Postdoctoral position in Infection Biology

Umea University
December 08, 2022
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:fixed-term position
Working Time:Full time
Working type:N/A
Job Ref.:N/A
Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten

Umeå University is one of Sweden's largest institutions of higher education with over 37,000 students and 4,800 faculty and staff. We are characterised by world-leading research in several scientific fields and a multitude of educations ranked highly in international comparison. Umeå University is also the site of the pioneering discovery of the CRISPR-Cas9 genetic scissors - a revolution in genetic engineering that has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

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The Faculty of Medicine, which consists of 13 departments, is responsible for biomedical research and courses in the field of nursing and health care and has an extensive research and graduate education in more than 80 subjects.

We are looking for a postdoctoral fellow to the Department of Molecular Biology, Umeå University, Sweden. Using genetic, molecular and biochemical experiments, you will study infection biology in Borrelia spirochetes. Understanding the interplay between Borrelia spirochetes and surface molecules of cells on the human host. Characterization of the functional domains of the outer membrane protein in Borrelia spirochetes. The position is full time for a maximum of 2 years, with a starting date of January 1st 2023 or as agreed.

Description of the project

This project includes the development of experimental models to understand the virulence properties of various outer surface proteins using different molecular, biochemical and biophysical techniques. The project aims to investigate outer surface properties on Borrelia spirochetes using genetics and biophysics as tools to decipher the host/parasite interactions during Lyme and relapsing fever borreliosis.

Work responsibilities

The overall aim of this project is to gain increased knowledge on the biology and virulence properties of Borrelia spirochetes. We will further investigate membrane architecture, structure and function of outer surface proteins of Borrelia spirochetes with the aim to characterize proteins important for virulence. Borrelia spirochetes binds to several integrins, which are mammalian cell-surface receptors that are key to signaling between the extracellular and intracellular environments. Integrins are critical to diverse functions including maintenance of tissue integrity and participating in the immune response.

The planned Postdoc project has two main parts:

1) Membrane structure and function of Borrelia spirochetes. The critical gaps that remain in our knowledge of the mechanisms that Borrelia spirochetes uses to cause infection are manifold. Further studies on the membrane architecture of Borrelia involve i) a proteomic approach to identify the proteins in the B. burgdorferi s.l. outer membrane. ii) Protein EM and electron crystallography will be used to investigate the membrane architecture of the borrelial outer surface. iii) Pore forming activity, substrate specificity and structure of P66; A particular Bb protein that is essential to the ability of the bacterium to cause infection in mice, but not in ticks, is P66 (also termed OMS66).

2) Bioinformatic analysis of genes important for borrelial stress response and complement system evasion.


A person who has been awarded a doctorate or a foreign qualification deemed to be the equivalent of a doctorate in Molecular Biology, Microbiology or biochemistry is eligible for appointment as postdoctoral researcher. This eligibility requirement must be met no later than the time at which the appointment decision is made.

The applicant must have documented (i.e. published) experience of biochemical and genetic work as well as experience in growing and handling of Borrelia spirochetes. Knowledge of biophysical analyses of outer membrane proteins in Borrelia burgdorferi in general and particular knowledge on handling of lipid bilayer technology is important. The applicant must also have documented experience in next generation sequencing techniques, including RNA extraction, library construction, bioinformatics and statistical analysis.

Additional useful qualifications

Since appointment as a postdoctoral researcher is a career-development position for junior researchers, we are primarily interested in applicants who completed their doctoral degree no more than three years before the application deadline. If there are special reasons, an applicant who has completed their degree earlier than that may be considered. Special reasons include absence due to illness, parental leave, clinical practice, appointments of trust for a trade union organisation or other similar circumstances, and for relevant duties/assignments within the subject area.

More information about the position

The appointment is a full-time, fixed-term position for a two years in accordance with the terms of contract for fixed-term employment as a postdoctoral researcher from 1 February 2022.

More information about the group's research can be found on our website https:// www.



The application must include:

  • A brief description of your research interests and a statement describing why you are interested in the position.
  • CV
  • List of publications
  • Degree certificate from doctoral studies and other relevant degrees
  • Contact details of two reference persons
  • The application must be written in Swedish or English. The application must be made via our e-recruitment system Varbi and must be received latest December 8th 2022.

    We look forward to receiving your application!

    Umeå University strives 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.

    Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months

    Contract type Full time First day of employment January 1st 2023 or as agreed Salary Monthly salary Number of positions 1 Full-time equivalent 100% City Umeå County Västerbottens län Country Sweden Reference number AN 2.2.1-1782-22 Contact

  • Sven Bergström,
  • Jan Larsson,
  • Union representative

  • SACO, 090-7865365
  • SEKO, 090-7865296
  • ST, 090-7865431
  • Published 18.Nov.2022 Last application date 08.Dec.2022 11:59 PM CET

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