PhD student position in Medical Science with an orientation towards Cognitive Neuroscience 45 views

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Description of the PhD-project

The dopamine D3 receptor is involved in side-effects of L-DOPA treatment in Parkinson’s disease, addictive disorders, and is likely to play an important role in mediating the therapeutic effects of antipsychotic drugs. This doctoral project aims to further our understanding of the differential roles of the various signalling pathways downstream of the D3 receptor.

The project will start off with the development and characterization of a new assay of dopamine D3 receptor activity, in which the recruitment of downstream signalling proteins, such as G proteins, arrestins, and GRK2 to the activated receptor can be studied in transfected cell lines. We will utilize this new assay to study the effects of common human variants of the D3 receptor on the recruitment of these signalling proteins. Furthermore, we will generate and characterize receptor mutants which favour signalling through some downstream proteins, while discouraging the recruitment of others (signalling bias). At a later stage of the doctoral project, depending on the results generated in the initial cell-based experiments, we will study the effects of human receptor variants and/or signalling biased mutants in animal models. Thus, the applicant should be willing to work with animals.


Applicants must

1) hold a University degree of at least 240 ECTS or equivalent or

2) have 120 Swedish (old) credits (Swe. poäng; corresponding to 180 ECTS credits) of higher education studies in the same fields or equivalent taken before July 1, 2007.

Other merits

In addition, the applicant should, through university studies or other equivalent education, have gained basic theoretical knowledge in biomedicine or related fields and have good experience of laboratory work and method development. Applicants with experience in pharmacology research, particularly involving transfection of cell lines, will be prioritized. Experience with bioluminescence- and/or fluorescence-based assays is highly meriting.

Most important, however, is a strong interest in neuropharmacology! The applicant must be able to work both independently and as part of a team, and high focus will be given to the candidate’s potential to work with others and also their ability to write scientific text.

Specific admission requirements

In order to be admitted to postgraduate studies, it is required that the applicant has:

  1. Necessary knowledge from university higher education or corresponding education and/or special professional experience that is assessed in relation to the research area.
  2. Necessary English language skills, both in writing and in speaking. Evaluation of these skills is made by having the intended PhD student present his/her research plan in English for the Department’s designated postgraduate education group.

Further information: Deputy Senior Lecturer Kristoffer Sahlholm,

Start date: 2020-09-15, or upon agreement.

Salary/type of position: Other information:

The procedure for recruitment for the position is in accordance with the Higher Education Ordinance (chapt. 12, 2 §) and the decision regarding the position cannot be appealed.


Dr Kristoffer Sahlholm

Registration number

AN 2.2.1-939-20


Monthly salary

Union representative


090-786 53 65


090-786 52 96


090-786 54 31



Umeå University wants to offer an equal environment where open dialogue between people with different backgrounds and perspectives lay the foundation for learning, creativity and development. We welcome people with different backgrounds and experiences to apply for the current employment. We kindly decline offers of recruitment and advertising help.

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