PhD Scholarship in Plant Molecular Biology and Signal Transduction

A new opening PhD position in life sciences is available at University of Helsinki, Finland. The funding allows successful candidate to work for 4 years. Applications are welcome before July 10, 2019.

A PhD student position is available at the University of Helsinki, Finland to work in the group of Dr. Michael Wrzaczek ( The position is a part of a 4-year research project funded by the Academy of Finland ( aimed at understanding the integration of signaling events targeting plasma membrane-localized proteins in plants. Funding is available for up to 4 years.

The PhD student will analyze how signal transduction elements including, but not limited to, protein phosphorylation by receptor-like protein kinases (RLKs) and protein-protein interactions determine the enzymatic activity of proteins residing in the plant plasma membrane. The student will concentrate in particular on the control of reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in response to biotic and abiotic environmental stimuli. Experimental systems will include Arabidopsis thaliana and Nicotiana benthamiana but also human cell culture as a heterologous system.

Skills useful for the position include experience with protein work (production of recombinant proteins in bacteria, yeast or animal cell culture), proteomics as well as confocal microscopy. Familiarity with molecular biological techniques (PCR, cloning) is required. Prior experience with research on plants is a plus but not strictly required. The project is carried out with collaborators in Germany, Czech Republic and Japan and a suitable candidate is expected to be willing to travel.

The position will be available from September 1st 2019 or later upon negotiation. The salary will be based on level 2-4 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 amount being about 2200 EUR per month. A six-month trial period will be applied.

– a motivation letter – CV including list of publications (if applicable) – contact information for two references. Please submit your application using the University of Helsinki Recruitment System via the link Apply for the position. Applicants who are employees of the University of Helsinki are requested to leave their application via the SAP HR portal. Applications should be submitted by July 10th 2019.

Informal inquiries should be directed to Dr. Michael Wrzaczek (michael.wrzaczek (at)

Finland is a member of the EU, has high quality free schooling (also in English), generous family benefits and healthcare, and was recently ranked as the happiest country in the world. The University of Helsinki is a top 100 ranked university in most ranking lists, and is currently investing heavily in life sciences research.

Kimura S, Hunter K, Vaahtera L, Tran HC, Vaattovaara A, Rokka A, Stolze SC, Harzen A, Meiner L, Wilkens M, Hamann T, Toyota M, Nakagami H, Wrzaczek M. 2019. CRK2-mediated control of ROS production by phosphorylation of the RBOHD C-terminus in Arabidopsis. biorXiv doi: Hunter K, Kimura S, Rokka A, Tran HC, Toyota M, Kukkonen JP, Wrzaczek M. 2019. CRK2 enhances salt tolerance by regulating callose deposition in connection with PLD1. Accepted at Plant Physiology. Vaattovaara A, Brandt B, Sitaram R, Safronov O, Veidenberg A, Luklov M, Kangasjrvi J, Lytynoja A, Hothorn M, Salojrvi J, Wrzaczek M. 2019. Mechanistic insights into the evolution of DUF26-containing proteins in land plants. Communications Biology 2: 56. Kimura S, Waszczak C, Hunter K, Wrzaczek M. 2017. Bound by fate: reactive oxygen species in receptor-like kinase signaling. Plant Cell 29(4): 638-654.
Deadline: July 10, 2019
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