Bioin­form­atician, In­sti­tute of Biotechnology

Helsinki, Finland
25 Jun 2020
End of advertisement period
01 Jul 2020
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time


A bioinformatician position is available at the Institute of Biotechnology, University of Helsinki, in the laboratory of Dr. Anamaria Balic.

The group is part of the Institute of Biotechnology (BI) at the University of Helsinki, which is an independent research institute within HiLIFE Helsinki Institute of Life Science ( The mission of BI is to increase knowledge in biotechnology and multidisciplinary bioscience and use this for the benefit of society. HiLIFE and BI offer state-of-the-art core facilities in microscopy, imaging, model organisms, omics technologies, genome editing, histotechnology and bioinformatics.

Our laboratory is studying stem cells responsible for tissue homeostasis and regeneration. In many organs, two distinct stem cell populations exist: the epithelial, tissue-resident stem cells, and the mesenchymal stem cells, most often recruited from outside of the organ. Despite the diversity of our organs, these stem cell populations share common molecular and cellular characteristics, and are regulated by a similar battery of signalling factors. Tissue-resident epithelial stem cells reside within specific, discrete anatomical spaces called niches; a dynamic structure composed of cells and extra cellular matrix that control their activity. How and when the niches are formed is not known. Mesenchymal stem cell population, however, is still elusive, and little is known of what maintains this population and regulates its homing and migration to the site of injury. To address these fundamental questions in stem cell biology we use the mouse incisor tooth whose continuous growth is supported by lifelong maintenance of epithelial stem cells, and stable influx of mesenchymal stem cells. We aim to unravel mechanisms, which regulate these stem cell populations during early development and postnatally, using genomic, cellular and molecular biology approaches. The specific focus is on Hedgehog pathway. The research projects include state-of-the-art cellular and molecular biology methods, including live imaging, high-throughput -omics and functional studies.

We are looking for an enthusiastic and motivated candidate, with a doctoral degree in Bioinformatics. Proficiency in R and Bioconductor, knowledge of Python, as well as general proficiency with UNIX operating systems is strongly desired. Expertise in statistical methods and algorithm development in the context of biological systems, as well as the experience in analysis of functional sequencing data, such as RNA-seq or ATAC-seq is advantageous. The candidate should have the ability to work independently and conduct work that includes integrative analysis of transcriptional and spatially-resolved data in the context of specific biological processes (e.g. organ development, cell specification, cell differentiation, etc.). Good communication skills and the ability to work as a part of a team is required.

To apply, please send a single pdf document including a cover letter, CV including a list of publications and a contact information for at least 2 referees through the University of Helsinki electronic recruitment system by clicking on the Apply link below. Internal applicants (i.e., current employees of the University of Helsinki) please submit your applications through the SAP HR portal. The deadline for the applications is 1.7.2020.

The salary is defined in accordance with the University salary system for teaching and research personnel. The positions could start as early as September 2020, or as agreed with the selected candidates. The position is initially for a fixed term of one year, with a possibility of extension for up to three consecutive years. A trial period of six months will be applied.

For more information, contact Dr. Anamaria Balic ( Further information on the recruitment process (incl. the recruitment system) can be obtained from HR Specialist Anu Roine (

The University of Helsinki, founded in 1640, is one of the top 100 ranked universities (see, currently investing heavily in life sciences and multidisciplinary research. It is an international academic community of 40,000 students and staff members, which provides comprehensive services to its employees, including occupational health care and health insurance, sports facilities, and opportunities for professional development.

Relevant articles:

  1. Binder, M., Biggs, L.C., Kronenberg, M.S., Schneider, P., Thesleff, I., Balic, A., Novel strategies for expansion of tooth epithelial stem cells and ameloblast generation. Scientific Reports 10(1).
  2. Binder M, Chmielarz P, McKinnon PJ, Biggs LC, Thesleff I and Balic A. Functionally distinctive Ptch receptors establish multimodal Hedgehog signaling in the tooth epithelial stem cell niche. Stem Cells 37, 1238-1248. (2019).
  3. Balic A. Cellular and molecular mechanisms regulating tooth inititation. Stem Cells. 2019 Jan;37(1):26-32.

Due date

01.07.2020 23:59 EEST