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PhD Research Fellow in DNA repair and telomere stability in cancer

Deadline: 21.04.2024

Institute of Clinical medicine, Division of Laboratory medicine, Department of Microbiology

Universitetet i Oslo

The University of Oslo is Norway’s oldest and highest ranked educational and research institution, with 28 000 students and 7000 employees. With its broad range of academic disciplines and internationally recognised research communities, UiO is an important contributor to society.

The Institute of Clinical Medicine (Klinmed) is one of three institutes under the Faculty. Klinmed is responsible for the Faculty's educational and research activities at Oslo University Hospital and Akershus University Hospital. With about 800 employees spread over approximately 425 man-labour years, Klinmed is the university's largest institute. Our activities follow the clinical activity at the hospitals and are spread across a number of geographical areas.

Job description

Position as PhD Research Fellow in telomere stability and cancer available at the Department of Microbiology, Division of Laboratory Medicine, Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of OsloUniversity of Oslo.

The intended last starting date is June 1st , 2024 or as soon as possible. The fellowship period is 3 years.

More about the position

development of cancer requires pre-cancerous cells to evolve ways to circumvent the limited replicative lifespan of human somatic cells. In up to 80–90% of cancers this is mediated by overexpression of the telomerase multiprotein-RNA complex, which elongates chromosomal ends using an RNA template.

Although targeting the telomerase pathway is a promising strategy for cancer treatment, to date, no pharmacological options for disrupting oncogenic telomerase activity have been approved for regulatory use, despite significant advancements in this field. However, we have recently demonstrated that deficiency specific DNA damage proteins leads to defects in RNA quality control, which affects the stability of the telomerase RNA-component, conferring telomere dysfunction and cellular growth arrest. The key knowledge need is to translate this finding into a therapeutic application.

The main objectives of this phd-project are:

(i) Optimization of small molecule inhibitors;

(ii) In vitro validation of improved molecules;

(iii) Inhibition of cancer cell growth in cells;

(iv) in vivo validation using a mouse model.

The PhD Research Fellow will be part of a small international project team, which includes molecular-, and cell- biologists, representing a diverse array of expertise.

The research fellow must take part in the Faculty’s/ Department’s approved PhD program and is expected to complete the project within the set fellowship period. The main purpose of the fellowship is research training leading to the successful completion of a PhD degree.

Qualification requirements

  • Master degree or equivalent in Biology/ molecular/cell/cancer biology demonstrating experience relevant to the project. Grade A will be prioritized The Master’s degree must include a thesis of at least 30 ECTS
  • Well documented hands-on experience in cell culture
  • Well documented hands-on experience in CRISPR Cas9 including design and downstream quality control
  • Well documented hands-on experience in a good range of molecular biological techniques (PCR, RT-qPCR, WB)
  • Well documented hands-on experience in Drug sensitivity assays
  • Basic knowledge and some hands-on experience with SeaHorse methods
  • Basic knowledge and some hands-on experience with Chromatin immunoprecipitation
  • Basic knowledge and some hands-on experience with protein purification
  • Fluent oral and written communication skills in English 

Desired qualifications

The ideal candidate should also have one or more of the following qualifications:

  • Documented experience from experimental cancer research, ideally related to DNA repair
  • Microscopy
  • Crystallography

Personal skills

  • High motivation with the ambition to gain new insights and publish papers in leading, international journals
  • Good interpersonal skills and the ability to work as part of a team, as well as independently

We offer

  • Salary NOK 532 200 – 575 400 per annum depending on qualifications and seniority as PhD Research Fellow (position code 1017)
  • Attractive welfare benefits and a generous pension agreement
  • Vibrant international academic environment at the department of microbiology
  • Career development programmes
  • Oslo’s family-friendly surroundings with their opportunities for culture and outdoor activities

How to apply

The application must include

  • Cover letter - statement of motivation and how their research interests correspond to the announced position
  • CV (summarizing education, positions and academic work - scientific publications)
  • Copies of the original Bachelor and Master’s degree diploma and transcripts of records
  • Documentation of English proficiency if applicable
  • List of publications and academic work that the applicant wishes to be considered by the evaluation committee
  • Names and contact details of 2-3 references (name, relation to candidate, e-mail and telephone number)

The application with attachments must be delivered in our electronic recruiting system, please follow the link “Apply for this job”. Foreign applicants are advised to attach an explanation of their University's grading system. Please note that all documents should be in English (or a Scandinavian language).

Interviews with the best qualified candidates will be arranged.

Contact information

  • Nicola Montaldo, phone: +47 45394916, e-mail: n.p.montaldo@medisin.uio.no

For questions regarding Jobbnorge, please contact: HR Adviser Mija Nikolaisen, email: mija.nikolaisen@medisin.uio.no

Formal regulations

Please see the guidelines and regulations for appointments to Research Fellowships at the University of Oslo.

No one can be appointed for more than one PhD Research Fellowship period at the University of Oslo.

According to the Norwegian Freedom of Information Act (Offentleglova) information about the applicant may be included in the public applicant list, also in cases where the applicant has requested non-disclosure.

The appointment may be shortened/given a more limited scope within the framework of the applicable guidelines on account of any previous employment in academic positions.

The University of Oslo has an agreement for all employees, aiming to secure rights to research results etc.

Inclusion and diversity are a strength. The University of Oslo has a personnel policy objective of achieving a balanced gender composition. Furthermore, we want employees with diverse professional expertise, life experience and perspectives.

If there are qualified applicants with disabilities, employment gaps or immigrant background, we will invite at least one applicant from each of these categories to an interview.

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