, and to salespersons: We politely, yet firmly, decline direct contact with temp agencies and recruiters, as well as those selling additional job announcements.

Type of employment PhD placement
Contract type Full time
First day of employment Snarast enligt överenskommelse
Salary Månadslön
Reference number 2-6737/2018


Tuomas Näreoja, 08-5248000

Union representative

Carina Eklund, OFR, 08-5248000
Emilie Hultin, Annica Lindkvist, SACO, 08-5248000
Karin Olsson, SEKO, 08-5248000

Published 29.Nov.2018
Last application date 20.Dec.2018 11:59 PM CET