PhD position in PET imaging of beta cells in diabetes

Published: 2019-04-25

Research group
The research group Theranostics is located by the Rudbeck Laboratory, and close to the Biomedical Center (BMC) and the Uppsala University Hospital. Olof Eriksson’s lab is associated with Science for Life Laboratory and focuses on development of molecular imaging methodologies for improved diagnosis, management and treatment of metabolic disease and cancer ( The research group is a part of the Department of Medicinal Chemistry.

Project description/ duties
The aim of the project is to develop and evaluate PET radiopharmaceuticals for in vivo molecular imaging of beta cell mass, for applications in metabolic disease, including diabetes. We recently discovered several novel receptors, e.g. GPR44 and DGCR2, expressed in pancreatic beta cells which constitute promising imaging targets, as well as potential therapeutic targets. The PhD student will be responsible for the in vitro and in vivo biological evaluation of PET radiopharmaceuticals (i.e. small molecules or peptides radiolabeled with Fluorine-18 or Gallium-68), and work closely with a team of radiochemists and biologists.

The radiopharmaceutical development includes in vitro evaluation in tissues and cell-lines, and in vivo evaluation in disease models of diabetes. Apart from research, the PhD student may participate in teaching and routine maintenance of the lab.

We are looking for a highly motivated student for a PhD position. We welcome applications from candidates that already have, or who expect to soon have, a Master of Science degree in biomedicine, engineering, natural sciences, pharmacy, medicine, chemistry or similar.

Experience of laboratory evaluation of radiopharmaceuticals including in vitro assays (cells/ autoradiography) and in vivo assays (biodistribution, PET/SPECT/CT/MRI imaging, image analysis) is an advantage. Completed courses in laboratory animal science (e.g. FELASA C) or radiation protection are an advantage. The applicant must be fluent in English with excellent communication skills.

Admission requirements
A person meets the general admission requirements for third-cycle courses and study programmes if he or she:

  • has been awarded a second-cycle qualification, or
  • has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second cycle, or
  • has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.

The application should be written in English and contain a cover letter describing the applicant’s research interests, an updated CV including a list of previous publications (if any), as well as copies of diplomas and certificates of higher academic degrees. Also include information about previous experience of research and why you would like to be enrolled as a PhD student. Please also attach contact details (name, e-mail, phone number) to at least two referees and/or letters of recommendation.

Starting date: 2019-08-01 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Position: The graduate program covers four years of full-time study. The position can be combined with teaching or other duties at the department (maximum 20%), which prolongs the employment with the corresponding time.

For further information about the position, please contact: Associate Senior Lecturer Olof Eriksson (

For further information about the employment, please contact: Head of Department Anders Karlén (


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