Postdoctoral Researcher

University of Oxford
February 19, 2024
Offerd Salary:£36,024 - £44,263
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:fixed-term for 1 yea
Working Time:Full time
Working type:N/A
Ref info:N/A
Postdoctoral Researcher

Department of Oncology, Old Road Campus Research Building, Roosevelt Drive, Oxford OX3 7DQ

About the role

An exciting opportunity to join Professor Ester Hammond's team and the EU Horizon funded HIT-GLIO consortium. HIT-GLIO is an international, multidisciplinary consortium composed of researchers across eight different countries. Two researchers are being recruited to the Department of Oncology, one to join Prof. Hammond's team and the second to join Dr Monica Olcina's group. The over-arching goal of HIT-GLIO is to dissect the poorly-understood tumour-host interactions in paediatric high-grade gliomas (pHGGs) with single-cell omics and multi-modal imaging and develop strategies to enhance immunotherapy and radiotherapy response.

Paediatric high-grade gliomas (pHGGs) are malignant, deadly tumours developing in infants and children. Mutations in histone coding genes disturb epigenetic regulation and in cooperation with other oncogenes promote tumour initiation and progression. pHGGs are fast-growing and diffusive which makes them hard to remove or treat. Surgery (unattainable in midline brain regions) and radiotherapy remain the only option with transient benefits as median survival is 9-15 months. Those tumours are immunosuppressed; thus, immunotherapy is ineffective. We propose that knowledge of tumour-host interactions in the tumour microenvironment (TME) would reveal novel targets allowing to find new ways to eradicate mutated tumour cells, improve efficacy of radiotherapy, and reinvigorate anti-tumour immunity. Across the consortium, we will use latest single-cell technologies and multimodal imaging to characterise tumour-immune cell interactions in a large spectrum of pHGG patient samples; create cellular and animal models of increasing complexity: human glioma-microglia co-cultures, DIPG-derived organoids complemented with iPSC-derived immune cells and syngeneic pHGG mouse models which would be platforms for mechanistic studies and drug screening; evaluate hypoxia- inducible epigenetic inhibitors and blockers of tumour-host interactions to improve radiotherapy and immunotherapy responses; generate nanocarriers functionalised to target immune cells and deliver drugs to the brain; develop more effective CAR-T cells that together with TME reprogramming and radiotherapy would boost anti-tumour immunity; assess neurodevelopmental alterations and psychological consequences of disease and foster psychological approaches to increase quality-of-life of patients and caregivers. The expected outcomes of HIT-GLIO would ultimately pave ways to new clinical trials to improve the way pHGGs are treated.

Work within Prof. Hammond's team will primarily focus on characterising the biological response to hypoxia in pHGG and determining how this impacts response to existing and novel therapy combinations. This will include determining mechanism of action through investigating changes in gene expression (RNAseq) and translating findings from in vitro models to 3D neurospheres and eventual in vivo work. The successful candidate is expected to work closely with the postdoc to be recruited to the Olcina lab and also with the wider HIT-GLIO consortium. This will include at least annual trips to Warsaw for consortium meetings.

The post will be based at the Old Road Campus Research Building, Roosevelt Drive, Headington, Oxford, OX3 7DQ, and is offered on a full-time basis, fixed-term for 1 year in first instance.

About you

You will hold a relevant PhD/DPhil (or be close to completion), together with relevant experience. You will have a first author publication related to cancer biology. You will have sufficient specialist knowledge in the discipline to work within established research programmes. For example, knowledge of cancer biology, hypoxia-mediated biology, redox and the tumour micro-environment, together with the experience of cell viability assays, western blotting, qRT-PCR, IHC/immunofluorescence. Previous experience of independently managing a discrete area of a research project and actively collaborating in the development of research articles for publication would be an advantage.

Application Process

If you would like to discuss this role please contact Professor Ester Hammond at [email protected]. You will be required to upload a supporting statement (setting out how you meet the selection criteria), a curriculum vitae and the names and contact details of two referees as part of your online application. The closing date for applications is 12.00 noon on 19th February 2024.

Interviews are expected to take place w/c 4th March 2024. Candidates should be available for interview during this time.

Committed to equality and valuing diversity

Contact Person : HR Officer Vacancy ID : 170466 Contact Phone : Closing Date & Time : 19-Feb-2024 12:00 Pay Scale : STANDARD GRADE 7 Contact Email : [email protected] Salary (£) : £36,024 - £44,263 per annum

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