The Francis Crick Institute

Postdoctoral Training Fellow

The Francis Crick Institute

London, United Kingdom

Job title: Postdoctoral Training Fellow

Location: The Francis Crick Institute, Midland Road, London

Contract: Fixed-term, 4 years

Full time

Salary: Competitive with benefits, subject to skills and experience

Vacancy ID: 10708


At the world class Francis Crick Institute, in the Cancer Evolution and Genome Instability Laboratory headed by Professor Charles Swanton, we are looking for an ambitious, highly motivated wet-lab scientist with a background in modelling cancer using mouse models. This post-doctoral position will be funded by the Francis Crick Institute, the ERC, and the NC3Rs. The position will involve studying tumour evolution, cancer immune responses and resistance development in genetically engineered mouse models. This work will be based on findings from the TRACERx study that is ongoing in the Cancer Evolution and Genome Instability laboratory, and will involve cutting edge research and techniques such as imaging mass cytometry and single cell sequencing. The candidate should have a strong background in cancer biology and genetics, have good communication and organizational skills, and a PhD in a relevant area (or be at the final stages of completion).

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Project scope

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer related deaths worldwide and fewer than 20% of all patients with lung cancer are alive 5 years after diagnosis. To improve patient outcomes, we need high-quality models to develop new treatment strategies. Although genetically engineered mouse models (GEMMs) have led to important findings in the past, current GEMMs do not fully recapitulate the heterogeneity observed in human tumours and consequently are not ideal for modelilng resistance development or the immune response to cancer.

Advances in sequencing technology have facilitated in-depth genomic studies of tumour evolution. Exome sequencing on spatially separated samples demonstrated the full extent of intratumour heterogeneity in many cancer types. A study in the Cancer Evolution and Genome Instability Laboratory, Tracking Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer Evolution through Therapy (TRACERx), aims to enrol 842 patients, from whom samples are obtained for high-depth, multiregion whole-exome sequencing of spatially separated tumour biopsies.

In these patients, APOBEC mutation signatures were dominant in 15% of patients, and the number of subclonal mutations significantly correlated with APOBEC signatures. Ongoing chromosomal instability (CIN) was found as a second underlying cause of intratumoural heterogeneity, and was linked to poor outcome in the TRACERx dataset. It was also discovered that human HLA loss of heterozygosity (LOH) occurs in 40% of early stage non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLCs), suggesting that HLA LOH may represent an important immune escape mechanism. We aim to model these events alone and in combination, to generate tractable animal tumour evolution models to study clone fitness, immune evasion and the role of subclonal driver events.

Postdoctoral Training Fellows are expected to lead their own projects, contribute to other projects on a collaborative basis (both in the lab and with external collaborators) and guide PhD students in their research. The ability to work in a team is essential.

About us

The Francis Crick Institute is a biomedical discovery institute dedicated to understanding the fundamental biology underlying health and disease. Its work is helping to understand why disease develops and to translate discoveries into new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, infections, and neurodegenerative diseases.

An independent organisation, its founding partners are the Medical Research Council (MRC), Cancer Research UK, Wellcome, UCL (University College London), Imperial College London and King’s College London.

The Crick was formed in 2015, and in 2016 it moved into a new state-of-the-art building in central London which brings together 1500 scientists and support staff working collaboratively across disciplines, making it the biggest biomedical research facility under in one building in Europe.

The Francis Crick Institute will be world-class with a strong national role. Its distinctive vision for excellence includes commitments to collaboration; developing emerging talent and exporting it the rest of the UK; public engagement; and helping turn discoveries into treatments as quickly as possible to improve lives and strengthen the economy.

  • If you are interested in applying for this role, please apply via our website.
  • The closing date for applications is 28 May 2019 at 23:30.
  • All offers of employment are subject to successful security screening and continuous eligibility to work in the United Kingdom.

Key words

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  • Cancer biology
  • Mammalian development
  • Mouse genetics
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Image Mass Cytometry
  • Single Cell Sequencing
  • Lung Cancer
  • Immunology

Please apply via recruiter’s website.