Åbo Akademi University invites applications for a fixed term position as a PhD Student in Cell Biology starting 1.4.2019 within SPACE-Project (42 months) and within BACE-Project (48 months)


Research group

The Cell Fate lab led by Professor Cecilia Sahlgren is focused on the
fundamental molecular mechanisms that guide cell fate and cell
organization in stem cell differentiation, tissue formation and in
disease such as cancer. Together with collaborators we utilize such
knowledge to develop material-based medical technologies to control
these mechanisms in regenerative and cancer therapies. Coordination of
cells through molecular cell signaling pathways is crucial for the
formation of functional tissues and signaling is often deregulated in
diseases such as cancer, allowing cells to acquire abnormal functions
and pathological remodeling of tissue architecture. The physical,
mechanical and chemical stimuli of the microenvironment also influence
cell signaling and cell fate decisions during development and disease

Project description

We are seeking 2 ambitious PhD candidates to join our projects on
Spatiotemporal activation of cell functions (SPACE) 1.4.2019-31.8.2022
or Bioelectronic activation of cell functions (BACE)
1.4.2019-28.2.2023. These projects form an interdisciplinary approach
bringing together researchers within experimental physics and
molecular biology, in order to activate Notch signalling on demand.
The Notch signalling pathway is a seemingly simple signalling system
where the interaction between a ligand at the surface of one cell and
a receptor at the surface of another gives rise to one active
signalling fragment, which regulates target gene expression. Notch is
involved in cell fate specification during development, usually by
facilitating binary cell fate decisions or by maintaining stem cell
fate. Perturbation of the signalling cascade is a contributing factor
in the development of various diseases. Strictly organised, both
spatial and temporal, expression of different receptors and ligands is
essential for proper development of different organs, with each
consecutive activation of Notch driving a specific morphogenic
process. The possibility of controlling Notch receptor activation by
regulating ligand dose and the specific timing of activation will
enable us to better understand different developmental patterns.


We are accepting applications from enthusiastic and highly talented
candidates who are interested in a dynamic, stimulating and ambitious
environment to perform their research and share their scientific

We are looking for candidates that meet the following requirements

•The candidate should have a MSc in molecular biology, cell biology,
or an equivalent area

Personal qualities

We are seeking a driven and pro-active applicant with good
communication and interpersonal skills. The applicant should be
confident in working independently, but value developing good working
relationships both within the research group and with collaborators.
Knowledge of basic cell and molecular biological techniques (e.g.
mammalian cell culture, Western Blotting, PCR) is required. Knowledge
in e.g. biophysics, synthetic biology, chemistry or engineering (with
strong molecular background) is an asset.


We offer

•A challenging job at a dynamic and ambitious environment and in an
enthusiastic international, interdisciplinary team.

•Access to world class infrastructure in proteomics, metabolomics,
functional genomics, bioinformatics and bioimaging.

•Support with your personal development and career planning.

•Gross monthly salary is in accordance with the salary system of
Finnish universities based on levels 2 – 4 of the job demand level for
teaching and research personnel. In addition, a salary component based
on personal work performance is paid.

•Doctoral training programme at Åbo Akademi University


The salary for PhD Student is in accordance with the Finnish
University salary system for teaching and research personnel job
demand levels 2-4, where the work specific salary component is
2011,17-2507,62€ per month. In addition, there is a salary component
based on personal work performance, which is at most 50.00% of the
base salary.


Please submit your electronic application with enclosures below
(Submit application, www.abo.fi/jobb). The closing date for
applications is March 19th, 2019 at 15.00 Finnish time.

A free-format letter of application (in English)
Copies of the bachelor’s and master’s degree diplomas, including the
study record (with grades)
Your CV (in English)
Copies of documents that support the candidates English language skills
Recommendation letter or contact details to references


For further information, please contact professor Cecilia Sahlgren,
group leader, Cell Biology, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Åbo
Akademi University, e-mail: cecilia.sahlgren@abo.fi or Marika
Sjöqvist, PhD, marika.sjoqvist@abo.fi

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