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Post-Doc in Molecular Epidemiology with a focus on the role of the human gut microbiota in cardiovascular health

Published: 2019-03-20

The Department of Medical Sciences, Uppsala University, has an opening for one position as a post-doc in the group of Molecular Epidemiology led by Associate Professor Tove Fall. The group is working with diabetes and cardiovascular disease using a variety of methods, ranging from modern molecular epidemiology techniques with ‘omics’ data to more traditional epidemiology approaches in large datasets. The research environment is international with English being the working language (see for more information and recent publications). The group currently includes several members with extensive training and experience in advanced statistical, epidemiological and bioinformatics methods.

The primary work responsibility will be to work with study design, data analysis and manuscripts under supervision of Tove Fall within the GUTSY project funded by the European Research Council. The overall goal of this project is to assess causality between gut microbiota and atherosclerotic disease and to provide easily accessible biomarkers for an atherosclerosis-enhancing gut microbiota. To this end, the research program has three main objectives: 1) Identification of gut microbiota characteristics (measured with shotgun metagenomics) associated with atherosclerosis measured by coronary computed tomography angiography in a population-based sample of 10,000 individuals and through prospective follow-up for myocardial infarction and ischemic stroke. 2) Identification of plasma biomarkers associated with an atherosclerosis- enhancing microbiota using comprehensive metabolomics profiling of 1,000 named metabolites in plasma from 3,000 individuals with replication in additional 3,000 individuals. 3) Clarification of the causal effects of gut microbiota characteristics on atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction and stroke by development of novel genetic instruments and applying Mendelian Randomization analysis. The project is expected to lead to the identification of characteristics of an atherosclerosis-enhancing gut microbiota and associated plasma biomarkers that may open up new avenues for effective prevention of atherosclerotic disease.

The group, consisting of about ten people is located within the new Epidemiology Hub at Dag Hammarskjölds väg 14B, where about 30 active epidemiologists and statisticians have their work place, enabling collaboration and support in a unique environment. To note, no laboratory work is planned within the project. Moreover, the data that the applicant will work on will be curated, so no raw mass spectrometry, imaging or sequence data needs to be handled. The main statistical software used in the group are Stata, R and PLINK.  We often work in a UNIX-environment. The post-doc will be able to develop their skills through courses and also exchange visits with other research groups. Moreover, the post-doc will to some extent get opportunity to develop their own research ideas. Currently a mentorship program is available at the Department for career guidance of post-docs.

The ideal candidate is highly motivated with a PhD e.g. exam or an international equivalent within the field of biostatistics, epidemiology, bioinformatics or other for the position relevant fields, within a maximum of three (3) years before the final application date. During certain circumstances, an earlier PhD can be acceptable. Certain circumstances include leave due to illness, parental leave, in trade unions, etc.

Proficiency in written and oral English is a requirement. The applicant must show scientific publications of high-quality in international peer-reviewed journals as the first author. Basic understanding of observational epidemiology study designs is a requirement.

Personal characteristics are important. The applicant should be stringent in their analysis especially regarding high research ethics, have a responsible attitude, a logical mind-set and be able to work independently. The applicant must show ability to document their work properly. The applicant should also be able to share his/her knowledge with colleagues both orally and in text.

The applicant should be able to independently conduct analysis in STATA or R.

Knowledge/experience within the following fields is an advantage:

  • Multi-layered –omics analysis
  • Mendelian randomization
  • Microbiology
  • Programming
  • Genetic Epidemiology including GWAS
  • Imputation of genotypes from genotype array data
  • Machine learning
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Medicine
  • Radiology
  • Visualization of research results

Starting date: As soon as possible

Type of employment: Temporary position for two years.

For further information regarding the position please contact Tove Fall (


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