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Identification of pathways regulating pathological perivascular ECM remodeling and its importance for pathogenesis of vascular anomalies

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Wednesday, May 01, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Work will be mainly carried out in the University of Oulu, which is one of the largest universities in Finland. With about 16 000 students and approximately 3 000 employees it is a vibrant international scientific community. By combining multidisciplinary research/study approach, high-level infrastructure and wide cooperation with international research and educational institutes it provides the framework and conditions for high-quality, research-driven doctoral education. You will also take part in the international training programme of the V.A. Cure network and participate in various networking and outreach events.

This position is supervised by professor Lauri Eklund and affiliated with the Faculty of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine (FBMM) ( and Biocenter Oulu ( Eklund research group carries out basic and translational research in endothelial cell and extracellular matrix biology. Biochemical, cell biological, 3D culturing models, advanced microscopic imaging modalities, and genetic mouse models are key research techniques in his lab.

You will work on research project 8 of the project (ESR 8) with the following objectives:
• Investigate alterations in endothelial cell (EC) – extracellular matrix (ECM) interplay involving the synthesis and modifications of ECM constituents, regulation of cell signaling pathways, and the signaling loops between the ECM, perivascular mural cells, other stromal cells and ECs in TIE2 or PIK3CA mutation positive venous malformations (VMs) and in other types of vascular anomalies (VAs).
• To test hypothesis that defective deposition of ECM components and the increase in ECM protease activity remodel the vascular wall thereby contributing to the development of malformed vasculature in VA lesions.
• To generate mouse models allowing advanced microscopic imaging of vascular cells and perivascular ECM molecules to dissect cellular and molecular events in VA lesion formation and responses for therapies.


We are looking for a motivated student with a strong commitment to basic and/or translational research, who:
• is eligible for MSCA-ETN funding, see Funding Notes
• has a MSc degree in biology, biomedical sciences or related disciplines. Degree must have been completed before the job contract starts.
• is a team player with good communication skills
• has made rapid progress in his/her graduate studies with high grades.
• The selected candidate will carry out his/her doctoral studies in the Health and Biosciences Doctoral Programme of the University of Oulu Graduate School (UniOGS) and must meet the minimal requirements to receive doctoral study rights as defined in

Appointment terms

The successful candidate will receive an attractive salary in accordance with MSCA regulations for Early Stage Researchers. The period of employment is 3 years. Starting date: June – October 2019. Contract can be extended depending on the progress.

How to apply

– Make sure you meet the qualifying requirements.
– Submit your application to by e-mail, mentioning ‘application for ESR8’ in the subject line. Please send one pdf file containing:
• A motivation letter describing your research career goals, skills and experience (cover letter)
• Curriculum vitae
• Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma (in English or with a translation into English)
• Two letters of recommendation or the contact information for at least 2 referees.

Deadline for submitting applications: 1 May 2019

The eligible applicants fitting best in the research profile expected for the position will be invited to an on-site or remote interview. All applicants will be notified when the selection process is completed.

More information

Please visit for more information on the project, the recruitment process and selection criteria. Contact for questions about this position:

Funding Notes

To be eligible for this H2020-MSCA-ITN funded PhD student position, you must:
– not have resided or carried out your main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of the recruiting beneficiary for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date. Compulsory national service, short stays such as holidays, and time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention are not taken into account, and
– At the date of recruitment (=first day of employment), be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of your research career and not have been awarded a doctoral degree.

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