Post-Doc Research Fellow in Life Science

Randwick, Australia
10 Apr 2018
End of advertisement period
08 May 2018
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time
  • One of Australia’s leading research & teaching universities
  • Vibrant campus life with a strong sense of community & inclusion
  • Enjoy a career that makes a difference by collaborating & learning from the best

At UNSW, we pride ourselves on being a workplace where the best people come to do their best work.

The vibrant and interdisciplinary Stem Cell & Cancer Group is focusing on targeting cancer stem cells to prevent relapse in pancreatic cancer, one of the most devastating human cancers. It has now become evident that cancer heterogeneity is promoted by so-called cancer stem cells (CSCs), which are responsible for intraclonal heterogeneity, are driving metastasis and are inherently resistant to conventional therapies.

Specifically, CSCs represent a subset of cancer cells, for which we and other have provided conclusive evidence down to the single-cell level that they represent the root of the disease by giving rise to all differentiated progenies within each cancer subclone (e.g. Cell Stem Cell 2007, 2011, 2015, Cell Metab 2015, Cancer Cell 2014, 2016, Nat Methods 2014). We now aim to improve the still dismal outcome of pancreatic cancer by systematically developing new strategies that target these highly tumourigenic and metastatic CSCs.

The underlying hypothesis is that comprehensive functional interrogation of CSCs results in the identification of novel CSC targets with broad applicability. Inhibition of these newly defined CSC pathways will reduce CSC content and thus prevent tumour relapse during/following treatment. To achieve this, we have developed an array of innovative methods that allow for the first time in vivo functional interrogation of rare CSCs embedded in whole primary human tumours including a comprehensive tumour microenvironment. To identify common regulators of CSC functions we are analysing (metastatic) CSCs derived from patients with (advanced) pancreatic cancer. In vivo RNAi library screens have now revealed several novel targets for specifically eliminating these cells.

About the role

Junior PostDoctoral Research Fellows (2 x positions)

Senior PostDoctoral Research Fellows (2 x positions)

  • $103,047 - $121,478 plus 17% superannuation and leave loading
  • Fixed Term (3 years)
  • Full-time (35 hours per week)

The Post-Doctoral Research Fellow will lead independent research projects within the Group in order to jointly realise the objectives and development of our research programme on the “Identification and validation of novel targets against cancer stem cells”, thereby contributing to the overall scientific endeavour of the Group.

The successful candidate will be focusing on two candidate genes, for which we already generated preliminary in vitro data validating their potential as novel CSC targets. The project will span a broad spectrum of advanced in vitro and in vivo techniques. All techniques have been developed/established in the lab. The project will start ASAP.

About the successful applicant

To be successful in this role you will have:

  • A PhD (or MD) thesis in life science or a related discipline
  • An in-depth understanding of cancer and/or stem cell biology
  • A track record in publishing scientific research papers in a relevant area or field, and experience in grant writing
  • Research laboratory experience, e.g. advanced molecular biology techniques, cell sorting and confocal microscopy, in vivo mouse experimentation, especially cancer models
  • Understanding of the research process and active contribution to the project development process
  • Knowledge of health and safety responsibilities and commitment to attending relevant health and safety training

You should systematically address the selection criteria listed within the position description in your application. Please apply online - applications will not be accepted if sent directly to the contact listed.


Prof. Christopher Heeschen, Head, Stem Cells in Cancer Group


T: (61 2) 9385 1004

Applications close: 8 May 2018