The Neuroscience Center of HiLIFE Helsinki Institute of Life Science (HiLIFE-NC) invites applications for a

postdoctoral researcher

in Dr. Olli Pietiläinen group.

The position is part of research program that aims to discover biological mechanisms of schizophrenia and related neuropsychiatric disorders. The Pietiläinen group combines 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 Pietiläinen group at the HiLIFE-NC is located at the Meilahti biomedical campus in Helsinki and is closely linked with research groups at the HiLIFE Institute for Molecular Medicine (HiLIFE-FIMM) and the Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences HiLIFE-NC offers an inspiring environment to solve fundamental challenges of brain functions as part of the multidisciplinary HiLIFE infrastructure at the university of Helsinki. In Pietiläinen group 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.

Role description:
We are seeking a postdoctoral researcher to work on a multidisciplinary project that utilizes human induce pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) to model cellular processes involved in neuropsychiatric disorders. The primary goal is to use known genetic risk variants to identify intermediate cellular phenotypes that underlie neuropsychiatric 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 readouts from the neuronal cell cultures will be compared to data generated from other model systems and human brain to validate the biological context of the in vitro results. The genomic analyses are complemented by cellular assays and gene editing techniques in isogenic cell lines. We are looking for a person for planning, conducting and co-supervising computational and bioinformatic research in the Pietiläinen group.

Key requirements:
We are looking for a highly motivated and creative person with a primary interest in genomic analysis of RNA sequence data from single cell and bulk experiments. Candidates should have a PhD in bioinformatics, genetics, computational biology, statistics 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 experience with large-scale genomic and/or single-cell datasets, and strong programming skills are considered an advantage.

The position is available from December 2020 onwards, or earlier, if required. It is a two-year fixed-term position, with a possibility of extension. Trial period of 6 months will be applied. Multiple candidates may be recruited.

The salary will be based on level 5 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 3443-3621 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

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 2020. Interviews will be conducted either in person or online.

For more information on the position, please contact Dr. Olli Pietiläinen ( For additional information on the recruitment process, you may also contact HR Specialist Anu Roine, e-mail:

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.

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.

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.

Due date

30.11.2020 23:59 EET