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Postdoctoral fellow - 3 year position in drug screening using biliary organoids

Deadline: 15.05.2024

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.

Read more here:

Division of Surgery, Inflammatory Medicine and Transplantation - Institute of Clinical Medicine (uio.no)

Job description

Do you want to join our team as a postdoctoral fellow performing clinically highly relevant research on potential novel treatment in bile ducts disease?

We have one position available as a postdoctoral fellow (SKO1352) at the University of Oslo - 3-years engagement – affiliated with The Norwegian PSC Research Center (NoPSC) at the Institute of Clinical Medicine.

We invite applications for a 3-year postdoctoral fellowship for an ambitious researcher with a relevant PhD to further develop our research portfolio related to biliary organoids and related in vitro model systems. In this project, utilizing our world-wide unique biobank resources, we aim to discover and attempt to identify new therapeutic principles to target biliary tract inflammation and cancer, by applying a range of methodologies (e.g. transcriptomics/single-cell sequencing, AI-based image analysis, flow-cytometry, immunohistochemistry etc.) in the context of interventions made to relevant model systems (cholangiocyte organoids and our developing bile-duct-on-a-chip, in particular). Relevant interventions include drug-screening experiments, co-culture experiments and system modifications. The aim is to identify potential drug candidates for chronic inflammatory bile duct diseases and bile duct cancer. The project may also include further work on selected drug candidates in relevant mouse models. The project will be conducted in close collaboration with international networks with expertise on relevant methodological components, and a prerequisite for a successful applicant, is to work at a high-level collaborating institution within Europe for 6-12 months during initial phases of the project (potentially an entity associated with a pharmaceutical company). Our research environment is international, friendly and inspiring, and the position represents a unique opportunity for career development for a hard-working candidate.

More about the position

The Norwegian PSC Research Center (NoPSC) at the University of Oslo is dedicated to research on the chronic liver disease primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), for which affected individuals have a 20% lifetime risk of bile duct cancer. There is currently no effective treatment available for PSC, and is the most important indication for liver transplantation in Norway and the rest of Scandinavia. Advances aiming at the identification of therapeutic strategies for PSC and associated biliary tract cancer will be essential to provide better future patient care, and represent the main objective of the proposed project activities. The project holds innovation-related opportunities, depending on outcomes of planned experiments.

The Norwegian PSC Research Center is one of the world-leading research units for PSC. The center comprises three research groups, and covers a comprehensive, translational research portfolio from basic genomic and experimental studies to clinical trials. Our team counts 35-40 employees from all over the world, spread across four research groups. A successful applicant will be working in the research group of professor Espen Melum, a group which is also affili-ated with the Norwegian Center of Excellence “Hybrid Technology Hub” (Centre for Organ on a Chip-Technology). 

For further info about the research environment please see NoPSC 

The main purpose of the fellowship is to qualify researchers for work in higher academic positions within their disciplines.

Qualification requirements

  • Applicants must hold a relevant PhD, preferably within molecular biology or medicine
  • Experience in relevant laboratory work is a prerequisite, ideally with complex cellular model systems such as organoids
  • Some computing / bioinformatics experience is an advantage, but is not a requirement
  • Experience with animal experiments will be an advantage, but is not a requirement
  • Ability to design, plan and interpret experiments in an independent and innovative way

Personal skills

  • Well organized with high working capacity and productivity
  • Excellent team working skills
  • Strong motivation for a career in science, including project management and scientific writing.
  • Excellent writing and oral communication in English
  • Flexibility allowing for staying 6-12 months at a collaborating laboratory in Europe

Personal suitability for the position will be emphasized.

We offer

  • salary NOK 575 400 – 657 300 per annum depending on qualifications in position as Postdoctoral Research Fellow (position code 1352) 
  • a professionally stimulating working environment
  • attractive welfare benefits and a generous pension agreement, in addition to Oslo’s family-friendly environment with its rich opportunities for culture and outdoor activities

How to apply

The application must include

  • cover letter (statement of motivation, summarizing scientific work and research interest)
  • CV (summarizing education, positions and academic work, and that lists scientific publications)
  • copies of educational certificates (academic transcripts only)
  • a complete list of publications
  • list of reference persons: 2-3 references (name, relation to candidate, e-mail and phone number)

The application with attachments must be delivered in our electronic recruiting system. 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).

In assessing the applications, special emphasis will be placed on the documented, academic qualifications, the project description (whenever this is required in the call for applicants), and the quality of the project as well as the candidates motivation and personal suitability. Interviews with the best qualified candidates will be arranged.

It is expected that the successful candidate will be able to complete the project in the course of the period of employment.

Formal regulations

Please see the guidelines and regulations for appointments to Postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Oslo.

NB! No one can be appointed for more than one Postdoctoral Fellow 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.

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.

Contact information

  • Professor Espen Melum, MD PhD, espen.melum@medisin.uio.no
  • Professor Tom Hemming Karlsen, MD PhD, t.h.karlsen@medisin.uio.no

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