The "Clonal Tumor Evolution and Functional Genomics" group at Division of Molecular and Translational Radiation Oncology at Heidelberg Institute of Radiation Oncology HIRO (Group Leader: Dr. Ali Nowrouzi) together with collaborators at division of Radiooncology and Radiobiology (Dr. Ina Kurth) at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the National Center for Radiation Research in oncology partner site Dresden (Oncoray) are recruiting an exceptionally talented PhD student to comprehensively dissect the molecular mechanisms promoting resistance to radiation therapy, local recurrences and radiation induced tumor cell plasticity in head and neck cancer (HNSCC).
Despite advances in the treatment of HNSCC by surgery, definitive or adjuvant radiochemotherapy, challenges to improve clinical outcome remain. This is in large a consequence of failing to control the disease at its primary site due to early microscopic tumor dissemination/invasion from the tumor to adjacent tissues which at later stages provide a favourable niche for clonal expansion and formation of macroscopic local recurrences. Moreover the molecular mechanism rendering tumor cells more resistant to radiation therapy are still not fully understood and need to be comprehensively elucidated on the molecular level. Increasing evidence also suggests that radiation induced tumor cell plasticity may lead to the induction of clonal tumor cells with an increased tumor initiating capacity significantly influencing a positive clinical outcome.
We here seek to decipher biological processes promoting or repressing radiation induced plasticity and phenotypic switching using clonal barcoding techniques for ultra-deep resolution of clonal dynamics in vitro and in vivo and genome-wide as well as tailored CRSIPR/Cas9 libraries. These platforms will be combined with single cell omics (DEParray, 10xGenomics) to comprehensively understand the molecular drivers of tumor cell plasticity. Therefore we are specifically analysing whether the radiation-induced bidirectional conversion from non-CSCs into CSCs is a stochastic or deterministic process using reporter systems developed by site-directed homologous recombination and gen editing termed "endogenous gene tagging".
• Applicants must hold a Master’s degree in biology, biochemistry, biotechnology, or a related field
• The successful candidates are highly motivated, ambitious, self-driven and hard-working individuals with excellent grades
• Candidates should enjoy working in an international team
• An excellent written and oral command of English is essential
• Candidates are expected to have excellent presentation and writing skills
• The ideal candidate should have strong interest / expertise in cell and tumor biology and state of the art functional genomic approaches. Experience in basic molecular biology techniques (DNA, RNA, Protein), genome editing approaches and next generation sequencing applications is beneficial
• Good computational knowledge to handle and analyse data (R, Bioconductor) generated by next generation sequencing platforms is an advantage
Applications should include a cover letter, CV, copy of certificates, expected availability date, a complete list of publications, and 2 references.
Beginn: as soon as possible
Befristung: The position is limited to 3 years.
Bewerbungsschluss: October 11, 2017
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