Postdoctoral researcher and doctoral student in circadian regulation of pain (# of pos: 2)

Updated: 2 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 30 Nov 2021

Description: The University of Helsinki is an international scientific community of 40,000 students and researchers. It is a leading university in Nordics and Europe and one of the top 100 international universities in the world. Postdoctoral researcher and doctoral student positions are available in the newly established Translational Pain Research group at Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, led by Academy Research Fellow Dr. Vinko Palada. Dr. Palada´s group investigates circadian regulation of chronic pain and associated comorbidities by using the state-of-the-art methods such as high-throughput omics, molecular biology, drug library screens and the functional studies in experimental models. This is a new and exciting research field, with the goals to revolutionize our understanding of pain mechanisms and to develop novel therapies for pain relief. The group closely collaborates with Helsinki University Hospital and Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.

Project description: Neuropathic pain affects up to 8% of the general population and is one of the most challenging pain conditions to treat due to poor efficacy of the currently available drugs and comorbidities, particularly sleep disorders, which are insufficiently addressed in pain management. On the molecular level, both sleep and pain are under circadian control. As adaptation to 24h environment on Earth, our internal circadian clocks are reset daily to precisely 24h and disruptions in this pattern have been reported in sleep disorders, frequent in neuropathic pain. However, it is currently not known whether these clocks are disrupted also in pain conditions. The main aim is to provide the first evidence whether nerve injury disrupts circadian clocks in pain regulating sensory tissues. This may allow the use of chronobiotics, drugs with ability to modify circadian rhythmicity, to resynchronize clocks and sleep patters and provide pain relief.

Job description and key requirements: For the doctoral student position, we invite the application of highly qualified applicants with a Msc degree in neuroscience, biology and/or pharmacy. The successful postdoctoral applicants will have at least one first authorship publication and PhD degree in neuroscience, biology, chronobiology, or other related discipline. Previous experience with pain and circadian research, expertise in animal models, surgical skills and behavioral tests are considered a strong merit for these positions. Know-how of omics analysis are beneficial. Excellent communication skills in English and ability to work in the international team setting are expected.

Application requirements: Please send your application including a detailed CV (with a date of thesis defense, title of the thesis, previous academic/work positions, current position, academic distinctions and list of peer-reviewed publications), motivation letter (1 page) and three reference contacts as a single PDF file to the University of Helsinki electronic recruitment system by clicking on the ‘Apply for position’ button:

Internal applicants (i.e., current employees of the University of Helsinki) must submit their applications through the SAP HR portal. Deadline for application is November 30th, 2021. For further information, please contact Dr. Vinko Palada (vinko.palada(at)

Contract and work benefits: Employments would start on March 1st 2022 as fixed 3-year position for doctoral student and 2-year position for postdoctoral researcher, with a possibility of extension. The initial salaries are according to the salary system of the Finnish universities. In 2021, Finland has been ranked as the happiest country in the world for 4th time in a row according to the annual World Happiness Report and was recently rated as the best country in the world for expat families. Finland and Helsinki possess top expertise in sciences in terms of a vibrant talent pool, leading research, strong support services and functioning collaboration networks. For more information about working at the University of Helsinki and living in Finland, please see

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