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Postdoctoral research fellowship (2 years) on mechanisms of autophagy

The Department of Chemistry is offering a postdoctoral scholarship within the project mechanisms of autophagy. The scholarship is full-time for two years with access 1 July, 2022 or by agreement.

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. The lab is affiliated with Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR), a national Centre of Excellence (

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 research from Umeå University include deciphering the molecular mechanisms of the bacterial CRISPR-Cas9 system and repurposing it into a tool for genome editing, a method developed at Umeå university that was awarded Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2020.

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 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.

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 pneumophila, Vibrio cholerae) affecting host autophagy (eLife 2017, JCS 2020). We have identified novel chemotypes for autophagy modulation and new cellular pathways involved in new mechanisms of autophagy regulation (Angew Chem 2017, Nat Chem Biol 2019, Autophagy 2021). This project will combine cell biological, biochemical, and novel chemical and chemo-optogenetic approaches to understand the mechanism of canonical and noncanonical 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 fellowship is funded by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation (KAW). The project is funded by European Research Council (ERC). The project is interdisciplinary with strong collaborations across scientific disciplines. The fellowship is for 2-years tax-exempt with start 1 July or as soon as possible. The stipend is 294 000 SEK per year.


To qualify as a postdoctoral scholarship holder, the postdoctoral fellow is required to have completed a doctoral degree or a foreign degree deemed equivalent to a doctoral degree in cell biology, biochemistry, chemical biology, or in another relevant field. This qualification requirements must be fulfilled no later than at the time of the decision about scholarship recipient.

Priority should be given to candidates who completed their doctoral degree, according to what is stipulated in the paragraph above, no later than three years prior. If there are special reasons, candidates who completed their doctoral degree prior to that may also be eligible. Special reasons include absence due to illness, parental leave, appointments of trust in trade union organizations, military service, or similar circumstances, as well as clinical practice or other forms of appointment/assignment relevant to the subject area.

The successful candidate is expected to independently further their own studies but also be 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-Cas9, molecular cloning, protein expression and purification 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. Verified copy of doctoral degree certificate or documentation that clarifies when the degree of doctor is expected to be obtained,
  4. Copy of doctoral thesis and max 3 relevant articles,
  5. Other documents that the applicant wishes to claim.
  6. Contact information of two persons willing to act as references.

Submit your application as a single PDF marked with the reference number FS 2.1.6-952-22, both in the file name and in the subject field of the email, to The application can be written in English or Swedish. A copy of the application would also be sent to Application deadline is 26 June 2022.

Further information

For more information, please contact Professor, Yaowen Wu, Department of Chemistry,

We look forward to receiving your application!