ESR 10: Model‐based translation of antibiotics‐bacteria‐neutrophil interactions in vivo


The Pharmacometrics group at Uppsala University has available an Early Stage Researcher / PhD candidate position on “In silico modelling of the interaction between bacterial infection, immune response, and antibiotics” as part of the Innovative Training Network (ITN) Training towards Innovative Personalized Antibiotic Therapy (TIPAT).


The Innovative Training Network (ITN) Training towards Innovative Personalized Antibiotic Therapy (TIPAT) has started March 1, 2020. TIPAT offers a cutting-edge training-by-research program for 15 Early stage researchers (ESRs) / PhD candidates.  TIPAT is part of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie International Training Network (ITN) of the European Commission. ESRs in TIPAT will be part of an international network of universities, hospitals and companies.  To enable development of innovative personalized antibiotic treatment strategies, quantitative understanding of the interplay between drug, pathogen and host is crucial. The TIPAT network will train inter-disciplinary specialists optimally equipped with a skill set to address this challenge. Central to the TIPAT research and training program of ESRs is the combination of state-of-the art quantitative modelling with approaches in clinical pharmacology, immunology and microbiology, which enables development of innovative methodology to personalized antibiotic therapies.


Project description


This ESR/PhD project will focus on the interplay between the immune system of the host and the bacteria, as a step to facilitate treatment selection. The project will expand on earlier developed models on neutrophil maturation and migration in response to bacterial infections. The student will build a multi-scale in silico model of innate leukocyte response to bacterial infection based on data from the literature. The model will include rates of recruitment, maturation and elimination of the immune cells and biomarkers, and bacterial killing rates at various degrees of immune suppression. The model will be developed jointly for rodents and humans, and potentially additional species, to allow for translation from animals to man. The model will be refined with data generated by collaborators within TIPAT where antibiotics also have been studied to elucidate the relative importance of immune system and antibacterial drug exposure. The developed model will be applied to explore “what-if” scenarios to facilitate the identification of treatment options which reduce emergence of antibiotic resistance without compromising efficacy.


Selection criteria

  • Master degree in the field of pharmaceutical sciences, or medicine, or other similar education with minimum 240 credits including courses in pharmacokinetics, physiology, and pharmacology (graduation before project start date);
  • Experience in pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic modelling of antibiotics and programming, e.g. in R;
  • Highly motivated and a genuine interest for research in the field of pharmacometrics and bacterial infections
  • Good collaboration skills;
  • Capability to drive the research project in a structured and methodological way;


Planned start of employment: Between 01-09-2020 and 01-11-2020


Duration of position: 48 months, and up to an additional 12 months if involved in teaching or another administrative tasks;



  • At the time of commencing their employment, researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of their (recruiting) host organization (i.e. Sweden) for more than 12 months in the 3 years prior to their recruitment.
  • Applicants must be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research career and have not been awarded a doctoral degree at the first day of their employment contract. This research experience is measured from the date when they obtain the degree which formally entitles them to embark on a doctorate (either in the country in which the degree was obtained or in the country in which the researcher is recruited), even if a doctorate was never started or envisaged. Research experience is measured to the first day of the employment contract of the researcher.
  • Usual MSCA eligibility criteria apply and will be verified during the application process. For more information on MSCA, please see: Benefits



The successful candidate will have a full-time employment at Uppsala University with salary according to local agreement for PhD students and teaching assistants

  • In addition to their individual scientific projects, TIPAT ESRs will collaborate with world-leading research groups and industries within the consortium through secondments. All ESRs will benefit from further extensive and varied continuing education, completing a series of carefully designed training modules and transferable skills courses; they will participate in symposia, workshops, and international conferences and will have meaningful exposure to the industrial environment through TIPAT industrial partners.


Application procedure

Questions about this position can be send to Prof. Lena Friberg (email:

Your application has to be submitted through the Uppsala university website. The position will be available for application at the Uppsala University website 28/04/2020.


We would also appreciate if you send your application to

When applying, please use the following email subject title: TIPAT ESR10- Your Name


In your application please include the following files:

  • A motivation letter (1 page maximum), please include in your letter alternative ESR TIPAT positions of interest to you if not selected, if any.
  • A CV according to the Europass format
  • Two reference letters (at least one from your Master thesis supervisor)
  • An up-to-date of grades in your bachelor and master programs
  • Certificates of your bachelor and your master if available
  • Optional: English proficiency test results (TOEFL, IELTS)


The application deadline is June 15, 2020. We may extend this deadline depending on the developments of the COVID19 pandemic.

 The application procedure is as follows:

  • A notification for receiving your application is sent after the application deadline.
  • Applicants are notified if they are invited for video-conferencing interviews
  • Interviews are schedule to be completed by July 7
  • Hiring process is expected to completed by

 Please note these dates may change if the application deadline is extended.



This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 861323.