PhD Student Radiopharmaceutical Chemistry at University of Helsinki

University of Helsinki is delighted to offer a PhD position in molecular imaging. The funds for this position are available for 6 months. This position is closed on June 20, 2019.

The University of Helsinki, founded in 1640, is one of the world's leading universities for multidisciplinary research. The university has an international academic community of 40,000 students and staff members. The Department of Chemistry ( at the Faculty of Science carries out research on chemistry and its applications at an international level and provides academic teaching based on high quality research. The department forms accountability unit operating on an annual budget of 19 million euros and reports 200 person-years per annum. There are 14 professors at the Department.

Radiopharmaceutical chemistry research is a part of the Research Programme in Molecular Science at the Department of Chemistry. The Tracers in Molecular Imaging (TRIM) research group develops new molecular imaging tools and radiopharmaceuticals for positron emission tomography (PET) and single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) for different biomedical applications including oncology, image-guided drug delivery, neurology, and radiation therapy. In addition, we offer training at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels in radiopharmaceutical chemistry.

The Department of Chemistry invites applications for a

position in Radiopharmaceutical Chemistry under the supervision of Academy Research Fellow, Dr. Mirkka Sarparanta. The successful applicant will join the Tracers in Molecular Imaging (TRIM) research group at the Department of Chemistry, and enroll in the Doctoral Programme of Chemistry and Molecular Science (CHEMS-DP) at the Doctoral School of Natural Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Helsinki. The work is scheduled to start in January 2020 and the employment contract includes a trial period of 6 months.

Position description

The Academy of Finland -funded PhD project aims to develop PET and multimodal imaging tools for the tracking of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes in vivo in the course of cancer immunotherapy. In the course of the project, you will develop new labelling methods for tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes including T and NK cells using radioactive isotopes including 18F, 68Ga and 89Zr and fluorescent labels. Your work will involve organic synthesis, purification and characterization of radiolabeling precursors, radiolabeling synthesis development and biological evaluation of the developed tracers in vitro in cell models and in vivo in mouse tumor models with positron emission tomography (PET) imaging and biodistribution studies. You are expected to present your findings in scientific meetings and workshops, prepare funding applications for travel and research grants, as well as prepare manuscripts for publication in international scientific journals. Requirements

Motivated candidates with a M.Sc. degree or equivalent in chemistry, pharmacy, biochemistry or other related fields are encouraged to apply. Prior expertise in work in a chemistry laboratory, in organic synthesis and analytical techniques, and other relevant experimental methods, and in handling of radioactive materials and research animals are advantageous, but most importantly you should have a strong motivation for research in a highly multidisciplinary topic, enthusiasm to learn new things and contribute ideas, and possess the ability to conduct your research independently while being an active member of an international research team. Good written and oral communication skills will be needed. The selected candidate must meet the eligibility requirements for doctoral studies at the University of Helsinki (…) and prepare and submit an application for the fall 2019 application cycle for a study right in January 2020. Salary and benefits

The salary will be in accordance with the University salary system (for teaching and research personnel, starting level 2). In addition, the appointee will be paid a salary component based on personal performance. The starting salary will be approximately 2200-2500 /month. The University of Helsinki offers comprehensive services to its employees, including occupational health care and health insurance, sports facilities, and opportunities for professional development. The International Staff Services office ( assists employees from abroad with their transition to work and life in Finland.

How to apply

Applications should include a CV (with possible list of publications included), a copy of your transcript records (the courses completed during your M.Sc. program), contact details of two references (e.g. M.Sc. thesis or internship supervisor), and a letter (maximum 1 page) with a description of your research interests and why you would be a suitable candidate for the project Please submit your application with the attachments via the University of Helsinki Recruitment System by clicking the Apply for the position button below.

The deadline for applications is June 20, 2019.

Additional information

For further inquiries regarding the position, please contact Dr. Mirkka Sarparanta ( For more information on the research group and publications, see both and….


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