Fellowships for Post-Doctorate Fellows & Phd students at Haifa U, Israel

Institute of Evolution, University of Haifa
Job Location
Mt Carmel, Haifa, Israel
$30K-$40K for Post-Docs; $20K-$27K for PhD (according to qualifications and performance).
Job Description

We are looking for independent, motivated, diligent, laborious, dedicated post-doctorate fellows for revealing the mechanisms of cancer-resistance and anti-cancer activity of the hypoxia-tolerant subterranean, blind mole-rat, Spalax. Our project has captured the interest of the scientific community and we have ample financial support for the studies. Generous fellowships ($30K to $40K according to qualifications and performance) are available, immediately, for experts in bioinformatics with a background of fully understanding biological questions, and for ‘wet/bench’ work, highly experienced in working with tissue culture, protein biochemistry, genetic engineering and nude mice methodologies. Training in cancer research is an advantage. Experience of writing manuscripts for publication and solid publication record are expected. English skills both oral and written are required. American, Western-European or Israeli education is a benefit. Outstanding candidates for PhD studies will also be considered ($20K to $27K according to qualifications and performance). Scientific background: We are working with the hypoxia-tolerant (down to 3% O2), long-lived (>20 years) subterranean blind mole-rat, Spalax, which shows an outstanding cancer-resistance and anti-cancer capabilities. Observations of thousands of individuals at our Institute have never noticed a spontaneous malignant tumor. Furthermore, we have found in Spalax different structure and function of major genes related to cancer (p53, heparanase, genes of antioxidant defense and DNA-repair genes). Assessment of Spalax transcriptome assembly and expression data has revealed enrichment of genes that overlap cancer resistance, apoptosis, angiogenesis, and hypoxia-tolerance and elicits much wider and stronger expression in Spalax than in rat (Malik et al, 2012, BMC genomics, 13, 615). Moreover, Spalax has shown extremely high cancer-resistance to chemical carcinogens that induced cancer in 100% of mice and rats. Most intriguing, fibroblast cells only from Spalax, but not from other species, inhibit growth and kill cancer cells, but not normal cells, from various tissues and species, most importantly a wide range of human cancer cells. This is exhibited in both co-culture system or by exposure to factors secreted into conditioned media harvested from Spalax fibroblasts. Decreased cancer cell viability and proliferation, reduced colony formation in soft agar, disturbed cell cycle progression, chromatin condensation, nuclei deformation and mitochondrial fragmentation were reproducibly observed (Manov et al., 2013, BMC biology 11, 91). Our present objectives is to identify and isolate the substances secreted by Spalax cells, resolve with which components they interact that are active only on cancer cells, in order to unravel the biological mechanisms and pathways that evolved in Spalax cell machinery and ultimately lead to the death of cancer-cells.. The study may attest to be a breakthrough in the conservative paradigm of cancer research, completely dependent on laboratory, inbred rodents. Achieving this goal will open new horizons in cancer studies, and may prove that the long lived, hypoxia- and cancer-tolerant Spalax is a significant biological resource to biomedical research as an organism for treatment and prevention of cancer in humans.


We are looking for somebody that is really highly experienced , laborious, dedicated and independent. We wish to have Post-Docs that will be eager and enthusiastic to invest their energy and time, their expertise and talents for the sake of their own personal success and for their future scientific career, just as we are eager to succeed in the project and have fruitful publishable results in high impact international peer-reviewed journals.

How to Apply

The applications should be submitted, together with extended CV and bibliography, summary of past accomplishments, list of publications (most important in peer-reviewed international journals) and contact information of 3 referees, to: Prof of Research Aaron Avivi (aaron@research.haifa.ac.il) AND: Dr. Imad Shams (imadshams@gmail.com). WEB-SITE: (http://evolution.haifa.ac.il/index.php/29-people/personal-websites/77-pe...)

About Our Organization

Haifa University is a continuously growing and developing University with about 16,000 students for all degrees with lively campus life. It is located in the beautiful city of Haifa, on top of Mt. Carmel facing the fantastic view of the sea and the Galili Mountains. Haifa has a very comfortable weather. The University is very close to the cultural and entertainment centers of Haifa and of course to the beaches. The institute of Evolution is an interdisciplinary research institute offering intellectual and scientific interactions with scientists who study "the whole evolutionary tree" using the front-line methodology of molecular biology, cell biology, proteomics and genomics. It has the reputation of one of the best centers of versatile research programs for graduate and post graduate studies. The laboratory for the study of the Biology of Subterranean Mammals has ~40 years record of interdisciplinary research: evolution, population genetics, speciation, physiology, molecular biology, functional genomics and proteomics. In the last 17 years we concentrated on the molecular unraveling of the subterranean blind mole-rat tolerance to hypoxia, which eventually led us to concentrate on revealing its wide-range characteristics that endow the Spalax with self cancer-resistance and anti-cancer ability. The leading team includes three scientists, everyone perusing his own scientific interests, but collaborate and interact with each other. For reaching our goals we use a wide range of methodologies: in vivo studies with Spalax and laboratory animals, in vitro tissue culture, molecular biology and protein biochemistry methodologies, and functional genomics.

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