Post-Doctoral Research Fellow - Head and Neck Cancer

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center & Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
Job Location
Seattle, WA
Job Description

Cures Start Here. At Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, home to three Nobel laureates, interdisciplinary teams of world-renowned scientists seek new and innovative ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening diseases. Fred Hutch's pioneering work in bone marrow transplantation led to the development of immunotherapy, which harnesses the power of the immune system to treat cancer with minimal side effects. An independent, nonprofit research institute based in Seattle, Fred Hutch houses the nation's first and largest cancer prevention research program, as well as the clinical coordinating center of the Women's Health Initiative and the international headquarters of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network. Careers Start Here.

A postdoctoral research fellow is being sought to join the Mendez research lab in the Clinical Research Division. Research in the lab focuses on the genomics of head and neck cancer; development of novel drug targets including preclinical in vivo murine studies; and mechanisms of synthetic lethality for p53 mutant epithelial tumors. The research fellow will work on projects under the supervision and guidance of a senior faculty member.

The post-doctoral research fellow will work on a collaborative project where three investigators with complementary expertise in HNSCC, cell cycle regulation and HPV biology seek to translate basic science into therapies. The central theme is to determine how defects in cell cycle regulation and repair of DNA damage can be used to develop targeted therapies for HNSCC. The first aim will focus on CDK4/6 inhibition; novel substrates of CDK4/6 will be identified and the effects of a specific inhibitor, palbociclib, will be tested in HNSCC cell lines with abnormal CDK4/6 activity, as well as in HPV+ cell lines, in which the Rb family has been inactivated by E7. The second aim builds on recent results from us showing that WEE1 inhibition not only leads to premature mitosis by weakening the G2/M checkpoint but also causes replication stress in S-phase and irreparable DNA damage. Both, pharmacologic approaches in HNSCC cell lines and a HNSCC orthotopic mouse model will be used. The third aim is based on the rationale that HPV E6 and E7 inhibit the response to DNA damage, and that this creates vulnerabilities that can be targeted either specifically or by synthetic sensitivity. Together we anticipate exploiting cell cycle deregulation in HNSCC to develop novel therapeutic approaches.

Successful applicants will have:
- PhD degree in Molecular and/or Cell Biology (0 - 3 years of Post-Doctoral experience is preferred)
- Primary cell culture experience
- Experience working with murine models
- Basic molecular biology skills (PCR, cloning, qPCR, etc.)
- Proteomics
- Flow Cytometry expertise is preferred
- Biostastical and bioinformatics background preferred
- At least 1 first author publication

Candidates need to be highly motivated and organized individuals who think independently but enjoy working as part of a dynamic, collaborative and multidisciplinary team. Excellent verbal and written communication skills are essential. The ideal candidate will have a strong research background with robust skills in human solid tumor biology. To be successful in this position, the post-doctoral research fellow must be highly motivated and driven to establish a career as a future investigator.

Please apply with a letter summarizing previous work experience, personal strengths and future interests, a resume, and contact information for three professional references.

If interested, please apply online at

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