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Gothenburg, Västra Götaland County, Sweden
Job reference: R-038872
Posted date: Nov. 12, 2018

Postdoctoral Long Title: Role of APOL1 risk variants on cholesterol and lipid handling in the human kidney

We’re currently looking for talented scientists to join our innovative academic-style Postdoc. From our centre in Gothenburg, SE, you’ll be in a global pharmaceutical environment, contributing to live projects right from the start. You’ll take part in a comprehensive training programme, including a focus on drug discovery and development, given access to our existing Postdoctoral research, and encouraged to pursue your own independent research in cutting edge laboratories. It’s a newly expanding programme spanning a range of therapeutic areas across a wide range of disciplines.

What’s more, you’ll have the support of a leading academic advisor, who’ll provide you with the guidance and knowledge you need to develop your career. This is an exciting area that hasn’t been explored to its full potential, making this an opportunity to make a real difference to the future of medical science.

About AstraZeneca             

AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines for some of the world’s most serious diseases. But we're more than one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies. At AstraZeneca, we're proud to have a unique workplace culture that inspires innovation and collaboration. Here, employees are empowered to express diverse perspectives - and are made to feel valued, energised and rewarded for their ideas and creativity.

This postdoctoral role in the Bioscience department within the CardioVascular, Renal and Metabolic disease area offers you an exciting opportunity to work in an area of growing scientific interest in nephrology, APOL1 biology. APOL1 is associated with various and aggressive forms of chronic kidney diseases in people with African ancestry carrying two copies of the mutated APOL1 gene, but its biology and role are not fully elucidated and are an area of active and high profile research in a number of laboratories worldwide. One emerging hypotheses is that APOL1 mutated protein exerts its toxic role in kidney cells through altered handling of lipids and cholesterol. You will drive AZ efforts in exploring this hypothesis by evaluating lipid handling in human engineered iPS-derived kidney cells expressing APOL1 mutations, by performing molecular and omics analyses to expand mechanistic understanding of APOL1 biology, and by conducting pharmacological in vitro studies to effectively modulate APOL1 function and preserve cellular health. Your work may lead to identification of specific pathways affected by APOL1 and leading to kidney cells dysfunction and death, and to therapeutic intervention points to address APOL1-associated nephropathies. This work is highly significant because of the strong unmet medical need in people with APOL1-associated nephropathies and the high scientific interest on this topic in the nephrology community.

You will work in close collaboration with your AZ supervisors and with your external supervisor, Prof Alessia Fornoni from University of Miami, world leading expert in the role of lipid dysfunction in chronic kidney diseases. You will also work in different groups within AZ ranging from the stem cells unit to bioinformatics and have the opportunity to learn a variety of techniques.

As a world leader in cardiovascular, renal and metabolic medicines, we’re always working on innovative new drugs that will change lives across the globe. To make that happen, we employ a small molecule and new modalities research and development strategy with three priorities: heart failure, diabetes and chronic kidney disease. You’ll focus your efforts on making real progress toward slowing, stopping or curing some of the most aggressive diseases that face humanity today.

APOL1-associated nephropathies are an area of high unmet medical need. You work will contribute to elucidate the pathological mechanisms of APOL1 and will potentially lead to identification of intervention points to protect kidney cells and ultimately slow down disease progression. Come and join us in this ambitious undertake

Accountabilities and Responsibilities:

You will be accountable for building and implementing the experimental strategy for addressing the primary scientific question of this post-doc. You will conduct all experimental activities related to this project, including human iPS-cell expansion and differentiation, assessment of lipid and cholesterol handling, omics analyses and in vitro pharmacology studies. You will have to effectively collaborate with various teams within AZ and at University of Miami to generate, analyse and interpret the data. You will be also responsible for abstracts, oral presentations and manuscripts preparation and submission.

Education and Experience Required:


A PhD or equivalent qualification in Biological sciences or related areas.


Knowledge in chronic kidney diseases highly preferred

Skills and Capabilities required:

  • In vitro cell biology, with special focus on human stem cells
  • Assessment of lipid and cholesterol handling in vitro
  • Ability to run biochemistry, RNA and protein analyses, and high-content imaging
  • Understanding of high content data analyses (bioinformatics) analyses and techniques
  • Proven communications skills, including writing of manuscripts and oral presentation
  • Fluent english (oral and written)
  • Ability to work in highly interactive, fast pace environment and independently reach out and connect with relevant stakeholders

This is a 3 year programme.  2 years will be a Fixed Term Contract, with a 1 year extension which will be merit based.  The role will be based at Gothenburg, SE with a competitive salary on offer 

To apply for this position, please click the apply link below.

Advert opening date – 9th November 2018

Advert closing date – 14th December 2018

AstraZeneca is an equal opportunity employer. AstraZeneca will consider all qualified applicants for employment without discrimination on grounds of disability, gender or gender 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.

If you share our passion for scientific excellence, find out more at;

Post Doc Fellow - Apolipoprotein L1 in kidney diseases

AstraZeneca in Sweden

At AstraZeneca in Sweden we'll make the most of your skills and passion by actively supporting you. To do this, we've created a great working environment that's full of world-class talent, and opportunities for collaboration and innovation. If you're inspired by the possibilities of science to make a difference and ready to discover what you can do - join us.

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