Postdoctoral Fellow - Targeting the DNA damage response in ALT cancers
Job Type: Full time
R-180613: Postdoctoral Fellow - Targeting the DNA damage response in ALT cancers
Location: Cambridge Biomedical Campus, Cambridge, UK
Competitive Salary, Bonus & Benefits Package
Are you a dedicated scientist interested in working on new approaches to target the DNA damage response (DDR) for cancer therapy, including mechanistic interplay between DDR and telomere biology? This opportunity will focus on a newly identified DDR target that is the topic of an exciting drug discovery programme - Come join our DNA Damage Response team at AstraZeneca and unlock the power of what science can do.
AstraZeneca is a global, science-led, patient-centred biopharmaceutical company focusing on discovering, developing, and commercialising prescription medicines for some of the world’s most serious diseases. But we’re more than a global leading pharmaceutical company. At AstraZeneca, we're dedicated to being a Great Place to Work and empowering employees to push the boundaries of science and fuel their entrepreneurial spirit.
About our Postdoc Programme
Bring your expertise, apply your knowledge, follow the science, and make a difference. AstraZeneca’s Postdoc Programme is for self-motivated individuals looking to deliver exciting projects in an encouraging, engaging, and innovative environment. You'll work with multidisciplinary scientific teams from a diverse set of backgrounds and a world-class academic mentor specifically aligned to your project. Our postdocs are respected as specialists, encouraged to speak up, and supported to share their research at conferences, publish papers, achieve their goals.
Make a more meaningful impact in your career, with greater ownership and accountability to make a contribution whilst making a difference to the lives of our patients!
This is a 3-year programme.
About the Opportunity
Our successful Postdoc will join AZ’s DNA Damage Response team in the Bioscience department within Oncology Discovery. The DNA Damage Response (DDR) is one of the world-leading scientific platforms we are focusing on to improve clinical outcomes in oncology, by identification of impactful targets and driving the understanding of their mechanism of action.
The purpose of this project is to investigate the mechanism(s) of action of the synthetic lethality observed between a newly identified DDR target and ALT cancers and to validate the underlying concept as a novel therapeutic strategy for treating ALT tumours. Most cancers have acquired some form of dependency on the DDR during cancer development, which we can target therapeutically to preferentially kill cancer cells.
Our postdoctoral fellow will benefit from a supportive community of scientists, where they will be supervised by Dr Domenic Pilger, lead biologist on the DDR-ALT early drug discovery program and co-supervised by Dr Josep Forment, director in DDR Bioscience, and Dr Mark O’Connor, Chief Scientist of DDR Oncology.
Furthermore, the external expert Professor Roger Greenberg, Senior PI at the University of Pennsylvania and leading authority in the area of DNA damage response and ALT telomere biology, will guide the development of the project.
What You’ll Do
In this role you will acquire an understanding of the importance of providing mechanistic insights into DDR targeted therapy and learn the significance of this in terms of both drug discovery and developing lines of sight for clinical development.
Key Duties & Responsibilities:
- Designing and conducting in vitro experiments utilising various molecular biology and genome editing methods
- Work collaboratively with other members of the in vitro DDR biology team analysing, interpreting and presenting your data internally with AZ Oncology
- Presenting your project to an academic audience and aim to generate one or more high quality publication
Qualification, Skills & Experience
Our Postdoc programme is aimed at individuals who are either:
- Within 5-years of obtaining their doctoral degree (PhD, DVM, or MD) - PhD already awarded, or
- Students, soon to obtain doctoral degrees (the PhD must be awarded within 6 months of joining AstraZeneca)
- A PhD or equivalent in biochemistry, cancer biology or molecular and cell biology, preferentially in the DNA-damage response field
- Experience in molecular biology methods and in vitro genetic manipulation techniques
- Ability to work independently (design, execution and interpretation of experiments) with the desire to work collaboratively as a part of multidisciplinary team
- Good communication skills, with fluent written and spoken English
- Experience in a range of in vitro biochemical, cell biology and pharmacology-related skills that can be applied to DDR and oncology research, including, but not limited to:
- growth inhibition/toxicity assays
- immunofluorescence staining with high-content microscopy
- cell cycle analysis
- flow cytometry
- CRISPR cell line models
- Good knowledge of cancer biology and the utility of DNA damage response inhibitors
- Good knowledge and preferentially experience in telomere biology
- A strong scientific track-record, as evidenced by published or accepted papers in well recognised peer-reviewed journals, oral and/or poster presentations at scientific meetings
Reasons to Apply
This is a fantastic opportunity to work in a dynamic team of DDR specialists where you are an integral part of a large pharma company working on early-stage cancer drug discovery and development. Through the experience at AZ, our Postdoc will understand how these basic research insights can be translated into strategies for developing cancer therapy.
We believe that on conclusion of this project, our Postdoc will have a great platform from which to either continue in industry or return to academic research with important insights gained from an industrial placement.
The unique positioning of this postdoc within a pharmaceutical company such as AZ, means that you will be able to access large datasets which are not available in the public domain. Moreover, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that methods and techniques you develop will not only be published but will also be used within AZ after the postdoc position concludes, in real-life projects - and that ultimately the work you do will directly impact patients’ lives!
As a key member of a research group and taking a leading role on a Postdoctoral project, we expect regular attendance - a minimum of 3 days per week on the AstraZeneca campus. For laboratory-based scientists, this may be higher.
Given the unique positioning of our Postdoctoral researchers, you may have an additional opportunity to spend some time with an external academic mentor. In this instance, you may be required to spend some of your time working alongside them at their facility as driven by the research project. Your flexibility to meet the needs of the research and the scope of the project is required, and we also look to support you with flexibility in accordance with our standard work policies.
If your passion is science and you want to be part of a team that makes a bigger impact on patients’ lives, then there’s no better place to be.
This advert will be running from Thursday, 26th October 2023 and, we welcome your application as soon as possible, but ahead of the scheduled closing date of Sunday, 14th January 2024. In the event, that we identify suitable candidates ahead of the scheduled closing date, we reserve the right to withdraw the vacancy earlier than published.
Find Out More
AstraZeneca - DNA Damage Response Team: https://www.astrazeneca.com/our-therapy-areas/oncology/dna-damage-response.html
Professor Roger Greenberg, MD: https://www.med.upenn.edu/apps/faculty/index.php/g5455356/p8145566
AZ’s Postdoc Programme: https://careers.astrazeneca.com/postdocs-astrazeneca
Life at AstraZeneca: https://careers.astrazeneca.com/life-at-astrazeneca
This is what we’re made of: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmFx_jr2eFo&t=2s
AstraZeneca embraces diversity and equality of opportunity. We are committed to building an inclusive and diverse team representing all backgrounds, with as wide a range of perspectives as possible, and harnessing industry-leading skills. We believe that the more inclusive we are, the better our work will be. We welcome and consider applications to join our team from all qualified candidates, regardless of their characteristics. We follow all applicable laws and regulations on non-discrimination in employment (and recruitment), as well as work authorisation and employment eligibility verification requirements.
AstraZeneca embraces diversity and equality of opportunity. We are committed to building an inclusive and diverse team representing all backgrounds, with as wide a range of perspectives as possible, and harnessing industry-leading skills. We believe that the more inclusive we are, the better our work will be. We welcome and consider applications to join our team from all qualified candidates, regardless of their characteristics. We comply with all applicable laws and regulations on non-discrimination in employment (and recruitment), as well as work authorization and employment eligibility verification requirements.