The Neuroscience Center of HiLIFE Helsinki Institute of Life Science https://www.helsinki.fi/en/hilife-neuroscience-center (HiLIFE-NC) invites applications for a

A joint doctoral student position
in Prof. Helena Kilpinen and Dr. Olli Pietiläinen groups

The position is part of research program that aims to discover biological mechanisms of neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders. The Pietiläinen and Kilpinen groups combine functional genomic and experimental approaches in human stem cell derived neuronal models to discover how genetic variation impacts cellular processes and differential disease risk. The goal is to convert genetic discoveries into biological function that could be translated into improved treatments of the disorders of the brain.

The Kilpinen and Pietiläinen groups at the HiLIFE-NC and HiLIFE Institute for Molecular Medicine https://www.helsinki.fi/en/hilife-fimm (HiLIFE-FIMM) are located at the Meilahti biomedical campus in Helsinki and are closely linked with research groups at the Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences https://www.helsinki.fi/en/faculty-of-biological-and-environmental-sciences. HiLIFE-NC and HiLIFE-FIMM offer an inspiring environment to solve fundamental challenges of brain functions as part of the multidisciplinary HiLIFE infrastructure https://www.helsinki.fi/en/helsinki-institute-of-life-science at the university of Helsinki. In the Pietiläinen and Kilpinen groups you will be part of a striving scientific community utilizing state of the art technologies in genomics and cell biology for scientific discoveries of the brain. We are looking for highly motivated, determined and innovative researcher to join our team.

Role description:
We are seeking a Doctoral candidate to work on a multidisciplinary project that utilizes human induce pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) to model cellular processes involved in neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders. The primary goal is to use known genetic risk variants to identify intermediate cellular phenotypes that underlie these disorders. To this end we apply high-throughput genome-wide omics approaches, such as RNA sequencing, and proteomics to identify differences in cellular process between cell lines from carrier patients and controls. The genomic analyses are complemented by targeted experiments, cellular assays and gene editing techniques in isogenic cell lines. In addition, we will combine different experimental in vitro settings with the omics approaches to understand molecular pathways involved in neuronal maturation, synapse development, and function. The Ph.D. student will be responsible for designing and conducting wet-lab experiments and bioinformatic analysis in iPSC derived neuronal models under the supervision of Drs. Kilpinen and Pietiläinen.

Key requirements:
We are looking for a highly motivated and creative person with a primary interest in genomic data analysis and experimental laboratory research work in iPSC derived model systems. Candidates should have a MSc in bioinformatics, cell biology, neurobiology, molecular biology or other related disciplines. The ideal candidate will have experience in at least one of the aforementioned areas, and a strong interest in the others. Previous knowledge in neuronal differentiations, molecular cell biology, and/or large-scale genomic datasets, and strong programming skills are considered an advantage.

The position is available from November 2021 onwards, or earlier, if required. The position comes with a four-year fixed-term position, with a possibility of extension. The position is dependent of acceptance in the University of Helsinki Doctoral Programs and aims for a Ph.D. degree graduation. Trial period of 6 months will be applied.

The salary will be based on level 2-3 of the demands level chart for teaching and research personnel in the salary system of Finnish universities. In addition, the appointee will be paid a salary component based on personal performance with the overall starting salary amounting to approximately 2100-2500 EUR per month, depending on the qualifications and previous relevant research experience of the candidate.

Please submit your application via the University of Helsinki Recruitment System by clicking the ‘Apply for the position button’ below. Internal applicants (i.e. current employees of the University of Helsinki) should submit their applications through the SAP HR portal. If you need support with the recruitment system, please contact recruitment@helsinki.fi.

Please attach the following documents to your application as a single PDF file:
- CV (including publications)
- cover letter (maximum 1 page) that details your past experience and motivation for applying to the post.
- contact details of at least two references

The deadline for applications is November 30th, 2021. Interviews will be conducted either in person or online.

For more information on the position, please contact Dr. Olli Pietiläinen (olli.pietilainen@helsinki.fi) or Dr. Helena Kilpinen (helena.kilpinen@helsinki.fi)

University of Helsinki
The University of Helsinki (UH), founded in 1640, is a vibrant scientific community of 40,000 students and researchers. It is one of the leading multidisciplinary research universities and ranks among the top 100 international universities in the world. It is currently investing heavily in life sciences research. UH offers comprehensive services to its employees, including occupational health care and health insurance, sports facilities, and opportunities for professional development.

Helsinki Institute of Life Science
Helsinki Institute of Life Science (HiLIFE) is a new institute established in 2017 that supports high quality life science research across the University campuses and faculties. HiLIFE builds on existing strengths and new recruits and partnerships to create an attractive international environment for researchers to solve grand challenges in health, food, and environment. HiLIFE coordinates research infrastructures in life sciences and provides research-based interdisciplinary training.

HiLIFE -Neuroscience Center
The Neuroscience Center is an international research unit within Helsinki Institute of Life Science (HiLIFE) of the University of Helsinki, a leading Nordic university with a strong commitment to life science research. The research focus of NC is on translational brain plasticity. We carry out research relevant for the human brain both in health and disease, and during development and aging, by applying versatile approaches and modern technology platforms. NC aims at making fundamental discoveries about brain functions and especially translate research findings into improvements in the treatment, prevention and diagnosis of psychiatric and neurological disorders. The research in NC spans across several scales from stem cell research and molecular neuroscience to systems and cognitive neuroscience in both animal and human models.The research groups of NC conduct research in neuroscience at the highest international level and actively apply the results for the benefit of the society. NC collaborates actively with other units of HiLIFE and faculties of the University of Helsinki, Helsinki University Central Hospital, and Neurocenter Finland.

Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland
The Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM) is an international research unit focusing on human genomics and personalised medicine at the Helsinki Institute of Life Science (HiLIFE) of the University of Helsinki - a leading Nordic university with a strong commitment to life science research. As part of Academic Medical Center Helsinki in Meilahti campus FIMM collaborates locally with the Faculty of Medicine, Helsinki University Hospital and National Institute for Health and Welfare. FIMM is part of the Nordic EMBL Partnership for Molecular Medicine, composed of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and the centres for molecular medicine in Norway, Sweden and Denmark, and the EU-LIFE Community.

Due date

30.11.2021 23:59 EET