The Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics is one of the biggest departments at the Faculty of Life Sciences at Stockholm University with about 300 employees. The research spans a wide area and is in many of the projects of the absolute highest world class. The department is unique in Sweden and also in the world due to its interdisciplinary character and spans a very broad area including neuroscience, cell biology, biochemistry, biophysics and theory. For more information about our business, see our website

Project description

We are looking for a highly motivated postdoctoral researcher to participate on studies aiming to mechanistically dissect the sequence of patological events leading to motor neuron degeneration in the neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), in the laboratory of professor Eva Hedlund.

During the past decade we have combined pluripotent stem cells, human tissues and mouse models with advanced RNA sequencing methods to elucidate mechanisms of neuronal vulnerability and resilience in motor neuron diseases, with a focus on ALS and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). We have identified multiple mechanisms which render certain neurons resilient and which can be modulated in vulnerable neurons to make them less prone to degeneration (Allodi et al, Scientific Reports, 2016, Nichterwitz et al, Nature Communications, 2016; Nijssen et al, Stem Cell Reports, 2018; Nizzardo et al, Acta Neuropathologica, 2020, Nichterwitz, Genome Research, 2020).

With the current project we are aiming to mechanistically unravel the sequence of intracellular events leading to motor neuron vulnerability in ALS. The project will encompass studying e.g. RNA metabolism, mitochondrial function, protein localisation and aggregation, stress granulae formation, and nucleo-cytoplasmic shuttling. Experimental systems and approaches expected to be used in the project include induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and their derivation to distinct motor neuron subpopulations to model disease, CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing, viral vectors to modulate gene expression, single cell RNA sequencing and bioinformatics, and super-resolution microscopy techniques. Candidates with a deep interest in ALS neuropathology and skills in molecular and cell biology are strongly encouraged to apply.


Selected recent relevant publications from the Hedlund laboratory:

Nichterwitz S et al. (2020) LCM-seq reveals unique transcriptional adaptation mechanisms and protective pathways of resistant neurons in spinal muscular atrophy. Genome Research 30:1083-1096.

Nizzardo M, et al. (2020) Synaptotagmin 13 is neuroprotective across motor neuron diseases. Acta Neuropathologica 139(5):837-853. # equal contribution, co-corresponding authors.

Allodi I et al. (2019) Modeling motor neuron resilience in ALS using stem cells. Stem Cell Reports 12(6):1329-1341.

Nijssen J et al. (2018) Axon-seq decodes the motor axon transcriptome and its modulation in response to ALS. Stem Cell Reports 11(6):1565-157

Qualification requirements

A postdoctoral fellowship can be given to a candidate during a two-year period within five years after dissertation.


Assessment criteria

In the appointment process, special attention will be given to research skills in e.g. molecular and cell biology, cell culture, advanced imaging techniques, and biochemistry.


Terms of employment

This is a postdoctoral fellowship for a maximum of two years, with the possibility of extension with an employment. Start date: March 1st 2022 or as per agreement.



Further information about the position can be obtained from Professor Eva Hedlund,


Union representatives

Ingrid Lander (Saco-S), telephone: +46 708 16 26 64,, Alejandra Pizarro Carrasco (Fackförbundet ST/Lärarförbundet), telephone: +46 8 16 34 89,, and (SEKO).



Please send your application (CV and personal letter) to