DUBLIN CITY UNIVERSITY

Postdoctoral Researcher in Biomarkers of Response to Breast Cancer Treatment

Location
Dublin, Ireland
Posted
Aug 05, 2020
End of advertisement period
Aug 21, 2020
Ref
RF1398
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Hours
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.

Background

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: “Biomarkers of response to treatment in HER2+ breast cancer”. This postdoctoral position is funded through a Science Foundation Ireland Strategic Partnership Programme.

Using existing and prospectively collected patient samples, the project will examine potential biomarkers of response to tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), including neratinib, and HER2-targetting monoclonal antibody therapies (trastuzumab/pertuzumab) in patients with HER2+ breast cancer. The underlying biology of promising biomarker targets will need to be characterised in vitro.

Drug target and apoptosis-related biomarkers of response will be assessed using DNA and RNA extracted from tumour samples for Next Generation Sequencing. Formalin- fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue sections will be utilised for immunohistochemistry studies. Serum samples will be investigated for circulating apoptosis markers. To investigate novel immune-related biomarkers of response, the phenotype and in vitro antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) activity of patient peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), tumour infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL) levels and circulating chemokine levels will be assessed.

The ultimate aim of this project is to identify novel potential biomarkers of response to HER2-targeted agents to improve treatment strategies for patients with HER2+ breast cancer. This project is an academia/industry collaboration. The project will be co-supervised by Dr. Denis Collins, Cancer Biotherapeutics, DCU and Prof. John Crown, St Vincent’s University Hospital/DCU.

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, cancer immunology or a related discipline.

In addition, it is essential that the candidate should have;

  • Maintenance and quality control of a panel of cancer cell lines
  • Assessment of the effect of targeted molecules 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)

Desirable experience:

  • Immunohistochemistry
  • In vitro mutagenesis studies
  • ADCC/immune cytotoxicity assays
  • Blood/tissue processing (e.g. PBMC isolation, DNA/RNA extraction)
  • Flow cytometry-based immunophenotyping

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 - €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 #RF1398 Postdoctoral Researcher – Breast Cancer Biomarkers.

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