Research Associate - Immunology
Recent clinical trials have revealed new classes of immune-based cancer therapies that target key pathways of the immune and immune-interacting tumour microenvironment. Either alone or in combination with conventional therapeutics or targeted therapies, these interventions have led to unprecedented results in patients with previously untreatable advanced disease. The future development of this class of agents for the significant fraction of cancer patients who do not respond to current immune therapies demands more in depth understanding of the anti-tumoral immune response.
Clinical research into factors affecting treatment response or survival in patients with cancer frequently involves a statistical mean with little attention to outliers who respond considerably better or worse than average. Exploring the reasons underlying an “atypical response” provides an opportunity to increase understanding of the mechanisms involved in cancer progression and treatment resistance, accelerate biomarker identification, and potentially identify new targets for novel therapies. “Atypical responders” can encompass three sub- categories of patients: “exceptional responders” (those with an unusually favourable treatment response), “rapid progressors” (patients demonstrating an unusually poor or no therapeutic response), and “exceptional survivors” (patients who have far outlived their initial prognosis).
The post holder will focus on applying deep immune profiling (including imaging CyTOF, multi-plexed IHC, spatial transcriptomics, high dimensional flow cytometry). The post holder will report to Dr Sheeba Irshad and act as Senior Researcher within the group work cross-disciplinary and lead a number of different projects by offering advice and, in some cases, direct supervision to other post docs and Phd students. The post holder is also expected to collaborate with team members regarding immunological aspects of their research.
The work will directly impact data collection for various preclinical and clinical cancer studies within the City of London Cancer Centre / Imaging patient therapy response to better understand the biological determinants of checkpoint therapy efficacies.
This post will be offered on an a fixed-term contract for 1 year in the first instance with the possibility to extend to 4 years.
This is a full-time post - 100% full time equivalent
• To work on molecular and cell/tissue analysis in close collaboration with clinical and basic scientists
• To provide leadership (advise and direct supervision) in immunology related projects to other members of the lab (postdocs and phd students).
• To promote research initiatives and original contributions to the research programmes of the laboratory
• To disseminate the research results through publication in scientific journals and presentation at appropriate conferences.
• To direct & devise new projects
• To liaise with colleagues from King’s College London, other collaborative academic institutions on multiple patient immunological profiling projects.
The above list of responsibilities may not be exhaustive, and the post holder will be required to undertake such tasks and responsibilities as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the post.
Skills, knowledge, and experience
1. PhD awarded in cancer immunology
2. Experience in high dimensionalFLOW and Mass cytometry (CyTOF)
3. High level of expertise in processing and analyzing peripheral blood biopsies
4. Knowledge of in-vitro immunological assays including 3 dimensional tumour-immune co-cultures
5. Knowledge of relevant imaging platforms (e.g. multiphoton microscopy) and techniques
6. Indepth understanding of cancer immunology and immunotherapy
7. Track record of publishing in cancer immunology, immunotherapy and tumour microenvironment
8. Interest in the field of translation cancer research
9. Experience in working in multidisciplinary teams
10. Ability to work within a team
11. Strong problem solving abilities
12. An independent and innovative thinker
1. Experience in the study and analysis of components of the immune system such as innate lymphoid cells, natural killer cells, monocyte/macrophage, and T regulatory cells
2. Basic knowledge of 3D imaging techniques and data analysis