PhD Fellow in Nuclear Imaging and Atherosclerosis

Deadline: 16.01.2021

UiT The Arctic University of Norway

The Faculty of Health Sciences at UiT The Arctic University of Norway represents a newly created entity gathering almost all possible health study programs. This facilitates an unique interdisciplinarity and innovation in health education and research. We work closely with the services in the North to solve tomorrow's challenges.

Read more about us at uit.no/helsefak

Faculty of Health Sciences / Department of Clinical Medicine

The position

A PhD position is available at the Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences in the field of nuclear imaging for the study of atherosclerotic plagues in small rodents. The position is affiliated to the Nuclear Medicine and Radiation Biology research group (NM&RB), in collaboration with the Natural Product and Medicinal Chemistry research group (NP&MC) at the Department of Pharmacy.

This position is a part of a strategic commitment to increase the knowledge of utilization and general health effects of seafood consumption (SECURE), including mechanistic studies of possible health effects. The PhD position’s work will be carried out at the PETcore, which is an R&D in vivo imaging core facility, and at the laboratories of the NP&MC research group.

The workplace is at UiT in Tromsø. You must be able to start in the position within a reasonable time, 6 months after receiving the offer.

The position is for a period of four years. The nominal length of the PhD program is three years. The fourth year is distributed as 25 % each year, and will consist of teaching and other duties for the Faculty of Health. The objective of the position is to complete research training to the level of a doctoral degree. Admission to a PhD programme is a prerequisite for employment, and the programme period starts on commencement of the position. The PhD candidate shall participate in the faculty’s organized research training, and the PhD project shall be completed during the period of employment. Information about the application process for admission to the PhD programme, application form and regulations for the degree of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) are available at the following address: PhD Health Faculty

The position's field of research and project

The multidisciplinary research project SECURE (“Novel Marine Resources for Food Security and Food Safety”) is looking for a PhD candidate, with a excellent record and experience in the synthesis and testing of new peptides. SECURE is financed by UiT – The Arctic University of Norway and deals with the utilisation of novel marine low trophic level food resources. The overall aim of the project is to develop knowledge enabling sustainable food security and safety by a multidisciplinary approach covering research fields from cardiometabolic health to legal framework.

The PhD candidate will work within an interdisciplinary group in the development and testing of peptides for the early detection of atherosclerotic plaques. He/She will work closely with a researcher, also financed by the SECURE project, in the visualization of cardiovascular disease using mice as animal model. The aim of the project is the development of new radiotracers for in vivo imaging protocols and the detection of atheroma in a mouse model for coronary artery disease.

Research Area

The PhD candidate is expected to create and test a library of peptides with high affinity to the atheroma and fibroatheroma. The best peptides among the tested molecules will become radiotracers for visualization of the atherosclerotic plaque by PET or SPECT molecular imaging. These radiotracers will enable the detection of early vascular wall changes during atherogenesis in small rodents in in vivo settings by the use of PET/SPECT/ CT and MR imaging methods.

This will be done through:

  • Creation of a peptide library with possible affinity to tissue factor (TF; thromboplastin)
  • Creation of a peptide library with possible affinity to foam cells
  • Testing the affinity of the peptides in vitro
  • Stability and affinity in vivo. Validation methods
  • Imaging protocols for PET/SPECT


For further information about the position, please contact:

We offer

  • A good academic environment with dedicated colleagues
  • Flexible working hours and a state collective pay agreement
  • Pension scheme through the state pension fund
  • More practical information for working and living in Norway can be found here: Welcome to UiT!


The candidate should have:

  • Qualification with a Master’s degree in chemistry, protein chemistry or equivalent with an average grade of C or better is required before commencement in the position. If you are near completion of your Master’s degree, you may still apply and submit a draft version of the thesis. You must document completion of your degree before commencement in the position.
  • Documented knowledge of English as stated here is required
  • The suitable candidate must document a good academic record

It will be candidate’s advantage to have:

  • Hands-on experience with peptide synthesis
  • Experience working in a multidisciplinary environment
  • Due to teaching duties, Scandinavian language speaking candidates will be preferred

It is expected that the candidate demonstrates:

Personal suitability will be emphasized. We seek a highly motivated, dynamic and committed candidate. The candidate must have excellent communication and willingness to work with a multidisciplinary, multi-personality team, but must also be able to work independently. The candidate must be open minded and interested in exploring new methodology in the research field.

The position requires admission to the Faculty's PhD programme. Information about requirements is available here: PhD Health Faculty.


The application must be submitted electronically via www.jobbnorge.no and shall include:

  • Cover letter explaining your motivation and research interests
  • CV
  • Diplomas, diploma supplements and transcripts (all degrees) translated to English or a Scandinavian language
  • Documentation on English proficiency
  • Written references
  • Contact information to 1-3 references
  • Master thesis, and any other academic works that you wish us to take into consideration in the assessment

The documentation has to be in English or a Scandinavian language.

About the research groups

NM&RB research group is a multidisciplinary team organized at the Department of Clinical Medicine (IKM) at the Faculty of Health Science in UiT-The Arctic University of Norway and tightly connected to the Tromsø PET imaging center (PET-center) at University Hospital of North Norway (UNN). At the PET-center, there are appr. 40 employees, and the environment is highly multidisciplinary. The center counts with a cyclotron for the generation of radionuclides, state-of-the-art equipment for the production of radiotracers, new equipment for small animal in vivo imaging and clinical positron emission tomography (PET), single photon emission tomography (SPECT), computer tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance (MR) scanners.

The PETcore performs tracer developing studies, establishes imaging methods, as well as participates in study design, performance and data analysis of molecular in vivo imaging. It possesses a three-modality scanner (PET/SPECT-CT); an image guided mouse irradiator, containing a bioluminescence-imaging unit, and a new preclinical PET/ 7T MR scanner. All the imaging equipment mentioned is located behind animal barriers in the department of Comparative Medicine (AKM). AKM is a research department at the Faculty of Health Science approved by the authorities in order to establish and use animals in biomedical research. AKM and the PETcore serve users from the entire UiT, from UNN and from other research institutions in the region. The employee will work closely together with the PETcore employess at the PET-center and AKM.

NP&MC research group designs and synthesizes peptides and peptidomimetics with antimicrobial, antibiofilm and anticancer activity, inspired by antimicrobial peptides and marine natural products. In addition, the group performs lead-compound identification, structure activity-relationship studies and mode-of-action studies. Among the equipment own by the research group there is an automatic microwave assisted peptide synthesizer.

General information

The appointment is made in accordance with State regulations and guidelines at UiT. At our website, you will find more information for applicants.

As many as possible should have the opportunity to undertake organized research training. If you already hold a PhD or have equivalent competence, we will not appoint you to this position.

A shorter period of appointment may be decided when the PhD Fellow has already completed parts of their research training programme or when the appointment is based on a previous qualifying position PhD Fellow, research assistant, or the like in such a way that the total time used for research training amounts to three years.

Remuneration for the position of PhD Fellow is in accordance with the State salary scale code 1017. A compulsory contribution of 2 % to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund will be deducted.

A good work environment is characterized by diversity. We encourage qualified candidates to apply, regardless of their gender, functional capacity or cultural background. UiT will emphasize making the necessary adaptations to the working conditions for employees with reduced functional ability.

We process personal data given in an application or CV in accordance with the Personal Data Act (Offentleglova). According to Offentleglova information about the applicant may be included in the public applicant list, also in cases where the applicant has requested non-disclosure. You will receive advance notification in the event of such publication, if you have requested non-disclosure.

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