Institute of Cancer Research (ICR)

Postdoctoral Training Fellow, Functional Genomics & Endocrine Control Mechanisms

Institute of Cancer Research (ICR)

London, United Kingdom

Key Information

Salary: Starting salary is within the range of £38,607 to £42,534 p.a. inclusive dependent on relevant Postdoctoral experience. Future progression is based on annual performance review. If the candidate has not yet been awarded their PhD, the starting salary will be at £32,844 until the successful completion of their viva.

Duration of Contract: Fixed Term for 3 years

Hours per week: 35 hours per week (Full Time)

Closing Date: Sunday 22 May 2022

Job Details

Research Leads: Dr. Rachael Natrajan and Prof. Cathrin Brisken

Summary of Role:

Invasive lobular breast cancer (ILC) belongs to the spectrum of Oestrogen Receptor positive (ER+) breast cancers however patients respond less well to endocrine therapy, with unique metastatic patterns and higher rates of recurrence. There is an unmet clinical need to identify the molecular events that underpin this process and how they evolve over time. Moreover, identifying biomarkers that will aid in predicting which patients will relapse are much needed. Progress in this area has been hampered by the lack of clinically relevant models to study disease progression.

We are seeking a highly motivated collaborative Post Doctoral Training Fellow for a collaborative project co-supervised by Dr. Rachael Natrajan and Prof. Cathrin Brisken to lead on the biological and mechanistic insights into the sub-clonal evolution of metastasis in invasive lobular carcinomas using high throughput cellular tracking coupled with single cell sequencing and functional genomic approaches.

The candidate will perform experimental work to assess the implications of novel biology on tumour progression and test novel therapeutic approaches using innovative xenograft models and developing genetic screening approaches in patient-derived ER+ breast cancer models.

Key Requirements

You should possess a PhD in biology, biochemistry, genetics or other associated subjects and have an excellent track record in biomedical research and experience in cell and molecular biology. Experience with in vitro and in vivo patient derived cancer models is desirable.

The ICR has a workforce agreement stating that Postdoctoral Training Fellows can only be employed for up to 7 years as PDTF at the ICR, providing total postdoctoral experience (including previous employment at this level elsewhere) does not exceed 10 years

Department/Directorate Information:

The Functional Genomics laboratory headed by Dr. Rachael Natrajan is a multidisciplinary laboratory with the mission to develop new treatment strategies for breast cancers resistant to standard of care therapies. The lab uses state of the art molecular profiling such as single cell sequencing and spatial genomic profiling on patient samples throughout disease progression to understand the molecular evolution of breast cancer and response to targeted therapies. Together with molecular barcoding strategies in patient derived models, mechanistic hypotheses are evaluated in vitro and in vivo and candidate biomarkers or therapeutic options are tested pre-clinically that informs the design of proof of concept clinical trials or drug discovery programmes. We have made novel advances into the understanding of genomic alterations and their impact on breast cancer in different contexts and how to target these effectively (including Peck et al Cancer Res 2021 PMID:33509944; PMID: 24240700; Natrajan et al PLOS Medicine 2015 PMID: 26881778, Maguire et al 2016 PMID: 27512948; Naidoo et al 2017 MCT PMID:29133620; Natrajan et al J Pathol 2014 PMID 24395524; Maguire et al 2015 PMID 25424858; Bajrami et al Cancer Res 2014).

The Endocrine Control Mechanisms laboratory headed by Prof. Cathrin Brisken focuses on the mechanisms of hormone action in breast development and breast carcinogenesis (Cagnet et al. 2018,PMID: 30413705, Shamseddin et al 2021 PMID: 34042278, Scabia et al in press). Research on ER+ breast cancer has been hampered by the lack of in vivo models for the disease. We have overcome this hurdle and shown that grafting into the correct microenvironment is critical for ER+ tumor cells to retain their biological characteristics (Sflomos et al 2016 PMID: 26947176, 2021 PMID: 33616307, Fiche et al 2018 PMID: 30430577) opening new opportunities for translational and basic research.

The candidate will benefit from close interactions with the other teams within the Centre and the ICR.

The teams sit within the Breast Cancer Now Toby Robins Research Centre at The Institute of Cancer Research which is the first centre in the UK entirely devoted to breast cancer research and our goal is to advance research into the causes, diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. The Centre is Directed by Professor Andrew Tutt and is located in state-of-the-art laboratory space, with excellent core facilities and funding.

We encourage all applicants to access the job pack attached for more detailed information regarding this role. For an informal discussion regarding the role, You may contact Dr Rachael Natrajan by emailing

About The Institute of Cancer Research

Why work for us?

As a member of staff, you’ll have exclusive access to a range of staff benefits.

The ICR is committed to supporting overseas applicants applying for roles, please click here to find out further information.

The Institute of Cancer Research, London, is one of the world’s most influential cancer research institutes, with an outstanding record of achievement dating back more than 100 years. Further information about working at the ICR can be found here.

We look forward to receiving applications from all candidates, wherever in the world they are currently based. We will select those who display the potential to become, or to support, the world leading cancer researchers of the future based on their application and performance at interview. However, we particularly welcome British applicants from black and ethnic minority backgrounds, as they are under-represented within the ICR and nationwide in STEM roles.

Please apply via recruiter’s website.