Research Assistant

Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland

Ireland

September 23, 2022

Description

Post Date : 09-Sep-2022 Close Date : 23-Sep-2022

Title : Research assistant

Department : School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences and Department of Surgery

Tenure : Fulltime, specified purpose contract for up to 12 months

Location : Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI), 123 St. Stephens Green, Dublin 2, Ireland

Reporting to : Dr. Sudipto Das

Salary : Aligned to level 1 of the IUA research salary scale

Proposed Start Date : 3rd October, 2022

Project Overview

Title: ExamIning the diagnostic and functional role of a novel DNA meThylation signature in predicting ColoRectAl Cancer meTastasis - “INTERACT”

Project Brief:

Colorectal cancer (CRC) accounts for one of the highest cancer-associated mortalities worldwide. While scientific/clinical advancements have significantly improved survival of early stage CRC patients (~60-80%), patients with metastatic CRC (mCRC) have a dramatically low survival rate, with only 14% survival post-5 years of diagnosis. Suitable approaches to predict metastatic progression of CRC and further personalise treatment are severely lacking. We have identified a novel tumour-specific DNA methylation signature comprising of 376 differentially methylated regions (DMRs) derived from stage IV mCRC patients (discovery cohort). These DMRs largely encompass enhancer regions which potentially regulate genes impacting metastatic progression. This multidisciplinary research project aims to examine the ability of this novel signature to predict metastatic progression in CRC patients and in parallel elucidate its functional impact on processes underpinning development of a metastatic phenotype. To this end, we will identify methylation regions from the signature that can predict metastatic progression in CRC, by applying targeted methylation sequencing to two distinct stage III CRC patient cohorts: metastatic recurrence vs non- recurrence followed by comparing methylation status of all 376- DMRs between these two cohorts and the original stage IV mCRC discovery cohort.

Objectives of this post :

We currently seek a research assistant to work/contribute on an exciting innovative project involving validation of a novel DNA methylation signature to predict metastatic progression in Colorectal cancer. The successful applicant will be guided by both Dr. Das and his research team to generate DNA libraries for DNA methylation analysis using sequence capture followed by next-generation sequencing. The data generated from this initiative will play a pivotal role in ascertaining the predictive potential of our novel signature in metastatic colorectal cancer patients.

Description of research group: The Epigenetics of Gastrointestinal Diseases research group (EpigastroDRG) (www. epigastrodrg.com) led by Dr. Das (https: // www. rcsi.com/people/profile/sudiptodas ) is a highly dynamic team that includes researchers from various scientific disciplines. The group aims to apply novel bioinformatics approaches to epigenomic/multi-omic data generated from large patient cohorts in order to identify novel biomarkers of treatment response and disease progression in diseases such as IBD and Colorectal cancer. In addition, the group is actively involved in validating the phenotypic role 3 of these candidate biomarkers as well as various epigenetic targeting agents using novel models of IBD and Colorectal cancer.

Specifically, the duties of the post are :

  • Perform research as directed by Dr. Das
  • Work productively with other research team members in a collegial manner and contribute towards the progress of the research project
  • Apply experimental and analytical strategies to carefully manage any data generated for presentations and peer-review publications
  • Contribute to research team meetings
  • Application Process

    Please apply only by 12pm on September 23rd with a CV and cover letter. For informal queries please contact recruitment at amandamurphy@rcsi.ie

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