Development of immunotherapeutic tools for cancer treatment
Two Postdoc positions (Norwegian Cancer Society) are available for 3 years, from April 1st 2020, one at the Department of Cellular Therapy (Dr. Sebastien Walchli) and one at the Institute for Cancer Research (Dr. Jorrit Enserink), Oslo University Hospital (OUS) Radiumhospitalet.
The organization and focus of the research groups
The focus of the Walchli group is to develop new immunotherapy treatments against cancer. This includes the pre-clinical and clinical development and testing of enhanced cancer vaccines, adoptive T-cell therapy (TCR, CAR) and the improvement of cellular therapy for increased resistance to the microenvironment. The group is located at the Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator (occincubator.com) and interacts actively with industries and pharmaceutical companies.
The Enserink group is located at the Radium hospital, which is part of Oslo University Hospital, the largest academic hospital in Scandinavia. The group is a member of a Norwegian Centre of Excellence (Centre for Cancer Cell Reprogramming, CanCell), which consists of six research groups focused on finding novel mechanisms in cancer development that can be targeted with novel cancer therapy. One of the main research aims of the group is to better understand the biology of cancer and use this knowledge to develop anticancer therapies.
We have identified a novel type of attractive targets on cancer cells which can be exploited in immunotherapy. Our goal is to either modify existing- or isolate new- antibodies against these targets. These antibodies will be screened for specificity and design as therapeutics, either as injected product (1) or as cellular therapy solution (2). The following projects will be developed in parallel with the two defined positions:
1) BIOCHEMISTRY: Antibody discovery (Enserink) which includes screening of antibodies or phage libraries. Design of antibody-based tools, such as BiKEs and TriKEs. Expression, purification and validation of the efficacy of these molecules.
2) IMMUNOLOGY: Chimeric Antigen Receptors (CARs) production (Walchli). In house and newly identified antibodies will be tested as CAR. The project will include T- and NK-cell manipulation, functional assay and in vivo experiments.
We are looking for talented, enthusiastic and motivated candidates who can work both independently as well as in the context of a team. Potential candidates have completed (or are close to completing) a PhD degree in biology or medicine equivalent to a Norwegian doctoral degree. Experience with design, manipulation and purification of antibodies (position 1) and/or CARs (position 2) is essential. The candidate will document via prior publications/patents (either submitted or published) that he/she has designed, cloned and/or developed such tools (CAR, TCR, BiTES, etc.)
Knowledge of basic methods in molecular biology (particularly cloning and CRISPR/Cas9 methodology) and tissue culture are also essential, while experience with one or several of the following research areas is a distinct benefit: Cancer biology, immunology, bioinformatics, high-throughput biology, flow cytometry, fluorescence microscopy, manipulation of different viral vectors (retro- or lenti-), and mouse cancer models.
Both positions require a good command of English and informatics tools, as well as the ability to independently write scientific articles.
We offer a position in a dynamic environment within modern and fully equipped facilities. In addition, the candidate will be encouraged to participate in at least one international conference per year where he/she will present his/her data.
How to apply
Interested persons should submit the following documents to Webcruiter (note that applications lacking any of these four requirements will be discarded automatically, and only applications in Webcruiter will be evaluated):
1. A concise application letter (1 page)
2. Curriculum vitae, including a list of publications
3. A list of publications supporting command in immune receptor work
4. Three reference letters, including contact information of all the references (email address, postal address, phone number, and relation to the candidate)