Postdoctoral Researcher or Doctoral Researcher in Cell Communication group

Updated: 2 months ago
Deadline: 18 Dec 2023

The Cell Communication group led by Dr. Kari Vaahtomeri at the Translational Cancer Medicine Research Program, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki invites applications for a fixed-term position of

Postdoctoral Researcher / Doctoral Student

Vaahtomeri lab is a dynamic young research group composed of cell biologists, biochemists, and developmental biologists. We investigate how cell migration is guided, i.e. how guidance cues are created, and how cells exchange information, such as antigens. In these studies, we use lymphatics as a model system, since lymphatic vessel growth and leukocyte homing to lymph nodes present plenty of opportunities to manipulate and image migrating cells and dynamic cell-cell interactions. Accordingly, much of our research is based on high-end microscopy, especially live imaging of tissue explant and primary cell cultures, and the associated image analysis.

Currently, the lymphatic system is considered one of the most promising targets to manipulate the level of adaptive immunity in inflammation-associated diseases, such as cancer. Thus, our studies on antigen-presenting dendritic cell guidance to the lymphatic system and mechanisms of efficient lymphatic vessel tissue coverage will form bases for translational studies aimed at boosting adaptive immunity.

Who are we looking for

We are looking for a candidate with a strong background in cell biology, biochemistry, mouse models, and/or image analysis. The candidate should be highly motivated to investigate key open questions in the fields of:

  • Cell biology
  • Vascular biology
  • Membrane dynamics

At the postdoctoral level, the candidate should have a PhD degree in appropriate biological subject and a demonstrated track record of peer-reviewed publications. The degree requirement must be met by the beginning of the employment. At the pre-doctoral level, previous experience in cell biology, mouse models, biochemistry, and/or image analysis is considered an advantage. Doctoral Researcher must obtain the right to pursue doctoral studies at the University of Helsinki within the trial period. Candidates should be able to demonstrate abstract thinking as well as the potential to develop and pursue scientific projects in the field of cell biology (cell culture and in vivo/explant). Furthermore, the candidate should have excellent communication skills in English and the ability to work in an international environment.

What we offer

The position is a fixed-term for three (3) years and includes a six-month trial period and a possibility for extension. The position will be filled immediately upon identification of a suitable candidate. The starting date is negotiable. Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience based on the University of Helsinki guidelines. The chosen applicant is expected to reside in Finland while employed by the University of Helsinki.

The work is supervised by principal investigator Kari Vaahtomeri (Ph.D., Doc.). Our research group has international connections and is located on the medical campus in the Translational Cancer Medicine Research Program, Biomedicum Helsinki, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, and Wihuri Research Institute. The immediate research environment provides state-of-the-art facilities, cutting-edge expertise in vascular-, tumor- and stem cell biology, and great synergy with renowned research groups.

More information on the Translational Cancer Medicine Research Program can be found here:

How to apply

Please submit your application as a single PDF file through the University’s electronic recruitment system by clicking “Apply now” button. Applicants who are already employees of the University of Helsinki are requested to submit their application via the SAP Fiori portal at .

If you need technical support with the recruitment system or additional information about the application process, please contact the HR team of the faculty of Medicine at hr-ltdk (at) Closing date for the applications is on Monday, 18 December 2023.

The University of Helsinki welcomes applicants from a variety of gender identities, linguistic and cultural backgrounds. You can read more about working at the university on our website .

Please attach the following documents as a single PDF file:

  • A cover letter that details your past work experience and motivation for applying this position
  • CV, including a list of publications
  • Transcript of study records
  • Contact details of at least two referees

For more information on the position and specific projects, please contact Dr. Kari Vaahtomeri (kari.vaahtomeri (at)

Relevant publications

Can Ucar M. et al. ”Self-organized and directed branching results in space-filling coverage in developing dermal lymphatic networks”. 2023, Nature Communications 14(1):5878

Vaahtomeri K. et al. “Shape and function of interstitial chemokine CCL21 gradients are independent of heparan sulfates produced by lymphatic endothelium”. 2021, Front Immunol. 12:630002.

Vaahtomeri K. et al. “Triggered release of chemokine CCL21 drives dendritic cell transendothelial migration”. 2017, Cell Reports. 19(5):902-909.

About us

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.

The Faculty of Medicine promotes high quality scientific research. It provides research-based undergraduate and postgraduate education in medicine, dentistry, psychology and logopedics, and an international Master's Program in Translational Medicine. It also offers psychotherapist education. In addition to its teaching and research activities, the Faculty serves as a significant expert organization in the healthcare sector and contributes to the discourse on ethics in the field. The Faculty aims to be one of the best medical research faculties in the world, while reinforcing its status as a distinguished institution of multidisciplinary education in healthcare.

The Faculty of Medicine at the University of Helsinki constitutes the academic medical center together with HUS Helsinki University Hospital and the Helsinki Institute of Life Science (HiLIFE). This medical center has been successful in international comparisons, ranking among the top 10 medical campuses in Europe and the top 50 globally.

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