Jobs in Structural Biology and Related Fields

Postdoctoral studies: Structural biology of fertilisation

Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
Application deadline: 20 Sep 2020

The Department of Biosciences and Nutrition at the Karolinska Institute, Sweden, 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 250 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.

Do you want to contribute to top quality medical research?

Recognition and fusion of the female and male gametes, egg and sperm, marks the beginning of the life of a new individual. Join our team and use state-of-the art structural biology to shed light on a biological event that is not only fundamental from a basic science point of view, but has also major implications for the future of human reproductive medicine!


The research group of Professor Luca Jovine is looking for a postdoctoral fellow to investigate the molecular mechanism of egg-sperm interaction at fertilisation 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 endeavour. 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.

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 characterisation 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 internationalisation 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. Applicants who have not completed a doctorate at the end of the application period may also apply, provided that all requirements for a completed degree are met before the (intended) start date of the post doctoral education.

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

More information, including how to apply for this role, can be found on the KI website.

Stockholm, Sweden

Postdoctoral studies: Structural biology of fertilisation