UCD Post-doctoral Research Fellow Level 1, School of Medicine

Dublin, Leinster (IE)
£34907.36 - £37070.60 per annum
20 Nov 2020
End of advertisement period
20 Dec 2020
Contract Type
Full Time

Applications are invited for a temporary post of a UCD Post-doctoral Research Fellow Level 1 within the UCD School of Medicine

University College Dublin is seeking applications for a Postdoctoral Research Fellow position to work on a collaborative research project in Precision Oncology Ireland (a Science Foundation Ireland Strategic Partnership Programme). The project is in collaboration with AstraZeneca.

Immune Checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) have opened a new avenue for cancer therapy. However, responses are variable between different patients and cancer types. For instance, clinical studies of ICIs in epithelial ovarian cancer have yielded low response rates despite being an extremely antigenic tumour, with a very dynamic tumour microenvironment, The objective of this study is to work with AstraZeneca, systems biologists and clinician scientists to improve the efficacy of ICIs in low response cancers such as epithelial ovarian cancer - the most lethal form of female cancer.

The main aims of the project are to:

  • Map the intracellular signalling pathways in T-cells by which Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors (ICIs) targeting PD-1 and CTLA4 mediate their effects in epithelial ovarian cancer using a combination of multi-omics technologies (such as proteomics, single cell transcriptomics, and metabolomics) and mathematical modelling
  • Identify new targets in ICI signalling pathways that can serve as basis for improving ICIs and developing rational combination therapies between ICIs and systemic therapies including standard chemotherapeutics and targeted therapies such as PARP inhibitors.
  • Validation of selected drug targets and combinations in 2D and 3D organoid cultures. 
  • Validation of novel immune checkpoint targets in clinical cohorts 

This project is carried out by an interdisciplinary team at Systems Biology Ireland (SBI) at UCD and AstraZeneca (Cambridge, UK). This post will be located at SBI and jointly supervised by Prof Walter Kolch (systems biology, proteomics) and Prof Donal Brennan (clinician, single cell sequencing). The position may also include opportunities to visit AstraZeneca. The ideal candidate will have a strong background in (onco)immunology and cell biology, a solid working knowledge of signal transduction and omics methods to analyse signalling processes.

This is a research focused role, where you will conduct a specified programme of research supported by research training and development under the supervision and direction of a Principal Investigator.

The primary purpose of the role is to further develop your research skills and competences, including the processes of publication in peer-reviewed academic publications, the development of funding proposals, the mentorship of graduate students along with the opportunity to develop your skills in research led teaching.

Precision Oncology Ireland (POI; is a consortium of 5 Irish Universities, 6 Irish Charities, and 8 companies aiming to develop new diagnostics and therapeutics for the personalised treatment of cancer. The consortium is part-funded by Science Foundation Ireland under their Strategic Partnership Programme. The shared vision is to combine cutting-edge genomics, proteomics, metabolomics and imaging technologies integrated through computational analysis and modelling to generate molecular profiles that allow us to better understand cancer pathogenesis, progression and response to therapies. Bringing together experimental and computational advances combined through data integration is a key competitive advantage of the POI consortium. The results will be better diagnostics, personalised cancer therapies, and acceleration of cancer drug discovery and development.

Systems Biology Ireland (SBI,, established in 2009, has successfully developed an integrated mathematical modelling and experimental research programme focusing on the design of new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to diseases, primarily cancer, based on a systems level, mechanistic understanding of cellular signal transduction networks. To accomplish these goals, SBI uses mathematical and computational modelling approaches in combination with cutting edge experimental technologies in genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, advanced microscopy and flow cytometry as well as cell biology and molecular biology methods. SBI's expertise, particularly in the area of modelling in systems pharmacology and therapeutics, strategically position it at the crossroads between biology and medicine. The purpose-built SBI facility sits in the space between the UCD Conway Institute and the Health Sciences Centre (UCD Charles Institute of Dermatology and School of Medicine). It is physically linked to both buildings, providing access to existing technology platforms, educational and conference facilities and ideally placed to train allied healthcare professionals. The facility houses a multidisciplinary team of some 50 researchers including bioinformaticians

Salary: €38,631 - €41,025 per annum
Appointment on the above range will be dependent on qualifications and experience

Closing date: 17:00hrs (local Irish time) on 27th November 2021

Applications must be submitted by the closing date and time specified. Any applications which are still in progress at the closing time of 17:00hrs (Local Irish Time) on the specified closing date will be cancelled automatically by the system. UCD are unable to accept late applications.

UCD do not require assistance from Recruitment Agencies. Any CV's submitted by Recruitment Agencies will be returned.