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EU  Ocuther

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 722717.

ESR3: Pathogenesis of age-related macular degeneration (AMD); University of Eastern Finland (Finland)

At the University of Eastern Finland, we perform research and educate students covering a broad spectrum of the academic fields. We are located in Kuopio on a green, lake-side, modern campus with state-of-the-art facilities that include medicine, pharmaceutical sciences, biotechnology, dentistry, physics, and materials sciences. The University of Eastern Finland is among the best universities in Finland with particular strength in health science.

The Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Eastern Finland invites applications for the OCUTHER – European Training Network within Marie Sklodowska Curie Programme. The applications are invited for a

DOCTORAL STUDENT POSITION (Early Stage Researcher 3: Pathogenesis of age-related macular degeneration (AMD)

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in the elderly population and due to the absence of an effective treatment the number of patients severely disabled by AMD is expected to duplicate during the next decades. The disease has a tremendous impact on the physical and mental health of the geriatric population and their families, and it is becoming a major public health and financial burden. In this ESR project, novel pathogenetic mechanisms and therapy targets are studied. The project will generate information on the proteolytic mechanism (proteasomes, autophagy) and inflammatory signalling (inflammasomes) in AMD pathology. We use cell culture and animal models and patient material with modern cell and molecular biology technologies (gene constructs, siRNA technology, ELISA, western blotting, PCR, confocal and electron microscopy) and competitive clinical technology. The PhD thesis project aims to provide new data for AMD pathogenesis and find a novel therapy targets focused on autophagy and inflammasomes.

Required background: MSc degree in an appropriate field of science (e.g. medicine, cell and molecular biology, biology or pharmacy).

Prof. Kai Kaarniranta´s and Associate Prof. Anu Kauppinen´s research groups work in close collaboration at the University of Eastern Finland, Faculty of Health Sciences and School of Pharmacy, and they offer multi-disciplinary training in the field of translational medicine sciences. The groups’ current target is to understand cross-talk between genetic, environmental risk factors and molecular mechanisms behind AMD and provide new tools for better AMD diagnostics and risk-based prevention strategies for the healthcare system as well as for the benefit of individual patients. The OCUTHER network will provide training across a wide range of disciplines including cell and molecular biology, biology, pharmacology and ophthalmology, ensuring interdisciplinary and inter-sectoral learning experience. You will be enrolled in the University of Eastern Finland Doctoral Programme in Drug Research (DPDR) or Doctoral Programme in Clinical Medicine (DPCM) and will defend your PhD at the end of the project. The PhD research at the University of Eastern Finland will be conducted in English. You will perform your PhD research in a multidisciplinary Initial Training Network (ITN) project OCUTHER.

What we have to offer

  • Employment: 1,0 FTE;
  • Duration of the contract: 4 years;
  • At the beginning of the employment period a doctoral student’s salary will range from €2500 to €3000 gross per month before income tax and statutory work-related deductions.
  • All standard pension benefits and occupational health care are provided for university employees.

What we expect from you

At the time of recruitment, you must be in the first four years of your research career and have not yet been awarded a doctoral degree. You have excellent communication skills and are able to work efficiently in a team. Recruitment is open to all nationalities, but because of mobility rules defined by the EU, at the time of recruitment, candidates must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Finland for more than 12 months in the three years immediately prior to the reference date (compulsory national service and/or short stays, such as holidays, are not taken into account).

Would you like to know more?

  • Further information on:
  • For more information about this vacancy and the project, please contact:
    • Prof. Kai Kaarniranta;
    • E-mail:

Are you interested?

Your application should include (and be limited to) the following attachments:

  • Letter of motivation
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Brief statement on how you will contribute to this project

A probationary period is applied to all new members of the staff.

The application needs to be submitted not later than 5.2.2017 (by 24.00 hours Finnish time) by using the electronic application form.

Apply for the job