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Post Doctoral Training Fellow - Gene Function team (Professor Chris Lord)

This position is based in the Gene Function Team (PI Prof. Chris Lord) at the ICR in Chelsea, Central London.

We are seeking a creative and curiosity-driven Postdoctoral Training Fellow to understand how resistance to drugs that target DNA defects in cancer (e.g. PARP inhibitors, ATR inhibitors, Pol-theta inhibitors, platinum salts) evolves. The successful candidate will use computational approaches to analyse DNA/RNA sequencing data from cancer patients receiving these treatments, identify candidate biomarkers of drug resistance and predict, via in silico approaches, how resistance mechanisms evolve and operate. Part of this work will exploit computational approaches to understand how drug resistance-causing reversion mutations in BRCA1/2 emerge during or after treatment.

This work will build on the laboratories long-standing interest in understanding clinical responses and resistance to PARP inhibitors, platinum salts and novel DNA repair inhibitors (Nature 2005, Nature 2008, Nature Comms 2016, Nature Comms 2018, Cancer Discovery 2020, J Clin Oncol 2021, Nature Comms 2021, Nature Cell Biol 2021) and our close links with Andrew Tutt’s ICR laboratory, who lead many of the key clinical trials in this area (New Engl J Med 2009, Lancet 2010, Nature Med 2018, New Engl J Med 2021).

This will primarily be a computational position and the successful candidate should be familiar with common sequencing workflows and the challenges of interpreting sequencing data from different sources (including FFPE samples and ctDNA). The ideal candidate will also have knowledge of DNA repair biology and a wide range of modelling and data integration techniques (in silico structural modelling, use of human resequencing and functional genomics data) that will aid the interpretation of variants identified in clinical trials associated with drug resistance. Experience relating to analysis of the immune (including neoantigen prediction) and stromal components from tumour sequencing data would also be an advantage.

This is an exciting opportunity to be involved with biomarker analysis in early stage clinical trials of new drugs. The team includes clinician scientists, cell/molecular biologists and bioinformaticians, ensuring a rich research environment with diverse expertise.

Prof. Chris Lord’s Laboratory focuses upon identifying and understanding tumour specific dependencies, such as synthetic lethal effects, as a means to design novel approaches to treating cancer. We have made major advances in identifying and understanding synthetic lethal interactions involving BRCA1/2, E-cadherin, ARID1A or Rb defects in cancer, many of which have either been approved for use as cancer treatments or are in clinical development. Our work is purposely aimed at generating information that can inform either the design/interpretation of clinical trials or the identification of novel targets for new drug discovery programmes.

This position is offered on a fixed term 3 year contract. Starting salary is in the range of £32,844* to £41,718 per annum inclusive based on previous post doctoral experience.

*thesis submitted, awaiting PhD award

Please submit an application on our site, job ref 1423

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