PhD Scholarship in Cell Biology and Laboratory Automation

A PhD scholarship in developmental biology is available at University of Helsinki. The funds for this position are available for 6 months. Potential candidates should apply before September 01, 2019.

The Faculty of Medicine promotes scientific research of a high standard and is responsible for providing research-based undergraduate and postgraduate education in medicine, dentistry, psychology and logopedics, as well as for the English-language Master's Programme in Translational Medicine. In addition to its teaching and research activities, the Faculty serves as a significant expert organisation in the healthcare sector and contributes to the discourse on ethics in the field. In terms of research, the Faculty aims for a place among the best medical faculties in the world, while consolidating and strengthening its status as a top-level institution of medical education.

Together with the Helsinki University Hospital (HUS) and the Helsinki Institute of Life Sciences (HiLIFE), the Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, constitutes the Academic Medical Center Helsinki (AMCH). This medical center has been very successful in international comparisons, ranking among the top 10 medical campuses in Europe and among the top 50 globally.

The Faculty of Medicine is seeking a

Dr. Simon Pfisterer is setting up a new research group at the Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, and is looking for a highly motivated doctoral student to join his multi-disciplinary team.

Hypercholesterolemia, an elevated blood concentration of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) increases the risk for cardiovascular disease, which is one of the most common causes for death worldwide. Individuals respond differently to LDL lowering medications. Currently, we do not understand the cellular defects underlying increased blood LDL concentration and how different responses to LDL lowering therapies arise in individual patients.

It is the goal of the research team to set up state-of-the-art laboratory automation tools to elucidate cellular mechanisms underlying the development of hypercholesterolemia. For this purpose, we will establish a work environment where cell biological research is truly merging with laboratory automation and programming. We are looking for a highly motivated doctoral student to join this dynamic and collaborative research team.

Desired skills and experience: You must hold a M.Sc. degree (or about to graduate) in cell biology, genetics, developmental biology, biochemistry, or related field. Conceptual knowledge of basic cell and molecular biology methods is required and prior practical experience in cell biology or imaging is appreciated. Since you will be part of an international research environment, good communication skills in English are important.

The full-time position can start as soon as possible or upon mutual agreement. The salary is based on the demand level 2 of the salary system of the Finnish Universities for Teaching and researcher staff. In addition, the appointee will be paid a salary component based on personal work performance. A trial period of 6 months will be applied.

-A motivation letter (max. 1 page) -CV including: Education/previous degrees obtained, prior laboratory work/research experience -Two recommendation letters or names and contact information of reference To apply for the position, please submit the application through the University of Helsinki electronic recruitment system by clicking on Apply for job. Internal applicants (i.e., current employees of the University of Helsinki) please submit your applications through the SAP HR portal.

The deadline for applications is 01.09.2019.

If you have any questions, please contact: simon.pfisterer(at)

1.Pfisterer, S. G. et al. Role for formin-like 1-dependent acto-myosin assembly in lipid droplet dynamics and lipid storage. Nat. Commun. 8, 14858 (2017). 2.Sandhu, J., Pfisterer S.G. et al. Aster Proteins Facilitate Nonvesicular Plasma Membrane to ER Cholesterol Transport in Mammalian Cells. Cell 175, 514-529.e20 (2018). 3.Pfisterer, S. G., Pernen, J. & Ikonen, E. LDL-cholesterol transport to the endoplasmic reticulum: current concepts. Curr. Opin. Lipidol. 27, 282-287 (2016).


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