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There is a vacancy for a PhD position in molecular biology at the Department of Biological Science (BIO), Bergen, Norway. The position is part of the project "Investigation of algal toxins in regulating stress granule formation and cell survival via the neurodegenerative disease associated factor DJ-1". The position is for a fixed-term period of 3 years with the possibility of a 4th year with compulsory other work (e.g. teaching duties at the department). The position is financed by the University of Bergen (UiB).

About the project/work tasks
β-N-methylamino- Lalanine (BMAA) is a stress-inducing toxin, in which neurotoxicity is protected by the multifunctional protein DJ-1. BMAA is produced by cyanobacteria and dinoflagellates worldwide, and has been suggested to be an environmental risk factor in the development of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). DJ-1 was recently shown to co-localize with stress granules. Stress granules are pro-survival protective structures that assemble in response to a variety of environmental stresses and disassemble after the stress has resolved. The fellow doctor will focus to understanding the cellular mechanism(s) of BMAA neurotoxicity, how this relates to known ALS pathology, and how DJ-1 inhibits neurotoxicity. Experiments will be performed in cell lines and zebrafish to determine stress granule formation in response to BMAA. The involvement of stress granule regulation through DJ-1 will be investigated using a G3BP1 knock-out cell line and DJ-1 deficient zebrafish. RNA-protein pulldown and RNA-sequencing will be used to identify the mRNA interactome of DJ-1. The project will provide training in a multidisciplinary environment, developing skills in cell biology, molecular biology, zebrafish transgenesis and bioinformatics. Prof. KE Fladmark will be the main supervisor and Ass prof. S-N Grellscheid,and Prof. L Ebbesson will be co-supervisors for the project.

Qualifications and personal qualities:
.       Applicants must hold a master's degree or the equivalent in molecular biology, or must have submitted his/her master's thesis for assessment prior to the application deadline. It is a condition of employment that the master's degree has been awarded.
.       Experience with molecular neurobiology, CRISPR/cas9 methodology, relevant zebrafish techniques or live imaging is an advantage.
.       Applicants must be able to work independently and in a structured manner, and demonstrate good collaborative skills.
.       Applicants must be proficient in both written and oral English.

Personal and relational qualities will be emphasized. Ambitions and potential will also count when evaluating the candidates.

About the PhD position
The fellowship will be for a period of 3 years, with the possibility for a 4th year, consisting of 25 % compulsory work (e.g. teaching responsibilities at the department) distributed across the employment period. The 4th year is contingent on the qualifications of the candidate and the teaching needs of the department, and will be decided upon appointment.

About the research training
As a PhD candidate, you must participate in an approved educational programme for a PhD degree within a period of 3 years. A final plan for the implementation of the research training must be approved by the faculty within three months after you have commenced in the position. It is a condition that you satisfy the enrolment requirements for the PhD programme at the University of Bergen.

We can offer:
.       a good and professionally challenging working environment
.       salary at pay grade 51 (Code 1017/Pay range 20, alternative 9) in the state salary scale. This constitutes a gross annual salary of NOK 449 400. Further promotions are made according to length of service in the position.
.       enrolment in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund
.       a position in an inclusive workplace (IA enterprise)
.       good welfare benefits

Your application must include:
.       a brief account of the applicant's research interests and competence in methodology.
.       a letter of motivation for the project
.       the names and contact information for two referees. One of these should be the main advisor for the master's thesis or equivalent thesis
.       CV
.       transcripts and diplomas showing completion of the bachelor's and master's degrees, or official confirmation that the master's thesis has been submitted
.       relevant certificates/references
.       a list of any works of a scientific nature (publication list)
.       any publications in your name

The application and appendices with certified translations into English or a Scandinavian language must be uploaded at Jobbnorge.

General information
For further details about the position, please contact Prof. Kari Espolin Fladmark, Department of Biological Science, phone: +47 55 584514.

The state labour force shall reflect the diversity of Norwegian society to the greatest extent possible. Age and gender balance among employees is therefore a goal. It is also a goal to recruit people with immigrant backgrounds. People with immigrant backgrounds and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply for the position.
We encourage women to apply. If multiple applicants have approximately equivalent qualifications, the rules pertaining to moderate gender quotas shall apply.

The University of Bergen applies the principle of public access to information when recruiting staff for academic positions.
Information about applicants may be made public even if the applicant has asked not to be named on the list of persons who have applied. The applicant must be notified if the request to be omitted is not met.
Further information about the employment process can be found here.

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