Faculty of Medicine, Department of Experimental Medical Science

Lund University was founded in 1666 and is repeatedly ranked among the world’s top universities. The University has around 45 000 students and more than 8 000 staff based in Lund, Helsingborg and Malmö. We are united in our efforts to understand, explain and improve our world and the human condition.

Lund University welcomes applicants with diverse backgrounds and experiences. We regard gender equality and diversity as a strength and an asset.

Description of the workplace 

We seek a highly motivated  postdoctoral researcher to be based in the Molecular Biophysics Group within the Biomedical Centre (BMC) in the Medical Faculty of Lund University, led by Professor Trevor Forsyth. The project will be carried out in close collaboration with CureVac in Germany, and with the Institut Laue Langevin  in France. CureVac is a leading global clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of new classes of drugs based on the use of messenger RNA (mRNA) technologies. The basic principle is the use of this molecule as a data carrier for information that enable the body to make its own prophylactic and therapeutic drugs. The ILL is the most intense neutron source in the world and holds a leading position for neutron science in life sciences, soft condensed matter, and hard condensed matter.

This new group at Lund is located in a thriving scientific environment within the Medical Faculty, with good access to state-of-the-art facilities both within the Medical Faculty and to the Science and Engineering faculties. The group also has a close relationship to the nearby MAX-IV synchrotron radiation source, and the ESS neutron beam facility, as well as to a wide range of other facilities to which Sweden subscribes including the ILL and the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in Grenoble, France. Professor Forsyth is also the Director of the LINXS Institute for Advanced Neutron and X-ray Science (read more here ) in Sweden; LINXS provides a fertile base for cross-disciplinary interactions in the Life Sciences, Soft Condensed Matter, and Hard Condensed Matter and shares common interests for the exploitation of the Swedish research infrastructures.

Duties and responsibilities

The work will focus on the structural characterization of mRNA lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) using a range of biophysical techniques including small-angle X-ray and neutron scattering (SAXS/SANS), selective deuteration approaches, and electron microscopy. We seek to develop an advanced structural characterization and modelling of mRNA LNPs with the goal of connecting subtle changes in the internal structure of LNPs with their pharmaceutical stability (i.e. shelf life at ultralow temperatures)  and in vivo efficacy.  Whereas these connections have been well stablished for many therapeutic proteins; there are only emerging for mRNA vaccines. The structural details of the conformational state of the mRNA and the lipids within LNPs and its biological and pharmaceutical consequences are critical to develop of better vaccines for the future.

As a postdoctor your work resposibilities will include but not be limited to

  • Carry out sample preparation, data collection, and analysis work as agreed during regular collaboration meetings with the Lund/CureVac/ILL groups.
  • Participate in common laboratory tasks within the research group as part of normal day-to-day operations in a team-driven laboratory environment.
  • The work is likely to require travel to/from CureVac in Germany, ILL in France, and other centres as needed for the project.
  • It may also require attendance at national and international conferences as agreed with the supervisory team.

Other information

The position is full-time for two years, with the possibility of a one-year extension to a total of three years. Desired start date is December 1th 2022 or by agreement. 

Appointment to the position of postdoc requires that the applicant has a PhD or an international degree deemed equivalent to a PhD, within the subject of the position, completed no more than three years before the application deadline. Under special circumstances the PhD can have been completed previous to the aforementioned three years.

Terms of employment

This is a full-time, fixed-term employment. A postdoctoral fellow is employed under a period
of at least two years and at most three years. The period of employment is determined in accordance with the agreement “Avtal om tidsbegränsad anställning som postdoktor-2022-02-01” (“Agreement on fixed-term employment as a post-doctoral fellow, 2022-02-01”)

Type of employment Temporary position
Contract type Full time
First day of employment 2022-12-01
Salary Månadslön
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100 %
City Lund
County Skåne län
Country Sweden
Reference number PA2022/2888
  • Trevor Forsyth, 046-2220000
  • Maria Palmkron, personalsamordnare, 046-2224076
Union representative
  • OFR/ST:Fackförbundet ST:s kansli, 046-2229362
  • SACO:Saco-s-rådet vid Lunds universitet, 046-2229364
  • SEKO: Seko Civil, 046-2229366
Published 07.Sep.2022
Last application date 09.Oct.2022 11:59 PM CEST

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