Postdoctoral Researcher in Novel Targeted Therapy Combinations for Breast Cancer

Dublin, Ireland
Wednesday, 5 August 2020
End of advertisement period
Friday, 21 August 2020
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Research Centre National Institute for Cellular Biotechnology

Level on Framework Level 1

Post Duration FTC up to 36 months

As part of this role the researcher will be required to participate in the DCU Research Career Framework http://dcu.ie/hr/ResearchersFramework/index.shtml. This framework is designed to provide significant professional development opportunities to Researchers and offer the best opportunities in terms of a wider career path. The role may include teaching duties to assist with module delivery.


Dublin City University (www.dcu.ie) is a research intensive, globally engaged, dynamic institution which has developed its own research specialists, established internationally recognized centres of excellence that have substantive collaborative links with leading universities and industrial partners. DCU is distinguished both by the quality and impact of its graduates and by its focus on the translation of knowledge into societal and economic benefit. Through its mission to transform lives and societies through education, research and innovation DCU acts as an agent of social, cultural and economic progress. DCU is Ireland’s fastest growing university and now hosts more than 17,000 students across its three academic campuses: DCU Glasnevin Campus, DCU St Patrick’s Campus and CU All hallows campus. DCU has a strong track record in attracting both Irish and European Union research funding under Horizon 2020 (and all previous Framework Programmes), Marie Curie Actions and Erasmus. We offer a dynamic and internationally-focused environment in which to advance your academic career.

The National Institute for Cellular Biotechnology (www.nicb.ie) based at DCU’s Glasnevin campus is a multidisciplinary centre for research on human cell biology and medicinal chemistry, with emphasis on research with application to cancer, diabetes, obesity, ocular diseases and the biopharmaceutical industry. It features advanced core facilities in proteomics, microscopy and gene expression microarray analysis and houses a large collection of human cell lines

The Project and Role

A postdoctoral position is available with the Cancer Biotherapeutics group/Molecular Therapies for Cancer in Ireland within the National Institute for Cellular Biotechnology at Dublin City University (DCU) to undertake research on the following project: “Pre-clinical assessment of a small molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) to identify novel combinations for the treatment of breast cancer”. This postdoctoral position is funded through a Science Foundation Ireland Strategic Partnership Programme.

Specifically, the project will identify novel combinations of a c-ErbB-family-targeting TKI, neratinib, with chemotherapy and other targeted therapies in HER2+ breast cancer. The project will have a heavy emphasis on cell culture, utilising cell line models representing TKI -sensitive and TKI-resistant patient tumours. Proliferation studies will be used to screen for priority TKI combinations with clinically relevant chemotherapies (e.g. docetaxel/carboplatin) and additional targeted therapies (e.g. HER2-targeting antibodies/antibody drug conjugates). Mechanistic studies will be undertaken to assess the basis of synergistic combinations and model interactions of neratinib, and other TKIs, with the blood brain barrier. The most promising TKI combinations will be evaluated in vivo. The ultimate aim of this project is to provide the pre-clinical rationale to assist clinical trials of novel treatment strategies for patients with HER2+ breast cancer.

Principle Duties and Responsibilities

Please refer to the job description for a full list of duties and responsibilities associated with this role.

Qualifications, Skills and Experience Required:

The successful candidate will hold a PhD in the area of cancer biology or a related discipline.

In addition, ideally, the candidate should have;

  • Maintenance and quality control of a panel of cancer cell lines
  • Assessment of the effect of targeted therapies on cell growth, cell cycle progression and cell death mechanisms
  • Examination of alterations in cell signalling pathways
  • Bioanalytical skills (RT-qPCR, flow cytometry, western blotting, ELISA)
  • In vitro models of the blood brain barrier
  • In vivo rodent tumour models and drug delivery
  • P-gp /BCRP ATPase assays
  • 3D cell culture models

Mandatory Training

The post holder will be required to undertake the following mandatory compliance training: Orientation, Health and Safety and Intellectual Property and Data Protection training. Other training may need to be undertaken when required.

Salary Scale: Postdoctoral Researcher Level 2 - €37’874 per annum

  • Appointment will be commensurate with qualifications and experience and will be made on the appropriate point of the salary scale, in line with Government pay policy.

Closing date: 21st August 2020

Candidates will be assessed on the following competencies:

Discipline knowledge and Research skills – Demonstrates knowledge of a research discipline and the ability to conduct a specific programme of research within that discipline.

Understanding the Research Environment – Demonstrates an awareness of the research environment (for example funding bodies) and the ability to contribute to grant applications.

Communicating Research – Demonstrates the ability to convey their research with their peers and the wider research community (for example presenting at conferences and publishing research in relevant journals) and the potential to teach and tutor students.

Managing & Leadership skills - Demonstrates the potential to manage a research project including the supervision of undergraduate students.

Informal enquiries to:

Dr. Denis Collins, NICB, DCU

E-mail: denis.collins@dcu.ie      

Phone: +353 (0) 87 7530431

Application Procedure:

Application forms are available from the DCU Current Vacancies (open Competitions) website at http://www.dcu.ie/vacancies/current.shtml

Applications should be submitted by e-mail with your completed application form to hr.applications@dcu.ie

Please clearly state the role that you are applying for in your application and email subject line:

Job Ref#RF1394 Postdoctoral Researcher – Breast Cancer Therapy.

Dublin City University is an equal opportunities employer and is committed to promoting gender equality reflected in its attainment of the Athena SWAN Bronze Award. Information on a range of university policies aimed at creating a supportive and flexible work environment are available at www4.dcu.ie/policies/policy-starter-packs.shtml

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