Postdoctoral Researcher in Integrated Multi-Omics Analyses of Human Atherosclerosis

29-10-2020

Scientific Staff

The prospective postdoctoral researcher will be integrated in the Vascular Surgery research group, MMK, KI. The Vascular Surgery group lead by Prof Ulf Hedin, MD, PhD is dedicated to translational and clinical research on vascular diseases and pathological vascular conditions. The Group is situated at the new BioClinicum building and consists of ~20 members including 5 PIs, researchers, clinicians, PhD students and technical staff. For more information about the Group and research activities, please visit: https://ki.se/en/mmk/vascular-surgery.


Within the Vascular Surgery research group, the Team Vascular Molecular Medicine led by PI Ass Prof Ljubica Matic, MSc, PhD is specialized in molecular mechanisms underlying atherosclerosis and vascular injury. This Team gathers 5 PhD students and 1 postdoc and more information can be found at: https://www.cmm.ki.se/ljubica-matic-team

The vascular diseases and conditions addressed in our research are atherosclerosis, aortic aneurysms, peripheral arterial disease as well as restenosis after vascular interventions. Altogether these conditions contribute to the high overall cardiovascular mortality, dominated by complications of atherosclerosis such as myocardial infarction or stroke. In order to better understand the development and progression of vascular disease, our aim is to dissect and explore the cellular behavior and molecular pathways in complex vascular tissues. Over the past decade we have, in collaboration together with the Vascular Surgery Clinic, Karolinska assembled several large biobanks of human and murine vascular tissues (i.e. BiKE-Biobank of Karolinska Endarterectomies; STAAAB-Stockholm Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Biobank; BiRCA-Biobank of Rat Carotid Artery injury, etc.). Our platform enables large-scale multivariate analyses of gene and protein expression from vascular lesions and blood, combined with genetic and clinical parameters, as well as follow up studies in animal and cell culture models of vascular injury and disease.

The project and duties of the postdoc

This postdoc position is announced within the framework of a collaboration between the Vascular Surgery Group, Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Karolinska Institutet and Cardiovascular Research and Translation Science units of Novo Nordisk, Denmark. Novo Nordisk is a global healthcare company with more than 95 years of innovation and leadership in diabetes care. This heritage has given us experience and capabilities that also enable us to help people defeat obesity, haemophilia, growth disorders and other serious chronic diseases. Headquartered in Denmark, Novo Nordisk employs approximately 42,200 people in 80 countries and markets its products in more than 170 countries. For more information, visit novonordisk.com, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube

This project is part of a comprehensive translational research effort to improve prevention and treatment of patients with cardiovascular disease, in particular atherosclerosis. The overall goal of the proposed project, with Prof Ulf Hedin as the PI and Ass Prof Ljubica Matic as co-PI, is to perform integrated large-scale multi-omics analyses of the human vascular samples, with the aim to develop novel targets/pathways that can be evaluated for treatment of atherosclerosis. More specifically, comparative integrated analyses will be conducted of genetic polymorphisms (SNPs), mRNA and non-coding RNA (ncRNA) transcripts, as well as proteins and metabolites from several hundreds of samples, in a complex systems biology approach.

The project will be based on generation of various omics datasets followed by bioinformatic studies on both basic individual and integrated omics level, to find signature molecules and pathways determining outcome. Importantly, the work will practically encompass exploration and setting up of suitable statistical methods for multi-omics, layered network analyses and visualization of results, with focus on clinical symptomatic and asymptomatic phenotype prediction. Interpretation of the new biological knowledge, selection of candidates and bioinformatic evaluation of newly selected candidates in publicly available datasets will also be performed.

The project holds translational potential in opening new opportunities for improved treatment of patients with cardiovascular disease, but also carries considerable novelty in the research field. We offer a position in one of the leading groups in the field of vascular disease with an excellent network of international collaborators and longstanding experience in translational science. The project will be conducted in a multidisciplinary environment at the interface between academia and big pharma industry, where resources and expertise in medicine, biology, clinical patient material processing and bioinformatics support will be available. However, excellent bioinformatic skills, strong incentive for development of novel integrative bioinformatic methods and high work dedication will be necessary for successfully conducting the project.

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