Project Researcher within project Bioelectronic activation of cell functions, 1.1.2021-30.6.2022 Åbo Akademi University, Finland

Project Researcher within project Bioelectronic activation of cell functions, 1.1.2021-30.6.2022

Åbo Akademi University, Finland

Åbo Akademi University is an internationally acknowledged research university with an extensive responsibility for providing education in Swedish in Finland. With its international research community and its strong Nordic ties, Åbo Akademi University has an acclaimed and recognized position within research and education both nationally and internationally. The Faculty of Science and Engineering develops solutions and processes to slow down climate change, promotes a cleaner environment and a healthier sea and finds methods to discover, treat and prevent diseases. Our goal is a healthy human in a sustainable society. Our research is done in cooperation with the industry, research institutes and other universities both in Finland and abroad.

The Faculty of Science and Engineering at Åbo Akademi University invites applications for a fixed-termed position as a project researcher for the period 1.1.2021-30.6.2022 or as agreed, the COVID-19 situation permitting. The fixed-termed position is full time and for one and a half year.


The Organic Electronics group headed by Ronald Österbacka has made fundamental discoveries in the development of ion-modulated organic transistors, water-gated organic field-effect transistor biosensor (BIO-FET) and paper electronics, as well as extraction current transient techniques for measurements of charge transport and recombination in low-mobility materials. Modelling device performance has always been an important part of the group activities.

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 the lab 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 progression.


We are seeking an ambitious project researcher to join our project on Bioelectronic activation of cell functions (BACE). The project forms an interdisciplinary approach bringing together researchers within experimental physics and molecular biology, in order to activate cell 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 project aims at developing bioelectronics tools with the aim of controlling cell signalling for tissue regeneration.


We invite 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 knowledge.

We are looking for candidates that meet the following requirements

  • The candidate should have a PhD in molecular biology, biochemistry, synthetic biology or an equivalent area
  • Fluent in English, both spoken and written (Swedish, Finnish and other languages are an advantage)
  • A research-oriented attitude, analytical skills and a proven ability to formulate research questions and design experiments
  • Ability to work in a team

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, cloning, Western Blotting, PCR) and cell signaling is required. Knowledge in e.g. biophysics, synthetic biology, chemistry or engineering (with strong molecular background) is an advantage.


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.
  • The salary for a project researcher is in accordance with the Finnish University salary system for teaching and research personnel job demand levels 5-6 . In addition, there is a salary component based on personal work performance according to the general collective agreement for universities.

The project researcher is required to work a total of 1,612 hours per year. The work tasks will be defined in detail in an annual work plan. A trial period applies to new employees. The position is located in Turku.


Submit your application together with the following attachments through the application system below:

  • A free-format letter of application (in English)
  • An academic portfolio , including a full publication list
  • A copy of the PhD degree diploma
  • A research summary of previous research activities and obtained skills (max. one A4 page)
  • Recommendation letter from or contact details to 2 referees

Deadline for submission of application for the position is on 30 November 2020 at 15:00 (Finnish time).


Please, feel free to contact project director Ronald Österbacka ( ) or group leader Cecilia Sahlgren ( ) for any questions in relation to the position.

Please contact HR Specialist Sabina Ringvall ( ) for questions regarding the application process.

Åbo Akademi University is actively working for equal gender distribution and diversity across all personnel groups.

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