Postdoctoral Training Fellows (X4): Gene Function Team

Institute of Cancer Research

The Gene Function Laboratory, headed by Professor Chris Lord, focuses upon identifying and understanding tumour specific dependencies, such as synthetic lethal effects, as a means to design novel approaches to treating cancer.  We have made major advances in identifying synthetic lethal interactions involving, for example, PARP inhibitors (Farmer et al Nature (2005), Edwards et al Nature (2008), Bajrami et al, Cancer Research (2014)) and ATR inhibitors (Williamson et al, Nature Communications (2016)). Using this same concept we have also systematically identified synthetic lethal interactions in breast cancer (Brough et al, Cancer Discovery (2011), Campbell et al, Cell Reports (2016)). We aim to generate pre-clinical information that can inform the design of clinical trials and the identification of novel targets for drug discovery programmes.

We are seeking highly motivated Postdoctoral Training Fellows (x4) to study synthetic lethal effects, with the express aim of developing optimised treatment approaches for cancer. At the present time, we are particularly interested in investigating synthetic lethal interactions in the following areas:

  • SWI/SNF tumour suppressor genes (Williamson et al, Nature Communications 2016) focusing on interactions with the DNA damage response (DDR) pathway.
  • Synthetic lethal interactions between the RB tumour suppressor gene and the DDR, leveraging our previous studies (Brough et al. Cancer Discovery 2011).
  • Synthetic lethal interactions that are associated with E-cadherin loss in breast cancer.
  • DDR related synthetic lethalities in pancreatic cancer.

Successful applicants will use a combination of high-throughput in vitro and in vivo functional genomic approaches to identify therapeutic targets. These may include the use of RNA interference, CRISPR-Cas9 and drug screens. We would expect successful candidates to contribute to the development of a project and research plan that makes the most of the resources and interests of the laboratory as well as the candidate’s specific skill set and experience.

Candidates should possess a PhD in biology, genetics or other associated subjects, experience in molecular and cellular biology and a strong track record of high quality biomedical research as exemplified by their publication record. Successful applicants will enjoy working in an interdisciplinary environment with our internal and external biology, clinical, pathology and computational biology collaborators. The post holders will be fast learners, and will be motivated to explore new subjects.

Appointment will be on a Fixed Term Contract for 2 years in the first instance, with a starting salary in the range of £30,410 p.a. to £43,463 p.a. inclusive. Starting salary will be based on postdoctoral experience.

Interviews are expected to take place on 11 October 2017.

To apply, please upload your CV and covering letter online.

Informal enquiries are welcome and can be made via email to Dr Stephen Pettitt ( Please note – this address is for enquiries only and you should not send your application to this email address.

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