Senior Post Doctoral Research Fellow in Life Science

Sydney, Australia
24 May 2018
End of advertisement period
24 Jun 2018
Academic Discipline
Life sciences, Biological Sciences
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

School of Medical Science / Lowy Cancer Research Institute / Adult Cancer Program

Faculty of Medicine

  • One of the Asia-Pacific’s leading research intensive Universities
  • Strong regional and global engagement
  • Cutting edge facilities and equipment

At UNSW, we pride ourselves on being a workplace where the best people come to do their best work. UNSW is currently implementing a ten-year strategy to 2025 and our ambition for the next decade is nothing less than to establish UNSW as Australia’s global university. We aspire to this in the belief that a great university, which is a global leader in discovery, innovation, impact, education and thought leadership, can make an enormous difference to the lives of people in Australia and around the world.

About the role  

Senior PostDoctoral Research Fellow (Level B, Step 3-6)

  • $92K-$129K plus (9.5% superannuation and leave loading)
  • Fixed Term for 7 months
  • Full-time

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 immunotherapies that also target these highly tumourigenic and metastatic CSCs.

The Senior 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 “Developing advanced CAR-T and NK cell-based immunotherapies for patients with pancreatic cancer”, thereby contributing to the overall scientific endeavour of the Group. The successful candidate will be focusing on two antigen targets specifically expressed by cancer (stem) cells, for which we already generated preliminary in vitro data validating their potential as novel immune 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.

About you

To be successful in this role you will:

  • The principal duty of the post will be to lead the intellectual development of the assigned project, including figure preparation and research writing for publications and grant proposals.
  • To perform experimental procedures in animals, where necessary.
  • To work towards a publication record of the kind that will enhance the Group’s research reputation at national and international level and that will clearly demonstrate originality and scholarship.
  • To make research initiatives and original contributions to the research programme wherever possible and to contribute freely to the team research environment in a manner conducive to the success of the research project as a whole.
  • To attend and participate in institute’s academic activities, e.g. laboratory and journal club meetings, and weekly seminars.
  • Responsible for supervising trainees as required.

Cooperate with all health and safety policies and procedures of the university and take all reasonable care to ensure that your actions or omissions do not impact on the health and safety of yourself or others

You should systematically address the following selection criteria in your application.

  • A PhD (or MD) thesis in life science or a related discipline
  • In-depth experience of cancer immunology and stem cell biology
  • Extensive research laboratory experience in advanced molecular biology techniques including viral and non-viral gene transfer, CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing, CAR cloning, and epigenetic and miRNA expression profiling
  • Extensive research laboratory experience, e.g. advanced cell biology techniques including cell sorting, production and characterisation of CAR-T and NK cells, cytotoxicity assays, in vivo mouse experimentation, especially advanced xenograft and syngeneic cancer models, and treatment studies using cell-based immunotherapies and in vivo imaging.
  • A track record in publishing scientific research papers in a relevant area or field, and experience in grant writing
  • Experience in supervising students
  • Experience in interdisciplinary collaborative work
  • 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 may be required to undergo pre-employment checks prior to appointment to this role.


Prof. Christopher Heeschen
Head, Stem Cells in Cancer Group
T: +61 (0) 2 9385 1004

Applications close: 11:55pm on Sunday 24th June 2018

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