PhD position CRISPR-antiviral

Company

Biomedrex

Job type

Contract

Application deadline

Dec. 15, 2021

Location
Stockholm
Sweden

The company
Biomedrex is a start-up company developing antivirals using CRISPR-technology. The company is located at Ana Futura, at Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. The company consists of a multidisciplinary and multinational team of scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs. The R&D is led by Dr Marjo Puumalainen.

The academic research group
The department of Laboratory medicine is located at Ana Futura, a new interdisciplinary research centre designed to concentrate much of the experimental research conducted at Karolinska Institutet Campus Huddinge under one roof to promote collaboration.
The Mirazimi lab, led by Professor Ali Mirazimi, is performing top notch research on pathogenic viruses with focus on virus-cell interactions, vaccine development and antiviral development.

The doctoral student project
This PhD project is funded by SSF Industrial PhD project (read more: https://strategiska.se/app/uploads/sites/2/id21_en.pdf) and supervised by Professor Mirazimi and Dr Puumalainen. The project will be centered around the newly developed CRISPR-crRNA complex targeting SARS-CoV-2 in various models. The project’s three work packages aim to 1) characterize CRISPR complexes against live SARS-CoV-2 in human cells, 2) understand the efficacy of CRISPR complexes against a number of SARS-CoV-2 variants and combination treatments and 3) profile the cytotoxic effect of CRISPR complexes in cells and animal models. The ultimate aim of this project is to understand how Cas13b-crRNA complexes can be used to target RNA viruses and shed light into toxicity concerns, contributing to the development of novel antivirals against emerging viruses.

What do we offer?
A creative and inspiring environment full of expertise and curiosity and a combination of industrial and academic environments. Over the course of the project, the PhD candidate will strengthen their research skills with the aim to become an independent researcher familiar to work both in industrial and academic environments. At the beginning of the project, the candidate will fill in a competence development plan, as all staff members at Biomedrex, that is in line with the research plan and follows KI’s “Outcomes for Doctoral Degree” guidelines. It also includes soft skills such as data documentation, scientific writing, project management and presentation skills.

The detailed learning outcomes based on the proposed research project in the laboratory include cell culture in pre-GMP facility, industry standard assay development, image-based screening, data analysis, BSL2 and BSL3 work with SARS-CoV-2 and a number of cell biological methods. In addition to research activities, the candidate will attend KI’s PhD courses, will have some teaching responsibilities and will be an active member of scientific communities by attending and presenting at national and international conferences. By writing scientific publications, a half-time review and thesis, the student will gain experience in scientific writing. Together these activities will train a researcher with a broad skill set in biomedical science valuable for many companies and universities.

Karolinska Institutet is one of the world's leading medical universities with a vision to pursue the development of knowledge about life and to promote better health for all. At Karolinska Institutet, we conduct successful medical research and hold the largest range of medical education in Sweden. As a doctoral student you are offered an individual research project, a well-educated supervisor, a vast range of elective courses and the opportunity to work in a leading research group. Karolinska Institutet collaborates with prominent universities from all around the world, which ensures opportunities for international exchanges. The candidate will be employed at Biomedrex which means that you receive a contractual salary and benefits. KI students also have access to a modern gym.

The duties of the doctoral student
To be a doctoral student means to devote oneself to a research project under supervision of experienced researchers and following an individual study plan. The candidate will be a member of the science team at Biomedrex. For a doctoral degree, the equivalent of four years of full-time doctoral education is required.

Skills and personal qualities
We are looking for a candidate with a master's degree in biosciences. Experience in cell culture and molecular biology methods are compulsory and laboratory work in biosafety level 2/3 laboratories is a merit. The candidate should have a strong interest in infectious diseases, innovative technologies and drug discovery. Working proficiency in English is compulsory. The candidate needs to be a strong team player, organized and hard working.

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