Two postdoctoral positions in pancreatic cancer research

Two postdoctoral positions in pancreatic cancer research

Chemical Biological Centre (KBC) at Umeå University and Swedish University for Agricultural Sciences

Umeå, Sweden

We are currently looking for a two postdoc in pancreatic cancer research for a period of two years starting in May 2019 or as agreed. 


These announced positions are financed by the Wallenberg Centre for Molecular Medicine (WCMM) at Umeå University. WCMM in Umeå is part of a national plan for Sweden to regain its leading position in medical research ( The project is supported by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation together with, among others, Umeå University, Västerbotten County Council, the Kempe Foundation, the Sjöberg Foundation, and the Cancer Research Foundation in Northern Sweden. Local and national networks within WCMM will be developed, where the postdocs are given good opportunities to interact with researchers in their own and other research groups.


Pancreatic cancer has a very high mortality rate and currently no effective treatment options are available. A unique feature of the disease is the pronounced fibrotic stroma that surrounds tumour cells. This tumour stroma consists of an extracellular matrix (ECM), fibroblasts, and nerves which together provide the cancer cells with important signals that regulate tumour growth. This makes the stroma an interesting target from a treatment perspective, but the lack of knowledge in the complexity of the stroma has hampered the development of drugs targeting stromal interactions. Furthermore, the production of the tumor associated ECM is initiated early in the disease process and can be seen already in preinvasive stages. This makes the tumor stroma of particular interest from a diagnostic perspective and suggests that detection of changes in the ECM composition would facilitate early detection of the disease.


Post-doc 1 with focus on neuronal interactions

In this project the impact of nerves on the development of pancreatic cancer will be studied in detail. The pathophysiological role of nerves in disease progression will be studied in animal models, human tissues, and organoid based co-culture systems. Inhibitors of neuronal interactions that promote cancer growth and impact therapy resistance will then be developed and tested. The overall aim is to identify and explore critical interactions between pancreatic cancer cells and nerves, and to develop new therapeutic strategies that target the disease by selectively blocking these interactions.

More information about the project is available at:


Post-doc 2 with focus on early detection and advanced imaging 

In this project ECM synthesis will be studied in detail using animal models of pancreatic cancer, human tissues, and organoid based fibroblast co-culture systems. Early changes will be detected with advanced imaging techniques such as PET-CT and ultrasound. Tracers for specific proteins deposited to the ECM at early stages of the disease will be developed.

The overall aim is to utilize advanced imaging techniques to detect pancreatic tumors with high specificity early in the disease process. 

More information about the project is available at:



Qualification requirements and other desirable requirements:

Candidates must hold a University degree equivalent to a European University PhD at the time of recruitment. In normal case the doctorate exam should have been acquired within three years prior to the last day for application to this position. We are looking for a highly talented and motivated candidate with a record of productive research, and the ability to work independently as well as part of a team. A strong background in molecular biology and tumour biology is highly desirable. Previous research experience involving imaging (PET and ultrasound),research experience on the nervous system,organoid based model systems and animal model systems are of great merit. Excellent verbal and written English communication skills are required.


The application shall include the following documents: 

·      A short description of your research interests (max one A4 page) and why you are interested in the position.

·      Curriculum vitae (CV) including list of technical expertise and list of publications.

·      Copies of diplomas and link to PhD thesis.

·      Contact information for two reference persons.  


Your application must be registered in Umeå University e-recruitment system Varbi no later than March 30 2019.


Additional information about the position
For further information, please contact Assistant Professor Daniel Öhlund, Department of Radiation Sciences/WCMM, at

We kindly decline offers of recruitment and advertising help.

We are looking forward to receiving your application!

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