Research Officer, UNSW Medicine

Sydney, Australia
11 Oct 2018
End of advertisement period
08 Nov 2018
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time
  • One of Asia-Pacific’s leading research-intensive Universities
  • Strong regional and global engagement
  • Cutting edge facilities and equipment
  • Location Sydney NSW Australia

UNSW Medicine is a national leader in learning, teaching and research, with close affiliations to a number of Australia’s finest hospitals, research institutes and health care organisations. With a strong presence at UNSW Kensington campus, the faculty have staff and students in teaching hospitals in Sydney as well as regional and rural areas of NSW including Albury/Wodonga, Wagga Wagga, Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie.

The School of Medical Sciences (SoMS) is the largest School within UNSW Medicine, and one of the largest at UNSW. The School is based largely within the Wallace Wurth (Medicine) Building on the Kensington campus, but also includes the UNSW Lifestyle Clinic on High Street, Randwick.

The vibrant and highly interdisciplinary Stem Cell & Cancer Group is studying cancer stem cells in pancreatic cancer, one of the most devastating human cancers. Current treatment strategies preferentially target more differentiated cancer cells, but have failed to achieve durable responses at least in part due to confounding effects attributed to distinct subpopulations of highly chemoresistant cancer stem cells.

The Stem Cell & Cancer Group is developing new strategies to efficiently eliminate these highly tumorigenic cells and thereby prevent disease progression and relapse. The team has identified novel targets that are currently at different stages of preclinical development and implementation into multimodal therapies, respectively. The work includes in-depth analysis of (liquid) tumour biopsies to understand how the therapy impacts the tumour's biology in vivo. An array of innovative lab technologies has been established and the successful candidate will undergo comprehensive training by senior scientists and technicians as required.

The Research Officer will provide state-of-the-art technical support to jointly foster our team efforts, shall be actively involved in or lead individual research projects. As such the Research Officer will significantly contribute to the overall scientific endeavour of the Group, closely collaborate with other scientists in the group, and will take responsibility for distinct areas of our research programme.

The Research Officer will work as part of the Group’s research team, being mutually supportive and covering duties as necessary during colleagues’ absences and at times of additional pressure, as directed.

The role of the Research Officer reports to the Head of the Stem Cell & Cancer Group, and has no direct reports.

  • $85k - $91k p.a. plus (17% superannuation and leave loading)
  • 3 years Fixed Term position with possibility of renewal
  • Full-time


Specific responsibilities for this role include:

  • Undertake high level laboratory research using state-of-the-art models of pancreatic cancer
  • Maintain key techniques for the research teams, and develop and troubleshoot novel cutting-edge techniques, particularly in the area of drug response analysis and precision medicine.
  • Execute experiments independently with minimal supervision and be responsible for the collection of high-quality data.
  • Undertake analysis of data and provide regular progress reports to the Head of the Stem Cell & Cancer Group.
  • Attend and actively participate and contribute to the Group’s academic activities, e.g. laboratory and journal club meetings, other research group meetings and weekly seminars.
  • Provide supervision and guidance to trainees in relevant tasks associated with the research program
  • Conduct general administrative tasks associated with the research program as required
  • Supervise all health and safety policies and procedures of the university that are relevant for the group and take all reasonable care to ensure that lab members’ actions or omissions do not impact on the health and safety of yourself or others.


  • Bachelor of Science (Honours) or higher degree with at least two years of full-time research experience in the area of life science or a related discipline.
  • In-depth understanding of tumour and/or cancer (stem) cell biology.
  • Experience in cell cultures, microscopy, flow cytometry and cell sorting.
  • Experience in bioengineering / material science to build novel 3D models would be a plus
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills with ability to work effectively as part of a teams as well as independently.
  • Demonstrated ability to provide a high-level active contribution to the development of a research project.
  • Knowledge of health and safety responsibilities and commitment to attending relevant health and safety training.


Professor Christopher Heeschen


Applications close: 11:00 pm 8th November 2018

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