Doctoral Student In Medical Science - The Cholinergic Anti-Inflammatory Pathway And Its Role In Atherosclerosis

Göteborg University


June 14, 2022


The University of Gothenburg tackles society's challenges with diverse knowledge. 56 000 students and 6 600 employees make the university a large and inspiring place to work and study. Strong research and attractive study programmes attract scientists and students from around the world. With new knowledge and new perspectives, the University contributes to a better future.

Doctoral position in Medical Science

Project title: The cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway and its role in atherosclerosis

The Department of Physiology is located at the Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology at the Faculty of Medicine at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg. The Department conducts research within the area of physiology. Several projects involve a close collaboration with the Sahlgrenska University Hospital. We offer undergraduate courses as parts of study programs in Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Speech and language pathology, Dental hygiene, Occupational therapy, Physiotherapy and the bachelor program of Cognitive Science. The research groups at the Department represent a broad range of research areas within the field of physiology.

General information about being a doctoral student at the University of Gothenburg can be found on the university's doctoral student pages: https: //


The PhD education in Medical Science comprises carrying out a scientific project and completing at least 30 credits of courses at third-cycle level. The doctoral student must also write a scientific compilation thesis or monograph corresponding to at least 120 credits. For more information about third-cycle studies at Sahlgrenska Academy, see https: // www.

Project: Cardiovascular disease, manifested as myocardial infarction and/or stroke, is the leading cause of mortality and morbidity globally. The underlying factor for cardiovascular disease is usually atherosclerosis. Inflammation is central in cardiovascular disease, not only for the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis, but also in complications following atherosclerosis, for example during and after embolus/thrombus formation, i.e. myocardial infarction. Autonomic dysfunction is a well-known risk factor for cardiovascular disease, yet, the mechanisms linking autonomic dysfunction to atherosclerosis remain elusive.

In this PhD project we address the interaction between autonomic nervous system function and inflammation, focusing on cholinergic alpha 7 nicotinic receptor (a7nR) signaling and identification of the mechanisms of a7nR action and the mediation of its anti-inflammatory effects. By combining experimental models and human material we will identify the mechanisms whereby the α7nR modulates inflammation and thereby influences the development of atherosclerosis. In sum, focusing on the role of α7nR in atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease is a novel and unique approach for addressing the pathogenesis of this disease. This research program will lead to better understanding of the pathology of atherosclerosis, thus, potentially enabling new preventive and therapeutic treatment strategies. We are looking for an ambitious candidate, with a interest in characterizing and defining the role of the a7nR in cardiovascular disease. As a PhD student you are expected to develop ideas and independently plan, organize and conduct the planned studies, as well as, analyze and communicate your results both orally and in writing. You need to be able to work independently as well as be able to collaborate with others. Considerable weight will be put on flexibility and personal suitability.

Education at third-cycle level comprises four years of full-time study, and leads to a doctoral degree. As part of your employment as a doctoral student, you may have departmental duties corresponding to up to 20 % of full-time employment, distributed throughout your study period. Departmental duties usually consist of teaching at first- and second-cycle levels, but may also include research and administration.


Education at third-cycle level requires general eligibility and specific eligibility as set out in the general syllabus for the subject.

The general eligibility requirements for education at third-cycle level are: 1. having completed a degree at second-cycle level, or 2. the fulfilment of course requirements totalling at least 240 credits, of which at least 60 credits must be at second-cycle level, or 3. the acquisition of equivalent knowledge in some other way, either in Sweden or abroad.

Specific entry requirements for this subject, according to the general syllabus, are: having completed the English B/6 course or is considered to have acquired equivalent knowledge through previous studies.

Assessment criteria

The selection of applicants who are considered to have the ability required to benefit from the study programme and who meet the general and specific eligibility requirements are assessed based on the following documented qualifications: - specific knowledge and skills within the subject area and related research fields - experience of scientific theory and relevant research methodology - scientific analysis and presentation verified through thesis, degree project, scientific journals or the like.

Documented qualifications within physiology, pharmacology, molecularbiology and/or immunology is a merit, as well as experience in in vivo and in vitro work, protein analysis (including Western blot, immunohistochemistry/fluorescence, ELISA/Luminex, flow cytometry etc), gene expression analysis (genotyping, real-time PCR, ddPCR etc). Experience in handling large data sets and statistical software (SPSS and/or R) is a merit.


Once you have been admitted for education at third-cycle level, you will be employed as a doctoral student at the University of Gothenburg. The provisions for employment as a doctoral student can be found in ordinance SFS 1993:100. Initial employment as a doctoral student may apply for a maximum of one year, and may be renewed by a maximum of two years at a time. A doctoral student may be employed as a doctoral student for a maximum of eight years, but the total period of employment may not be longer than the equivalent of full-time education at third-cycle level for four years.

Location: Sahlgrenska Academy, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Physiology. Extent: 100%. First day of employment: as agreed.

The University applies a local agreement on salaries for doctoral students.

Contact information

For more information about the project please contact the principal supervisor, Maria Johansson, Associate Professor, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, phone: +46-31-7863556, e-mail:

For additional information about the research group and their research interest, please see Cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway and its role in cardiovascular disease University of Gothenburg (


Union representatives at the University of Gothenburg can be found here: https: // www.


You can apply to be admitted for education at third-cycle level via the University of Gothenburg's recruitment portal. It is your responsibility to ensure that the application is complete as per the vacancy notice, and that the University receives it by the final application deadline.

You must include the following, in pdf format

  • Personal letter
  • CV
  • Diploma and transcripts showing that you meet with the general entry requirement
  • Proof of completion of English 6 course or the acquired equivalent knowledge through previous studies
  • If your degree is from a university outside of Sweden, make sure that you attach a diploma and full transcripts that makes assessing your degree easier .

    If your degree has not been verified by a Swedish authority you need to provide contact details to the issuing university, registrar or similar, that can verify the degree at our request.

    For information on what you need to submit in order to fulfill the English language requirement see https: // www. requirements/english-language-requirements/

    Applications must be received by: 2022-06-14

    Information for International Applicants

    Choosing a career in a foreign country is a big step. Thus, to give you a general idea of what we and Gothenburg have to offer in terms of benefits and life in general for you and your family/spouse/partner please visit:

    https: // www. https: // www.

    The University works actively to achieve a working environment with equal conditions, and values the qualities that diversity brings to its operations.

    Salaries are set individually at the University.

    In accordance with the National Archives of Sweden's regulations, the University must archive application documents for two years after the appointment is filled. If you request that your documents are returned, they will be returned to you once the two years have passed. Otherwise, they will be destroyed.

    In connection to this recruitment, we have already decided which recruitment channels we should use. We therefore decline further contact with vendors, recruitment and staffing companies.

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