Postdoctoral studies in structural biology of fertilization


Karolinska Institutet, Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, Jovine (LJO)

The Department of Biosciences and Nutrition performs research and education in several areas of medical science including bioorganic chemistry, molecular endocrinology, cancer biology, functional genomics, systems biology, epigenetics, structural biochemistry, cellular virology, and nutrition. It offers an excellent international research and working environment, including around 300 scientists, students, administrative and technical personnel. The Department resides in the new biomedical research building Neo, aimed at being a creative and open environment that enables meetings, synergies, and exploration of areas of mutual interest across disciplines.

The research group of Professor Luca Jovine ( is looking for a postdoctoral fellow to investigate the molecular mechanism of egg-sperm interaction at fertilization by single-particle cryo-EM. The position is funded by a 5-year grant from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg foundation. In close collaboration with Alexey Amunts laboratory at Scilife ( and easy access to local cryo-EM facilities that together include 3 x Titan Krios with K3 detectors, a Talos Arctica with K2 and a Talos L120C with Ceta-D, we offer access to the most advanced infrastructure to maximize the chances for success of this ambitious and exciting endeavor. Therefore, joining our groups provides a unique opportunity to benefit from the strengths of two complementary labs and state-of-the-art technology, in order to tackle one of the most fundamental questions in biology and understand how life begins.

For recent examples, please see Nishimura et al. Nature Communications 10, 3086 (2019),, Raj et al. Cell 169(7):1315–26 (2017),, Mühleip et al. Elife e51179 (2019), and Perez Boerema et al. Nature Plants 4:212-217 (2018),

With its close integration of academic and clinical research, KI offer a highly international and collaborative environment for biomedical studies. In particular, the Department of Biosciences and Nutrition of KI has state-of-the-art equipment for recombinant protein expression in mammalian cells and bacteria, protein purification, sample characterization (SEC-MALS, microscale thermophoresis, bio-layer interferometry) and in-house X-ray data collection. For EM data collection, we have BAG access to the Cryo-EM Swedish National Facility nodes at Stockholm SciLifeLab and Umeå Core Facility for Electron Microscopy (UCEM),, as well as access to the newly established 3D-EM facility of KI ,; additionally, we have frequent BAG access to different synchrotron/EM data collection sites (BESSY, DLS, ESRF, MAX IV).

To support this position, a fellowship is available for two years that will be paid to the successful candidate as a tax-free scholarship, with possible extension of two additional years as postdoc employment (subject to positive evaluation). For additional information, please directly contact Luca Jovine and Alexey Amunts.

Candidates should have a Ph.D. degree and significant hands-on experience in structural biology. Although proven experience in single-particle cryo-EM and knowledge of helical reconstruction will constitute an advantage, excellent candidates with experience in X-ray crystallography and a strong interest in learning cryo-EM will also be taken into consideration. Additionally, previous experience in mammalian cell expression as well as purification and biochemical characterization of glycoproteins will be considered an asset. At least one first author paper in a high-quality international peer-reviewed journal, fluency in English (both written and oral), good team spirit and a very strong personal drive to excel in science are required.

Entry requirements
Scholarships for postdoctoral qualification can be established for foreign researchers who place their qualifications in Sweden. The purpose of scholarships for postdoctoral qualification is to promote internationalization and contribute to research qualification after a doctorate or equivalent.
A scholarship for carrying out postdoctoral research can be granted for a maximum of two years within a four year period following the receipt of a doctoral degree or equivalent.
To be eligible for a postdoctoral scholarship, the person must have obtained a doctorate or a foreign degree deemed to be equivalent to a doctorate.

The head of the department determines whether their previous training and scholarly qualifications correspond to a Swedish doctorate or higher.

Type of scholarship
The amount is tax free and it is set for twelve months at a time, paid out on a six months basis. In exceptional cases, shorter periods may be acceptable.

Application process
An application must contain the following documents in English:

  • A complete curriculum vitae, including date of the thesis defence, title of the thesis, previous academic positions, academic title, current position, academic distinctions, and committee work
  • A complete list of publications
  • A brief cover letter including a summary of your research experience (maximum two pages)
  • your motivation for applying, suitability for the position and project ideas (maximum one page)
  • contact details of at least two referees, one of which should preferably be the Ph.D. supervisor
  • copies of doctoral and other relevant degree certificates.

The application is to be submitted on the Varbi recruitment system.

Incoming applications will be evaluated continuously and the position could either start immediately or upon agreement.

We look forward to receiving your application!

Reference number2-534/2020
Contact Luca Jovine, Professor, +46-70-1497014 Alexey Amunts, Assistant Professor, +46-8-16 10 03Thomas Tinglöv, Head of Administration, +46-8-524 835 49
Union representative Henry Wölling, SEKO, +46-08-524 840 80Birgitta Lindqvist, OFR, +46-73-209 83 12
Last application date19.Apr.2020 11:59 PM CET

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Post expires on Sunday April 19th, 2020