Postdoctoral research position in immunotherapy for cancer

Updated: about 2 months ago

Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology (MTC) at Karolinska Institutet conducts research and teaching in immunology, infection biology, cell biology and cancer. MTC has about 430 active employees, including 81 PhD students, 77 postdoctoral researchers and 32 professors. Key words are multidisciplinary, bridging, translational, national and international collaborations.

Project

Immunotherapy is currently changing how we treat cancer and it is taking its place alongside surgery, radiation and chemotherapy as a first choice for treatment for several types of cancers. Still, many patients do not respond and it is a great drive at the moment to develop even more efficient therapies by combining targets as well as finding new ones. In this postdoc project the target are Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) which are a major component of tumor-promoting inflammation and increased numbers of these have been associated with poor prognosis in a variety of human cancers. Macrophages can be distinguished between polarization stages based on their function: pro-inflammatory macrophages or anti-inflammatory macrophages. Based on this, TAMs can functionally be defined as tumor-killing or tumor-promoting. Functionally, TAMs can stimulate tumor initiation and progression, including angiogenesis, tumor invasion, motility and metastasis. In addition, TAMs are immunoregulatory and suppress the anti-tumor immune responses and in effect make T cell directed and other immunotherapies less efficient.

We have recently developed a novel type of treatment in mice that targets TAMs and polarizes these towards an anti-tumor phenotype using an antibody (Georgoudaki et al. Cell rep. 2016). This was done targeting the class A scavenger receptor MARCO (macrophage associated receptor with collagenous structure), which we defined was expressed by a subtype of pro-tumor TAMs. The aim of this postdoc project is now to translate this to human TAMs as well as to develop novel antibody targets on TAMs. In addition, the role of TAMs in tumor stroma will be studied both in models for cancer and in samples from patients.

Duties

We are seeking an experienced and dedicated person who will be based at MTC at Karolinska Institutet. This is a collaborative project between Mikael Karlssons group at Karolinska Institutet and Rockefeller University in New York, USA. The funding is in part from a grant from NovoSeeds and in part by the Swedish Cancer Society. The project will include setting up assays for polarization of human tumor-associated macrophages and investigate specific antibodies that target these for treatment. The work includes both in vivo and in vitro studies including models for cancer. Also, studies on human tumor samples will be done in collaboration with the clinic and evaluation of different TAM related targets will be investigated. Finally, TAM interaction with the stromal compartment of both primary tumors and metastases will be investigated.   

Entry requirements

The applicant must have a PhD in biomedicine, biology, or comparable and adhere to the rules of being a postdoc at Karolinska Institutet: a person is eligible for a position as Post doc. if he or she has obtained a PhD no more than seven years before the last date of employment as postdoc. The term can be extended under special circumstances.

The candidate should have advanced knowledge of immunology and experience in cell culture, in vivo animal models and molecular biology techniques such as PCR, cloning and sequence analysis.

Desirable: Experience in using tumor models for cancer and working with macrophages and other phagocytes. Also, knowledge on bioinformatics analysis including analysis of RNA-sequencing, and/or methylation array data as well as siRNA or CRISPR/CAS9 methods.

Application process
An employment application must contain the following documents in English or Swedish:

  • A complete curriculum vitae, including date of the thesis defence, title of the thesis, previous academic positions, academic title, current position, academic distinctions, and committee work
  • A complete list of publications
  • A summary of current work (no more than one page)
  • Verifications for crediting of illness, military service, work for labour unions or student organisations, parental leave or similar circumstances
  • The application is to be submitted through the MyNetwork recruitment system.


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