Postdoctoral Researcher / Doctoral Researcher in the Functional Cancer Genomics group

The Functional Cancer Genomics group led by Dr. Sakari Vanharanta at the Translational Cancer Medicine Program, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, Finland, invites applications for the position of




The goal of our research is to understand how cancers develop and spread, and how this knowledge could be used for the development of new approaches for therapy. We study how cancer mutations activate oncogenic programs and how these programs lead to cancer progression and metastasis. Specifically, our aims are to understand (i) how normal transcriptional programs are co-opted for carcinogenesis, (ii) how these programs interact with genetically activated oncogenic pathways, (iii) what the critical pro-tumorigenic mechanisms of cancer mutations are, and (iv) whether cancer-specific cellular programs lead to molecular vulnerabilities that could be exploited for cancer therapy and patient benefit. Our research combines experimental cancer models and human cancer data sets with state-of-the-art genomics (e.g. chromatin and transcriptional profiling), mechanistic analysis using various methods of genetic perturbation, and unbiased functional genetic screens (e.g. CRISPR/Cas9 screens), as demonstrated by our recent work (Patel et al. Nature 2022).


The Functional Cancer Genomics group consists of biomedical scientists with diverse backgrounds and expertise. We have strong international connections and work in a collaborative manner towards shared goals. After eight years at the University of Cambridge, the team has recently moved to Helsinki, and is located at Biomedicum Helsinki within the Academic Medical Center Helsinki, which provides a multidisciplinary research environment for basic and translational research with state-of-the-art facilities, cutting-edge technologies and synergistic expertise of several research groups.


We are looking for highly motivated biomedical scientists with a strong background in molecular and cell biology, biochemistry, functional genomics, cancer biology, genetics, computational biology, bioinformatics, or other related disciplines. At the postdoctoral level a successful candidate should have a PhD degree in an appropriate biological subject and a demonstrated track record of peer-reviewed publications. At the pre-doctoral level, previous experience in biomedical research or bioinformatics is considered an advantage.


Candidates should be able to demonstrate abstract thinking as well as potential to develop and pursue scientific projects in the field of cancer biology. Excellent communication skills in English and organizational abilities are expected. The position is available as soon as the selected candidates are available. The project allows initially a three-year fixed-term position. Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience based on the University guidelines.


Please submit your application as a single PDF file through the University’s electronic recruitment system. If you need technical support with the recruitment system, please contact recruitment (at)


The deadline for applications is 25 July 2022.


Please attach the following documents to your application as a single PDF file:
•    Cover letter that details your past experience and motivation for applying for the post
•    CV (including publications)
•    Contact details of at least three referees


For more information on the positions and specific projects, please contact Dr. Sakari Vanharanta, sakari.vanharanta (at)


More information on the Translational Cancer Medicine Program can be found here.


For additional information about the application process, please contact the HR team at hr-ltdk (at)


Relevant publications:
Patel et al. The renal lineage factor PAX8 controls oncogenic signalling in kidney cancer. Nature (2022).
Patel et al. Genomic control of metastasis. Br J Cancer. (2021) Jan;124(1):3-12.
Rodrigues et al. NF-kappaB-dependent lymphoid enhancer co-option promotes renal carcinoma metastasis. Cancer Discov. (2018), Jul;8(7):850-865

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Open position

Due Date:  25.07.2022
Unit:  Faculty of Medicine
Sub-unit:  Research Programs Unit
ID:  316

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