Open Positions

PhD-student and post-doctoral positions in cell and structural biology of the actin cytoskeleton 



The HiLIFE - Institute of Biotechnology, located in the Viikki science park, is a research institute at University of Helsinki, The institute harbors ~35 research groups and 250 researchers, and it operates at the highest international level. 

The ‘Actin-based molecular machines’ group of Academy Professor Pekka Lappalainen at Institute of Biotechnology is now inviting applications for post-doctoral researcher and/or PhD-student positions in cell biology, biochemistry, and structural biology. The actin cytoskeleton is critical for a vast number of vital cellular processes such as morphogenesis, motility, endocytosis, cytokinesis, and mechanosensing. Abnormalities in actin-dependent processes, including cell morphogenesis, motility and cytokinesis, are hallmarks of cancer. Moreover, many pathogens exploit the actin polymerization machinery of the host cell during the infection process. The research group of Pekka Lappalainen uses an array of biochemical, cell biological, genetic, and structural biology methods to reveal how structure and dynamics of the actin cytoskeleton are regulated in various cellular and pathological processes. 

The group is seeking for dedicated and enthusiastic post-doctoral fellows and/or PhD-students to join projects that focus on: 1). Understanding the mechanisms by which contractile, mechanosensitive actomyosin bundles assemble in human cells, and 2). Elucidating functions and regulation of the actin cytoskeletons in evolutionarily distant pathogenic unicellular parasites. The post-doctoral applicants should hold PhD in cell biology, biochemistry, or a related field. Strong expertise in protein biochemistry, structural biology, or cell biology is highly beneficial. The PhD-student applicants should obtain MSc or related degree in the molecular biology field latest by the end of year 2021, and have a strong interest to carry out cutting-edge research. 

Application should include the following documents as a single pdf file (max 5 pages): CV, list of publications, motivation letter including a description of your research interests, and the names and telephone numbers of at least two referees. Please submit your application, together with the required pdf attachment, through the University of Helsinki electronic recruitment system ( The deadline for the applications is 15th of April, 2021, but the positions will be filled immediately once suitable candidates have been identified. 

For informal inquiries, contact ‘pekka.lappalainen(at)’.