PhD Position in Deep Learning for Image Analysis Applied to Epidemiology
University of Helsinki

The Data Science and Genetic Epidemiology Lab ( lead by Dr. Andrea Ganna works on early identification of common preventable diseases. The team is based at the Institute of Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM), University of Helsinki, and at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, and is affiliated with the Broad Institute.

Prof. Dr. Jaakko Lehtinen ( and his group at Aalto University (Helsinki, Finland) work on image synthesis and data-driven generative modeling, with state-of-the-art results in generative adversarial networks (GAN).

Qualifications and requirements: We are looking for a PhD candidate to join an exciting project co-led by Dr. Ganna and Dr. Lehtinen. In this project, the candidate will develop new approaches to analyze Google Street View and satellite images together with health and lifestyle data from hundreds of thousands of anonymized individuals, with the goal of understanding how the “visual DNA” of a neighborhood is associated with the health outcomes of individuals living there. In addition, the project involves using generative models (GAN) for changing the scenery according to prescribed health effects, with applications in city planning and public health.

The successful candidate should have a strong quantitative background (e.g. computer science, mathematics, engineering, physics) and experience in applying various kinds of deep learning models on large datasets. Understanding of epidemiological design and measures is considered a plus, as is specific experience with working with GANs. The ideal candidate shows a good degree of scientific independence, interest in health-related application of machine learning models, and an aptitude towards developing new methods. The candidate will be part, and attend regular meetings, of both Ganna’s and Lehtinen’s team.

Contract & salary: The job is for a fixed-term of 4 years. A trial period of 6 months will be applied. Standard Finnish pension benefits and occupational health care are provided for University employees. The PhD candidate will be able to apply for a PhD program either at Aalto University or University of Helsinki.

Living in Finland: Finland is a member of the EU, has extremely high-quality free schooling (also in English), generous family benefits and healthcare, and was recently ranked as the best country in the world for expat families and in the world’s top ten most liveable cities. Finland and the Helsinki region possess top expertise in sciences in terms of a vibrant talent pool, leading research, strong support services and functioning collaboration networks. For more information about working at the University of Helsinki and living in Finland, please see

Application should include the following documents as a single pdf file: (1) Motivation letter (2) CV (3) name of two referees that can provide a recommendation letter, if requested.

How to apply: If you are interested in this position, please submit the application through the University of Helsinki electronic recruitment system by clicking on Apply for job. Internal applicants (i.e., current employees of the University of Helsinki) please submit your applications through the SAP HR portal.

Deadline for application is 6.1.2021.

Informal enquiries should be sent to aganna (at) or jaakko.lehtinen (at)

For questions regarding the recruitment process, please contact HR Specialist Anu Roine (anu.roine(at) Technical support regarding the recruitment system:

Due date

06.01.2021 23:59 EET


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