Umeå University (UmU)

Postdoctoral research fellowship (2 years) on mechanisms of autophagy

Department of Chemistry, Umeå University

Umeå, Sweden

Umeå University offers exciting research opportunities in an excellent environment. The Department of Chemistry has around 200 employees. The Department is located within the cross-disciplinary Chemical Biological Centre (; video: at Umeå University and provides excellent facilities and state-of-art equipment and platforms in a creative, inspiring, international and highly interactive environment.

Facilities include Protein Expertise Platform, X-ray, Proteomics, NMR (850-400 MHz), Cryo-EM and Biochemical Imaging Centre (confocal, FLIM, spinning disk, TIRF, STORM). The recent breakthrough researches from Umeå University include deciphering the molecular mechanisms of the bacterial CRISPR-Cas9 system and repurposing it into a tool for genome editing.

Project description
Autophagy is an evolutionarily conserved self-eating process mainly purposed to eliminate or recycle dysfunctional cellular organelles or unused proteins. Autophagy plays an important role in physiology including development and ageing and has been associated with diverse human diseases including cancer, neurodegeneration and pathogen infection. Autophagy modulation is implicated in the treatment of diseases such as neurodegeneration and cancer. Despite extensive work, the mechanisms of autophagosome formation and autophagy regulation are not yet well established.

Using a combination of cell biology, structural biology and chemical genetic approaches, we have elucidated fundamental mechanisms underlying autophagosome formation. Our laboratory has elaborated a novel mode of action for virulent bacteria (Legionella) against host autophagy (eLife 2017). We have identified novel chemotypes for autophagy modulation and new cellular targets involved in new mechanism of autophagy regulation (Angew Chem 2017, Nat Chem Biol 2019). This project will combine cell biological, biochemical, and novel chemical and chemo-optogenetic approaches to understand the mechanism of autophagic membrane morphogenesis and bacterial interaction with host autophagy. The techniques used in the project include cell imaging, western blotting, knock-out/down, analysis of cellular phenotypes, protein expression and purification, biochemical and structural characterization.

The project is funded by European Research Council (ERC) and the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation (KAW). The project is interdisciplinary with strong collaborations across scientific disciplines. The fellowship is for 2-years tax-exempt with start as soon as possible. The stipend is 282 000 SEK per year.

The required qualification is a doctoral degree or a foreign degree that is deemed equivalent, in cell biology, biochemistry, chemical biology, or in another relevant field. Priority should be given to candidates who have completed their doctoral degree no more than three years before the closing date of the application, unless special circumstances exist.

The successful candidate is expected to design and execute projects independently but also in close collaboration with other members of the team, independence and good ability to collaborate are therefore requirements. Good command of written and spoken English is also a requirement.

Experiences in cell imaging, western blotting, siRNA, CRISPR-Cas, protein expression and purification, and/or protein chemistry are strong merits, as is a good record of research publication within these areas.

The application should include:
1. cover letter including research interests, qualifications and motivation for applying (max 2 pages),
2. CV including list of publications,
3. copies of doctoral degree certificates and other relevant degree certificates,
4. copies of own publications that you wish to submit (maximum 3 publications),
5. names and contact details of at least two reference persons,
6. other relevant documents.

The application should be written in English or Swedish. Your complete application, marked with reference number FS 2.1.6-473-20, should be sent electronically (in PDF format) to (with reference number on the subject line) no later than 11th May 2020. One copy of the application should also be sent to

For further information, please contact Professor Yaowen Wu, E-mail:

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

Postdoctoral research fellowship (2 years) on mechanisms of autophagy