Doctoral Student in Genetics of Sudden Cardiac Death
University of Oulu Faculty of Medicine

Doctoral Student position in Genetics of Sudden Cardiac Death

Description of the position

Cardiovascular diseases are the most common cause of death in the Western society. Approximately half of all cardiovascular deaths are sudden. During the last decades progress has been made in reducing cardiovascular mortality in younger, working age population, but still more than half of all sudden cardiac death victims are under 65 years of age. Myocardial fibrosis is a significant contributor in cardiovascular diseases and is a major factor in sudden cardiac death. Our research project focuses on finding genetic and clinical risk markers for sudden cardiac death related to myocardial fibrosis. For this purpose we have collected one of the largest sudden cardiac death populations in the world (Fingesture, n= 5869) during the years 1998-2017.

We are seeking for a PhD student to work on genetics of non-ischemic sudden cardiac death in Fingesture autopsy verified sudden cardiac death population. We aim to perform exome sequencing for ~500 non-ischemic sudden cardiac death victims in whom myocardial fibrosis was a major contributor of death. The PhD thesis will include working with exome variant data i.e. variant identification, validation and evaluation of pathogenicity with specialized bioinformatics tools. The PhD student will work in close collaboration with Docent Katri Pylkäs (Laboratory of Cancer Genetics and Tumor Biology, and Biocenter Oulu Sequencing Center).

Research environment

The research will be conducted at Research Unit of Internal Medicine (MRC, Oulu) and at Laboratory of Cancer Genetics and Tumor Biology. Research Unit of Internal Medicine Cardiology group has a successful and long experience in sudden cardiac death research with multiple international collaborations.

After acceptance, a doctoral student will be enrolled to University of Oulu Graduate School (UniOGS) doctoral program. The general requirements for admission to the UniOGS can be found at the following web pages:

Length of the position

The contract will be made for four (4) years including a trial period of six (6) months.


We expect high motivation, excellent analytical skills, and fluent language skills in English. The ideal applicant should hold M.Sc. degree in genetics or biochemistry. Prior experience in genetic analyses and bioinformatics are considered as an advantage.


The salary of the appointed researcher will be based on the demand level 2-4 chart for the teaching and research staff of Finnish universities. In addition to the basic salary, an additional salary component (not more than 50% of the basic salary level) will be paid based on personal achievements and performance. The net starting salary for a Ph.D. student is approximately 2300-2400 € per month and it will progressively increase along with the progress of the student. In addition to the salary, the employed person will be insured by the university.

Application process

The application documents should include:

1) A cover letter describing motivation for this position and earlier research experience (1 page)

2) Curriculum vitae (max 2 pages) and degree certificates

3) Full list of peer-reviewed publications in English

4) Full name and e-mail addresses of 1-2 referees (referees will be contacted separately)

Applications, together with all relevant enclosures, must be submitted using the electronic application form by July 31st , 2020:

Applications sent by email will not be considered. The starting date is September 1, 2020 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Contact details

Direct any questions or correspondence to:

Juhani Junttila, MD PhD

Professor of Cardiology

Research Unit of Internal Medicine

Medical Research Center Oulu

University of Oulu and Oulu University Hospital



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