Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Tumor Cell Clusters and Metastasis

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. 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 highly motivated postdoctoral research fellow is sought to carry out a research project focusing on mechanisms for metastatic seeding by tumor cell clusters. This position is in the laboratory of Dr. Kevin Cheung at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA ( Recent graduate students at the end of their training program who are eligible to participate in NIH-funded training grants and fellowships are especially encouraged to apply.

About our laboratory:
The major cause of cancer mortality is metastasis, the process by which a localized cancer becomes a systemic disease. In conventional models, metastasis is thought to involve single tumor cells that individually circulate and seed distant organs. However, our recent studies have revealed an unexpected and important role for tumor cell clusters (Cheung and Ewald. Science 2016). We have observed that tumor cell clusters seed new metastases 100x more efficiently than single tumor cells, and that migrating clusters are composed of specialized 'leader cells' that express an epithelial molecular program (Cheung et al. Cell 2013; Cheung et al. PNAS 2016). The focus of my laboratory is to understand how and why tumor cell clusters are such potent seeds. Some of the questions we are engaging with include how do clusters travel together? What are the mechanisms for their cell cooperation? And what enables them to efficiently seed distant organs? Importantly, because clusters circulate in the bloodstream of cancer patients in many tumor types, their biology could have broad relevance. By studying the unique mechanisms regulating tumor cell clusters, my laboratory aims to discover new ways to prevent and treat metastasis.

Mechanisms for metastatic seeding by tumor cell clusters. (Cheung and Ewald, Science 2016).

The position will focus on spearheading one of several core projects in our laboratory, and contributing scientifically as a valued member of our research group.

To be considered, candidates must have:
- A recent PhD or MD in a relevant biological field
- A strong background in molecular and cell biology techniques
- A demonstrated track record of productive research, and at least two first author publications
- Experience with murine cancer models and microscopy is highly desirable
- An ability to work both independently and as part of a laboratory team

Pay, Benefits, & Work Schedule:
Full time position
Salary DOE + excellent benefits

To Apply:
Please apply with a letter summarizing previous work experience, suitability for this position and future research interests, as well as contact information for three professional references.


To apply for this position, please CLICK HERE

Students whose classmates are interested in science are more likely to think about a career in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, a new study says.

CNBC reports that the genetic counseling field is expected to grow as personalized medicine becomes more common.

Gladys Kong writes at Fortune that her STEM background has helped her as a CEO.

Social scientists report that the image of the 'lone scientist' might be deterring US students from STEM careers.