Umeå University (UmU)

Post-doctoral fellowship (2 years) in NMR based structure and mechanisms of designed proteins in cancer treatment

Umeå University (UmU)

Umeå, Sweden

The Department of Chemistry at Umeå university is offering a two-year postdoctoral scholarship within the project “NMR based structure and mechanisms of designed proteins in cancer treatment”. The scholarship is full-time for two years with starting date June 1st, 2023 or per agreement.

Project description

The research is aiming to understand the mechanism through which a designed protein interacts with the extracellular domain of the HER3 (human epidermal growth factor 3) receptor. The expression of HER3 is upregulated in breast cancer and is, therefore, relevant for targeted cancer treatment. In the long term, the aim is to develop a new line of therapy in breast cancer treatment. The research is a collaboration with the group of Sophia Hober at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm. A binder with nano-molar Kd to the HER3 receptor has been developed by the Hober lab and the binder is made tunable through a designed metal dependency. In the project, the candidate will explore the mechanism whereby the (small ~6 kDa) designed protein interacts with the HER3 target only in the presence of bound metal. The approach will be determination of structures and dynamics from solution state NMR spectroscopy complemented with other biophysical insights (from ITC and CD spectroscopy).

The fellowship recipient will predominantly be placed at the NMR facility in Umeå, but the candidate can (depending on interests) also visit KTH for periods. Umeå University presents fantastic opportunities in structural biology, and we have state-of-the-art instrumentation in NMR spectroscopy, cryoEM, x-ray crystallography and computational structural biology. Biomolecular NMR will be performed at our 600 and 850 MHz Bruker spectrometers. The integrated structural biology (ISB) community in Umeå is a collaborative environment consisting of 19 groups (and more than 100 participants) that meet regularly for seminars and joint research activities ( Umeå university has a vibrant postdoctoral community called the “Umeå Postdoc Society” and the society welcomes new members to regular carrier promoting activities ( The research in the group of Magnus Wolf-Watz is aimed at understanding how protein dynamics contributes to the function in human cancer, bacterial infectivity, biotechnology and basic enzymology. For more information, please visit the home page The research in the group of Sophia Hober is focusing on the development of protein based high-affinity binders with tunable affinity. These are aimed for use in diagnostics and therapeutics within cancer and inflammatory diseases. The use puts high demands on the binders regarding specificity and affinity. Further, therapeutics with a tunable binding, would have an increased efficacy and also the therapeutic window will be decreased, allowing lower doses and thereby less adverse effects. We are welcoming candidates that want to develop their skills and, at the same time, contribute to our collaborative environment.

The fellowship covers full-time studies for two years starting on June 1, 2023, or by agreement. The fellowship amount is SEK 336,000 per year and the project is financed by the Kempe Foundations.


To qualify as a postdoctoral scholarship holder, the postdoctoral fellow is required to have completed a doctoral degree or a foreign degree deemed equivalent to a doctoral degree. This qualification requirement must be fulfilled no later than at the time of the decision about scholarship recipient. Priority should be given to candidates who completed their doctoral degree, according to what is stipulated in the paragraph above, no later than three years prior. If there are special reasons, candidates who completed their doctoral degree prior to that may also be eligible. Special reasons include absence due to illness, parental leave, appointments of trust in trade union organizations, military service, or similar circumstances, as well as clinical practice or other forms of appointment/assignment relevant to the subject area. The doctoral degree must be within NMR spectroscopy (liquids or solids) applied to biological macromolecules. Peer reviewed research article(s) in the areas are of particular importance. The successful candidate is, in addition, expected to have strong skills in written and spoken English. You take responsibility, are driven and enjoy collaborating across disciplines.


A full application should include:

  • Cover letter in which you clearly state why you apply to the fellowship and how previous research experiences fits to the scholarship, also include your more long-term carrier goals,
  • Curriculum vitae (CV) with publication list,
  • Verified copy of doctoral degree certificate or documentation that clarifies when the degree of doctor is expected to be obtained,
  • Verified copies of other diplomas, list of completed academic courses and grades,
  • Other documents that the applicant wishes to claim,
  • Contact information to two persons willing to act as references.

Submit your application as a PDF marked with the reference number FS 2.1.6-151-23, both in the file name and in the subject field of the email, to The application can be written in English or Swedish. Application deadline is 7 March 2023.

Further information

Further details are provided by Magnus Wolf-Watz (

More about the employer

The Department of Chemistry ( has around 200 employees with three major research areas, Biological Chemistry, Environmental and Biogeochemistry and Technical Chemistry. The Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2020 was awarded to Emmanuelle Charpentier, who discovered CRISPR-Cas9 at Umeå University.

We look forward to receiving your application!

Apply with CV and Cover Letter

Must be a .doc, .docx, or .pdf file and no larger than 1MBMust be a .doc, .docx, or .pdf file and no larger than 1MB

Post-doctoral fellowship (2 years) in NMR based structure and mechanisms of designed proteins in cancer treatment