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Postdoctoral Research Associate in Molecular and Genome Editing Therapeutics Group

Reference: 021404

The Dr. Jacków lab has an opportunity for a Postdoctoral Research Associate to join their Molecular and Genome Editing Therapeutics Group at King’s College London. The post, which is a FTE fixed term contract for 1 year (in the first instance with possibility for extension for 2 more years), will utilise cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) tissue from severe recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (RDEB) patients to investigate a molecular mechanism driving RDEB-cSCC development. RDEB is a currently incurable inherited skin disorder characterised by severe blistering of the skin. RDEB patients have a propensity to develop early and aggressive cSCCs, the current mechanism of which is not fully understood. Novel insights into this process could also help to explain wider cSCC formation.

This new postdoctoral position will build on previous work from the lab to better understand the mechanism of action of Ruxolitinib (Jacków et al., JID 2021), an inhibitor that can reduce RDEB-cSCC tumor growth. We will use iPSCs reprogramming and differentiation technologies that our lab developed as a model to study RDEB-cSCC tumorigenesis (Rami et al., Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021). The work will also dissect the relationship between the inflammatory/stromal microenvironments and RDEB-cSCC cancer progression.

The project will have access to skin biopsies from patients with RDEB-cSCCs from our clinic at the St John’s Institute of Dermatology, the largest tertiary referral Centre in the UK for RDEB. Advanced techniques such as single cell RNA sequencing, flow and mass cytometry, imaging mass cytometry and diagnostic histology will probe epithelial and inflammatory cells from patient cSCC tissue.

The project aims to profile how inflammation causes RDEB-cSCC development and progression through its interactions with the surrounding microenvironment and additionally explore the synergy of ruxolitinib inhibition with and without immunotherapy to achieve better control of tumour growth.

The post will be based on the Guy’s Campus within the School of Basic and Medical Biosciences at St John’s Institute of Dermatology. The candidate will work closely with the principal investigator Dr Joanna Jacków and support a collaboration with Dr James Arnold (https://www.kcl.ac.uk/research/tumour-immunology-group).

We will also closely work with Prof John McGrath and Prof Jemima Mellerio, both of whom are world-renowned experts in Epidermolysis Bullosa and will be the key clinical personnel to guide with RDEB patient selection and provision of samples. The postholder also will benefit more broadly from the vast interdisciplinary research and academic networks at King’s College London.

The successful candidate must have (or be about to receive) a PhD relating to cancer and/or Immunology. Candidates should be proficient in primary cell culture and phenotyping of cell subsets using flow cytometry. Experience with organoid culture and skills in bioinformatics analysis will be highly valued but not a prerequisite for this position. In addition, some experience in skin biology will be of benefit.
This post will be offered on a fixed-term contract for 1 year.

This is a full-time post – 100% full time equivalent

Closing Date: 16th May 2021

Apply here: https://jobs.kcl.ac.uk/gb/en/job/021404/Research-Associate-in-Molecular-and-Genome-Editing-Therapeutics-Group

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