Postdoctoral Fellow for the Growth Control and Cancer Metastasis Group (ref. PD/21/19)

Updated: 2 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 17 Nov 2021

Created in 2005 by the Generalitat de Catalunya (Government of Catalonia) and the University of Barcelona, IRB Barcelona is a Severo Ochoa Centre of Excellence—a seal that was awarded in 2011.

The institute is devoted to conducting research of excellence in biomedicine and to transferring results to clinical practice, thus improving people’s quality of life, while simultaneously promoting the training of outstanding researchers, technology transfer, and public communication of science. Its 28 laboratories and seven core facilities address basic questions in biology and are orientated to diseases such as cancer, metastasis, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and rare conditions.

IRB Barcelona is an international centre that hosts 400 members and 30 nationalities. It is located in the Barcelona Science Park. IRB Barcelona forms part of the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST) and the “Xarxa de Centres de Recerca de Catalunya” (CERCA).

The Gomis Lab at the IRB Barcelona is seeking a postdoctoral interested in cancer genetics and biology, with strong interest in metastasis. If you are passionate about metastasis research and excited to advance your scientific career in an outstanding research environment, you may be the one we are looking for.

The Gomis lab is a multidisciplinary group interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying tumor metastasis and treatment resistance. Clinical challenges inspired our work, and we have systematically employed a wide array of molecular biology, biochemistry and in vivo approaches with the goal of improve cancer patient treatments. We are located at the IRB Barcelona at the PCB, a life-science hub in the Barcelona area. We provide an unparalled training environment with world-class support at the group- and institute-level to maximize professional career development.

The project:

Herein we propose to undertake an innovative translational approach to identify molecular cues underlying metastatic prostate cancer. We focus our attention on a poorly characterized biological entity in this disease: The castration-naïve metastatic PCa, encompassing a tumour type that is metastatic at the time of first diagnosis. The clinical relevance of our approach stems from the fact that 9-20% of prostate cancer patients in Europe fall within this category, and this type of tumour is responsible for more than 50% of lethal PCa in the developed world. We hypothesize that elucidating the molecular drivers and therapeutic vulnerabilities of castration-naïve metastatic PCa will have a profound impact on how prostate cancer as a whole is managed and treated. To this , we have built a multidisciplinary, highly traslational and inter-regional research group, including experts on cell signalling and metabolism, molecular mechanisms of metastasis, tumour-stroma interactions, urologists and oncologists (A project funded by the AECC-Spanish cancer association). In this, we will encompass molecular characterization of castration-naïve metastatic prostate cancer, identification of tumour and stroma contributors to the biology of the disease, traslation of knowledge into novel mouse models of metastatic prostate cancer and the development of therapeutic strategies emanating from identified actionable drivers of the disease.

Specifically, we will use orthotopic metastasis experimental mouse models. The latter will be based on the use of metastatic cells from human PCa patients that are injected into athymic mice orthotopically, to monitor systemic metastasis or bone colonization. To follow PCa growth and metastasis in mice, tumour cells will be transduced with a lentivirus containing a non-invasive imaging vector (TK-GFP-Luc). Bioluminescence imaging (BLI) using Xenogen IVIS technology will allow imaging of luciferase-expressing cells and will be used for the detection of tumour cell homing and outgrowth in organs of interest at various time points. Genetic manipulation of the candidates will be performed by shRNA, inducible over-expression of CRISPR-CAS9-based gene editing, with the goal to run gene sub sets in vivo screens.

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