Research Associate, Bioengineering

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
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Job Description: 

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, home of three Nobel laureates, is an independent, nonprofit research institution dedicated to the development and advancement of biomedical research to eliminate cancer and other potentially fatal diseases. Recognized internationally for its pioneering work in bone-marrow transplantation, the Center's five scientific divisions collaborate to form a unique environment for conducting basic and applied science. The Hutchinson Center, in collaboration with its clinical and research partners, the University of Washington and Seattle Children's, is the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center in the Pacific Northwest. Join us and make a difference!

A highly qualified and motivated Research Associate/Senior post-doctoral research fellow is sought to join the laboratory of Dr. Sunil Hingorani at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA. Our laboratory studies the molecular and cellular origins of pancreas cancer. Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) is a nearly uniformly lethal disease that defies all forms of conventional chemo- and radiotherapy.

To answer fundamental questions about the biology of PDA we have turned to genetically engineered mouse models. By directing the expression of key mutations in specific oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes to the mouse pancreas, we have developed models that faithfully mimic the spectrum of human PDA from its earliest preinvasive lesions to locally invasive and widely metastatic disease (for examples, see Cancer Cell 4:437-450, 2003; Cancer Cell 7:469-483, 2005; Cancer Cell 11:229-243, 2007). Our goals are to use these models to understand fundamental mechanisms of disease pathogenesis and to design and test strategies for early detection and for treatment and chemoprevention.

Four broad areas of inquiry are currently being pursued:
1) continuing investigations into the molecular requirements for disease progression and, in particular, mechanisms driving the unusually high penchant for metastasis;
2) generation of additional genetically-engineered mice incorporating recent findings on mutations of potential importance in disease pathogenesis;
3) investigations into the cell-of-origin for preinvasive and invasive pancreas cancer and the possibility that it may function as a "cancer stem cell";
4) integrated analyses of serum, plasma, tissue, and isolated primary cell lines to identify biomarkers of early disease and potential therapeutic targets.

A Ph.D. in the field of biomedical engineering, molecular biology, biochemistry, biophysics, or genetics and a demonstrated track record of productive post-doctoral research experience in a cancer biology or related lab as a post-doctoral research fellow are required. The candidate must also be experienced in essential techniques in molecular and cellular biology including cloning, transfection/infection of cells, PCR, Southern/Northern/Western blotting, tissue culture, immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence, including published experience in bioengineering.

The successful candidate must have excellent communication and organizational skills, the ability to develop creative approaches to experimental design and be able to function independently and work collaboratively.

Candidates with experience in advanced imaging techniques, gene targeting and the generation of genetically engineered murine models, as well as experience with flow sorting of cells and tissue stem cells are highly desired.

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