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Postdoctoral Researcher and Doctoral Student in Neurophysiology of Sleep and Pain

University of Helsinki, Finland, Non-U.S.

Position 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 position is available in the Translational Pain Research group at Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, led by Academy of Finland Research Fellow Dr. Vinko Palada. Dr. Palada´s team 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 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. In 2022, Finland has been ranked as the happiest country in the world for 4th time in a row according to annual World Happiness Report and was recently rated as the best country in the world for the expat families.

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 chronic pain. However, it is currently not known whether the clocks are disrupted also in painful conditions. The main aim is to access the effects of circadian disruption on pain intensity both in experimental models and in clinical cohorts. This may allow to establish the novel chronotherapeutic approaches for pain relief.


For the postdoctoral position, we encourage applications from candidates with a PhD degree in neuroscience, pharmacology, chronobiology, or other related discipline and at least one first author publication is expected. For the doctoral student position, we invite applications from highly qualified applicants with a MSc degree in neuroscience, biology and/or pharmacy/pharmacology. Previous experience with pain, sleep and circadian research, expertise in animal work, pharmacological studies, surgical skills and behavioral tests are considered a strong merit for these positions. Know-how of omics analysis, cell-based reporter assays, EEG recordings and sleep scoring is an advantage. Excellent communication skills in English and ability to work in the international team setting are expected.

To Apply:

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 to:

Application deadline: October 15th 2022, 21:00 Helsinki time

For further information, please contact Dr. Vinko Palada (

Contract and work benefits:

Employments will start on November 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.