Prof Rikard Holmdahl
Karolinska Institute
Duration 48 months 
Identify B-cell VDJ repertoire specific for autoreactivity related to arthritis in mice
Project description
In this project a unique unpublished discovery will be addressed, in which self-antigen specific B cells are selected in the bone marrow and exert a profound regulation of the immune system protecting against autoimmune diseases. It is today well known that autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, is preceded by several years of chronic activation of autoreactive B cells. The role of such B cells is however not known and they might contain both pathogenic and regulatory B cells and secreted antibodies. The Holmdahl group has over several years developed knowhow and mouse strains to conclusively address this issue and recent discoveries of regulatory B cells and antibodies are currently studied intensively. In the project already established VDJ knock in mouse strains allowing studies of specific B cells, together with trains with the mutated type II collagen epitope and conditional mouse strains regulating their development will be studied. The VDJ repertoire and immune phenotype and function will be addressed at different steps of development into bone marrow and germinal centers and compared with corresponding studies in humans.
Our department
The main base of the PhD education will be at the Medical Inflammation Research laboratory at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm Sweden The laboratory is focused on the basic studies of autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, and has a well developed technology platform mainly based on immunology, biochemistry and molecular biology and a leading platform for studies of genetically modified mouse strains.
The Holmdahl group has extensive experience in training ESR students for PhD at the Karolinska Institute. It includes hands on supervision, and cutting edge scientific environment and access to world class laboratory technology and mouse models.
Karolinska Institute is a leading university, with courses and seminars on an international top class level. English is the prime laboratory language and English is also spoken as second language in Sweden.
Your experience
• A Master’s degree or equivalent in Molecular biology or Immunology.
• A desire to learn experimental and computational approaches
• Excellent higher education track record
• Fluent spoken and written English skills
• Outstanding communication skills
• Well-developed critical thinking skills
Our offer
This 4-year position is for the first 3 years funded by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions of the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 765158 and for the forurth year funded by in house research grants. The student will be registered for the PhD degree at the Karolinska Institute. Due to local law and differences in family situation, the exact salary will be determined in the host institution upon recruitment.
Your application
See  recruitment procedure. You can apply using the online application form. For more information about the position you can contact Prof Rikard Holmdahl.


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