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The Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry is located at the Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology at the Faculty of Health Care Sciences at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg. At the Department research is conducted on human behaviour, neuropsychiatric processes as well as psychiatric treatment and diagnosis in close collaboration with Västra Götaland region and a number of international partners. We participate in the undergraduate programmes in Medicine and within The National Research School in Psychiatry/Southwest Sweden. At the Department there are some 15 research groups and four research centers.
Project title: The role of complement factor C4 in psychotic disorders
The PhD education in Medical Science comprises carrying out a scientific project and completing at least 30 credits of courses at third-cycle level. The doctoral student must also write a scientific compilation thesis or monograph corresponding to at least 120 credits. For more information about third-cycle studies at Sahlgrenska Academy, see https://www.gu.se/en/sahlgrenska-akademin/doctoral-studies
Project: Psychotic symptoms are common in bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Both disorders often require long time pharmacological treatment and have large effects on affected individuals. Although genetic risk factors have been shown to be important and partly overlapping between the disorders, the exact pathophysiological underpinnings remain elusive. It was therefore an important finding when recent studies identified that gene variants leading to higher expression of the protein complement factor C4 was associated with increased risk for schizophrenia. Complement factor C4 is a part of the innate immune system, and is also involved in human brain development. Interestingly, increased expression of complement factor C4 does not seem to increase risk for bipolar disorder. There are scarce studies on the effects of C4 on human brain morphology and synaptic markers, and it is unknown whether C4 is associated with schizophrenia-like symptoms in other psychiatric disorders.
In this project, you will first aim to investigate whether C4 expression is associated with schizophrenia-like phenotypes in bipolar disorder by using data from a large genetic study on bipolar disorder, Swedish Bipolar Collection (SWEBIC). Second, you will examine if C4 is associated with synaptic protein levels in cerebrospinal fluid, and with structural brain variants previously associated with psychiatric disorders. To these ends, you will use data from two clinical studies – the Gothenburg research Initiative on Psychosis (GRIP) and the St. Göran Bipolar Project (SBP) – where patients have undergone magnetic resonance brain imaging and cerebrospinal fluid sampling. We will also be able to investigate whether C4 risk variants influences the brain over time as a subgroup of subjects from SPB have been examined on two separate occasions (at baseline and at 6-year follow-up). The studies included in this project will contribute with important knowledge on the influence of complement factor C4 in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
Third-cycle studies are equivalent to four year full-time and lead to a Degree of Doctor. Those appointed to doctoral studentships shall primarily devote themselves to their studies. Those appointed to doctoral studentships may, however, work to a limited extent with educational tasks, research and administration (departmental duties). Before a PhD degree has been awarded, duties of this kind may not comprise more than 20 per cent of a full-time post.
To be eligible for third-cycle studies, the applicant must meet both the general and specific entry requirements.
A person meets the general entry requirements for third-cycle studies if he or she:
1. has been awarded a second-cycle qualification
2. has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second-cycle, or
3. has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad
A person meets the specific entry requirements for third-cycle studies in Medical Science if he or she has successfully completed the English B/6 course or is considered to have acquired equivalent knowledge through previous studies
In selecting between applicants who meet the general and specific entry requirements, their ability to benefit from third-cycle studies shall be taken into account. The assessment shall attach particular importance to documented qualifications for:
– specific knowledge and skills within the subject area and related research fields
– experience of scientific theory and relevant research methodology
– scientific analysis and presentation verified through thesis, degree project, scientific journals or the like.
After admission to third-cycle studies you will be appointed to doctoral studentship. Regulations for employment of doctoral students are given in SFS 1993:100. The initial appointment may apply for no longer than one year. An appointment may be renewed for no more than two years at a time. A person may be appointed to a doctoral studentship for a total of eight years. The total employment period may, however, not exceed the time corresponding to full-time third-cycle study for four years.
Location: Sahlgrenska Academy, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry. Extent: 100%. First day of employment: as agreed.
Salaries for doctoral students are regulated in a local agreement at the University.
For further information regarding the position
For more information about the project please contact the principal supervisor,
Mikael Landén, Professor, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology,
Union representatives at the University of Gothenburg:
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How to apply
In order to apply for a position at the University of Gothenburg, you have to register an account in our online recruitment system. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the job advertisement, and that it is submitted before the deadline.
You must include the following, in pdf format
- Personal letter
- Diploma and transcripts showing that you meet with the general entry requirement
- Proof of completion of English 6 course or the acquired equivalent knowledge through previous studies
If your degree is from a university outside of Sweden, make sure that you attach a diploma and full transcripts that makes assessing your degree easier.
If your degree has not been verified by a Swedish authority you need to provide contact details to the issuing university, registrar or similar, that can verify the degree at our request.
For information on what you need to submit in order to fulfill the English language requirement see https://www.universityadmissions.se/en/entry-requirements/english-language-requirements/
Closing date: 2021-05-25