Join us

We are tinkerers; do not expect A-to-B type projects in general, unless it is to help out a collaborator. We rather do exploration and problem solving (engineering), rather than trying to answer a certain hypothesis. Creativity and willingness to learn new things is absolutely essential if you want to thrive in our atmosphere. We use plenty R and Python, but when needed, also Java and Rust. The more you know some type of programming, the moister we can make your stay!

While you will have your own project, expect to be working closely with others, also outside the group. You will be expected to work with a high degree of independence, planning your work largely on your own but with as much input as you need. To ensure that you get enough authorships at the end, you will also get to help others with their projects.

PhD student positions in general

Funding for PhD students is comparatively rare in Sweden, but some sources exist. Ideally first do your master thesis with us or a collaborating group.

Postdocs positions in general

We always welcoming spontaneous applications, in which case we would write a proposal and apply to a funding agency if you are postdoc (e.g. Marie curie, HFSP, and several local Swedish ones).

Master thesis projects and unpaid internships

Our group works interdisciplinary, meaning that almost no matter your background, there might be a spot for you. The PI (Johan) is a mechanical engineer, now doing biology, maybe giving you an idea of how broad we are.

We prefer students who wish to spend at least 10 weeks with us, ideally 20 weeks. You will otherwise barely be able to learn the skills to run a project! Theoretical projects can be done remotely.

Suggestions for student projects (rarely updated, but gives an idea)

Master thesis project suggestion for physicists / engineers – microscopy/microfluidics. We are looking for a student who wish to build a cell sorter using microfluidics and automated image analysis. This project is suited for a pair of students working together (software and hardware). It will be in collaboration with the group of Magnus Andersson. See this paper for inspiration. This technology will allow us to measure cells in new ways.

Master thesis project in philosophy or statistics – The theory of science. Moving from classical statistical testing to AI, we see that our basis for doing science is radically changed. We no longer have enough data for performing statistically testing. Our models are largely subjective. How do we motivate this, and how do we move past positivism (or modify it)? Broad thinking required.

Master thesis projects for physicists / computer scientists / engineers – AI and bioinformatics. To solve our problems, we are increasingly moving towards the use of variational autoencoders. Several problems are rather disconnected from the biology and rather requires new innovation on the side of algorithms and mathematics. This includes new penalization approaches, latent space formulations and error terms.

Master thesis projects for biologists – bioinformatics. You should have at least touched a programming language before to get the most out of the stay. The simpler tasks involve looking at existing datasets, extracting information that we can include in our T cell model. Slightly more advanced projects will immediately involve multi-omics integration and doing things that essentially have not been done before (it is a new field). While we don’t expect a mathematical wiz, be prepared that you will need to write code that solves or computer at least basic equations (only some linear algebra will take you far).

Master thesis projects for biologists – wet lab. If you are keen on advanced molecular biology, and ideally have 20 weeks of time (hard to get much out of a shorter time – then rather do a dry project), then we have challenges for you! These projects are not for the faint of heart. We expect a fair degree of independent thinking, as you might be doing things no one has ever done before. Our lab develops new assays which always involves a fair amount of trouble shooting. However, this is our pedagogy  – unlike in the previous courses, where everything is streamlined, the thesis project is a chance to work in a sharp situation where not everything goes as planned. Your ability to overcome problems is what will set you apart from the undergrads.

We try to get a senior in our lab to work closely with you. For projects which mainly involve cloning and synthetic biology (less concern for everyone’s health!), you might also get to try and work a bit more independently.

Master thesis projects for biologists – moist! In modern biology, especially involving proteomics or NGS, you need to be a bit of a jack-of-all-trades. If you are here for 20 weeks then we will attempt to give you a mixed wet-and-dry project. In other words, from data generation to data analysis.

Summer projects

If you are studying at the Medical Faculty in Umeå, you can get a stipend to hang out with us over a summer. Check out the program Forskaraspiranter, with deadline 1st Feb in 2020 (announced yearly).

Of course, we can consider summer students also funded under other programs or just on their own interest.

The location – Umeå university, Sweden

Our lab is located at Umeå University. This place has long been a centre of excellence for molecular genetics and pathogen research. Our group takes advantage of this, bringing mechanistic knowledge of disease up to modern scale with high-throughput biology. Umeå is a vibrant town, largely due to the students – international as well as from all over Sweden. Some personal favourites include the Swedish cuisine (gastropubs and microbreweries), over 6 dance styles represented, one of Swedens largest ju-jutsu clubs (among other budo), indoor and outdoor climbing, winter sports, sailing club, etc … Accommodation is affordable. Oh, and don’t worry about the language. The local pub even runs their pub quiz in english, as is the case with many other social activities! No lack of auroras in winter. For some news from Sweden, in english, try out The local.