PhD Position (drug disposition and kinetics, NanoSIMS imaging) – AstraZeneca, Gothenburg, Västra Götaland County, Sweden



Location: Gothenburg, Västra Götaland County, Sweden Job reference: R-047805
Posted date: Mar. 27, 201

Are you interested in imaging the inner structure of single cells to understand how drug molecules reach their subcellular targets? Would you like to contribute to the establishment of new technologies to study drug disposition/kinetics in cells and tissues by doing your PhD at AstraZeneca, a company that is following the science and turning ideas into life changing medicines? Then you might be the one we are looking for!

AstraZeneca is now recruiting an Industrial PhD student to join theDrug Metabolism Pharmacokinetics (DMPK) New Modalities function within the Cardiovascular, Renal and Metabolism (CVRM) therapy area. CVRM is intensely pursing new drug modalities (e.g peptides, proteolysis targeting chimera “PROTACs”, RNA based therapeutics). Building an understanding about subcellular trafficking presents a real opportunity for the development of biopharmaceuticals where we will design molecules that effectively navigate these pathways to reach their targets.  This PhD project will be done as part of the University of Gothenburg Chemical Imaging Infrastructure (CII)under the direction of Andrew G. Ewing. The successful candidate will be employed by AstraZeneca, and work collaboratively within the CII located at the AZ BioVentureHub, Gothenburg, Sweden.

The PhD project

In the pursuit of applying new drug modalities we are finding that intracellular target engagement is of critical importance. Thus, information concerning intracellular drug concentrations is greatly needed. However, this information is difficult to obtain, and it has been suggested that this space is one of the most neglected areas of drug discovery. AstraZeneca, in association with the CII, has now begun to integrate Nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry (NanoSIMS) imaging into the suite of technologies to study drug disposition/kinetics in cells and tissues.

This project is a Stiftelsen för Strategisk Forskning (SSF) funded industrial PhD position with the aim of developing a single cell analytical nano-imaging technique to provide subcellular drug distribution imaging with high sensitivity. It aims to combine advanced analytical technologies to solve fundamental biological questions of intracellular drug trafficking, to study and quantify endosomal escape and concentration of drug at disease targets inside the cell. You will develop the ability to bridge the physical aspects of ion/matter interactions and the biological process under investigation. In addition to course work and basic training for the PhD, you will develop scientific concepts and communicate the results of your research verbally and in writing. The position includes teaching (laboratory or tutorial) at the undergraduate level or performing other duties corresponding up to 20 per cent of working hours. Your major responsibilities will be to pursue your own doctoral studies.

About the CII

The Chemical Imaging Infrastructure (CII) is a world-unique research infrastructure with a primary focus on high lateral resolution imaging mass spectrometry. Internationally CII has a world leading equipment base backed up by internationally recognized experts in the development and application of SIMS. CII is hosted by the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Chalmers and by the Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Gothenburg.


  • To qualify as a PhD student, you must hold a Master’s level degree in BioScience, Biochemical Engineering, Biotechnology, Biochemistry, Chemistry or a similar area.
  • A strong interest in biology is required and experience with cell culture an advantage. Experience with mass spectrometry and image analysis is preferred but not required.
  • Excellent English in writing and speaking and strong communication skills are required.
  • Due to the multi-disciplinary nature of this PhD project, you should preferably be curious, goal oriented, cooperation minded, and keen on transferring theoretic and applied academic work into practice.

If you are interested, apply now!

For more information please contact recruiting manager Michael Kurczy michael.kurczy@astrazeneca.com or academic supervisor Andrew Ewing andrew.ewing@gu.se

Welcome with your application no later than April 21, 2019.

AstraZeneca is an equal opportunity employer. AstraZeneca will consider all qualified applicants for employment without discrimination on grounds of disability, sex or sexual orientation, pregnancy or maternity leave status, race or national or ethnic origin, age, religion or belief, gender identity or re-assignment, marital or civil partnership status, protected veteran status (if applicable) or any other characteristic protected by law.