Skip to main content

Postdoctoral Researcher in Structural Biology

Postdoctoral Researcher in Structural Biology of innate immune response in modulation of neuronal synapse loss in Alzheimer's disease/neurodegeneration


The HiLIFE - Institute of Biotechnology at the University of Helsinki, renowned for its international research excellence, is excited to announce an opening for a postdoctoral researcher to join the group of Dr. Tommi Kajander


Project Description

The research in this project is focused on structural biology and biophysics of protein interactions in neuronal synapse function and in regulation of synapse loss in Alzheimer's disease (AD) by the complement system (see e.g Chernyaeva et al. EMBO Reports (2023)). We have long standing interest in complement research (e.g. Kajander et al. PNAS (2011); Bhattacharjee et al. J Biol Chem (2013)), and synaptic adhesion (e.g. Karki et al. Sci Reports (2020), Kim et al. PNAS (2022)). Other projects in the group focus currently e.g. on endoplasmic reticulum stress response regulation, and overall on the HiLIFE protein crystallization core facility operation and related projects.

The successful candidate will work on protein production and molecular interaction studies of complement proteins protective of neuronal synapses in AD, in collaboration with Dr. Karita Haapasalo's group at the medical faculty. Specifically, protein-protein interactions of complement proteins and ApoE and synaptic proteins will be studied biophysically, biochemically, and by structural biology methods to visualize at the atomic level the protein interactions involved in the complement function at the synapse in disease states.


About you

-    You are ambitious, goal-oriented, collegial and motivated to tackle challenging new projects

-    Have PhD degree in (or in final stages to submit) in protein biochemistry/molecular biology/molecular biophysics.

-    Prior experience in protein biochemistry and expression and purification (FPLC) and molecular biology is essential

-    Expertise in some degree of cell culture work (e.g. insect cell expression) and molecular biophysics is desired

-    High interest in learning/knowledge of structural biology techniques (X-ray crystallography and CryoEM)

-    Commitment to scientific excellence as demonstrated by a publication record

-    Excellent command of English (working language at the institute)

-    Strong communication, interpersonal, organizational and time management skills


What we offer

-    A fixed-term 2-year position with possible extension

-    A collaborative, innovative and inclusive work environment

-    Support and mentoring for postdoctoral fellowship applications

-    A competitive salary depending on your qualifications and personal performance, 5-7 weeks of annual holiday leave, flexible working hours

-    Financial support with Finnish visa and residency permits, if applicable

-    Occupational health care and access to high-quality sports facilities


About the Institute of Biotechnology, HiLIFE, University of Helsinki

The Institute of Biotechnology is an independent research institute within the Helsinki Institute of Life Science (HiLIFE), at the University of Helsinki, Finland, and at the global forefront of life science research with state-of-the-art research core facilities in genomics, biological imaging and structural biology.  According to the 2024 Times Higher Education World University survey, the University of Helsinki is ranked among the top 80 universities worldwide in life science research. The University of Helsinki is committed to providing a welcoming environment for international researchers, offering comprehensive services and support for relocating to Finland-a country known for its high quality of life, excellent education system, and robust support for research and innovation.


How to apply?

Welcome with your application in English (click the 'apply' link), as soon as possible or no later than 30.6. Please note that applications will be continually reviewed. The position is available from 1st of September or according to mutual agreement. Applications should include a cover letter, CV, and contact details of three references. For further information (not applications) on the position, please contact Dr. Tommi Kajander (tommi.kajander at

Want recommendations for similar jobs via email?Subscribe search agent
Want recommendations for similar jobs via email?Subscribe search agent