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Research Fellow in Cancer Immunotherapy

Employer
University College London (UCL)
Location
England, London
Salary
£42099 - £50585 per annum + inclusive of London Allowance
Closing date
29 Jul 2024

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Discipline
Health Science
Job Type
Researcher
Employment - Hours
Full time
Duration
Permanent
Qualification
PhD
Sector
Academia

Job Details

About us

The UCL Cancer Institute houses over 400 talented scientists, and there are close links between basic cancer researchers and the clinical activities of our four partner hospital trusts, (University College London Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust, the Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust, and Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust), as well as the London School of Pharmacy and Cancer Research UK. Further Information about the UCL Cancer Institute can be found on our website https://www.ucl.ac.uk/cancer/

This is an exciting opportunity for a motivated and creative scientist to join the UCL Myeloma Laboratory in the Cancer Institute at UCL.

Research into the role of T cells in solid tumours has led to remarkable clinical success through the development of immunotherapy and immune-based prognostication. Multiple myeloma (myeloma) is an incurable cancer of plasma cells that develops in the bone marrow, and affects older people. Unlike solid tumours, the role of T cells in controlling and regulating the growth of myeloma tumour cells, and response to treatment, remains largely unknown. Smouldering myeloma (SMM) is a pre-cancerous condition that is usually picked up by a blood test. Over the first 5 years, around 50% of people with SMM will develop myeloma.

In our laboratory we study immune-tumour dynamics, with a focus on T cell differentiation and function. We aim to understand these processes in SMM, and how they are altered when the condition develops into myeloma.

The UCL Myeloma Laboratory is the translational hub for national clinical trials in myeloma and SMM, and has a long tradition of working with patient samples, to address questions of disease biology, as well as to develop new treatments. The group is a multi-disciplinary team of cancer biologists, wet lab scientists and translational research clinicians.

About the role

Your project will focus on dissecting the tumour immune environment in the myeloma bone marrow, using high dimensional flow cytometry, single cell and bulk sequencing, and TCR sequencing.

Your project aims to determine the key changes in immune function that accompany malignant transformation, and that influence the response to therapy, using high dimensional flow cytometry, single cell and bulk sequencing, and TCR sequencing.

You will study tumour-directed responses in T cells, including the interactions with other immune cells such as myeloid and dendritic cells. You will become proficient in processing bone marrow and blood samples from patients entered into national trials in smouldering and newly diagnosed myeloma (COSMOS and RADAR).

You will work closely with other scientists in the Early Detection team, processing and preparing primary material for downstream analysis, including flow and mass cytometry, single cell and bulk sequencing. You will have opportunity to learn multi-spectral imaging and to apply deep learning, computer vision and spatial statistics to map the spatial distribution of immune cell subsets in the bone marrow.

You will work closely with Professor Yong, Dr Boyle, Dr Rees to design your experiments. You will be expected to drive and develop your project, taking responsibility for its progress. You will be encouraged to learn essential bioinformatics skills.

Applicants with limited experience of bioinformatics but sufficient familiarity with the experimental techniques and intense desire to expand their skillset in this area are encouraged to apply.

Your application should include a CV and a Cover Letter: In the Cover Letter please state how you meet the essential and desirable criteria in the Person Specification part of the Job Description. (By including a Cover Letter, you can leave blank the 'Why you have applied for this role' field in the application form, which is limited in the number of characters it will allow.)

The post is funded for 2 years in the first instance, and is jointly funded by CRUK (Early Detection programme in Smouldering myeloma), and by Blood Cancer UK (Immune dysfunction in newly diagnosed myeloma).

Please get in touch to discuss if you are interested:

About you

A background in immunology is essential. Experience in flow and mass cytometry, including the design of high-dimensional panels, functional immunology and relevant assays would be advantageous.

What we offer

As well as the exciting opportunities this role presents, we also offer great benefits. Please visit https://www.ucl.ac.uk/work-at-ucl/rewards-and-benefits to find out more.

Our commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

As London's Global University, we know diversity fosters creativity and innovation, and we want our community to represent the diversity of the world's talent. We are committed to equality of opportunity, to being fair and inclusive, and to being a place where we all belong.

We therefore particularly encourage applications from candidates who are likely to be underrepresented in UCL's workforce.

These include people from Black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds; disabled people; LGBTQI+ people; and for our Grade 9 and 10 roles, women.

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