Research Fellow in Cancer Cell Signalling Ref 2972
School/department: School of Life Sciences,Department of Biochemistry
Hours: Full time or part time hours considered up to a maximum of 1 FTE. Requests for flexible working options will be considered (subject to business need)
Contract: Fixed term for 1 year (with an option to extend it for another 1 year)
Salary: Starting at £33,797 per annum, pro rata (if applicable) – starting salary will be determined by the level of experience of the applicant
Placed on: 16 December 2019
Closing date: 17 February 2020. Applications must be received by midnight of the closing date.
Expected interview date: February 2020
Expected start date: 01 April 2020
Project: ‘Elucidating the involvement of extracellular vesicles in tuning the Glioblastoma microenvironment and their potential use as cancer liquid biopsies’
A post-doctoral position is available in the laboratory of Georgios Giamas to elucidate the involvement of extracellular vesicles in Glioblastoma development and progression. The Giamas lab combines a variety of molecular, cellular and biochemical techniques along with established in vitro/in vivo models and patients' specimens to study relevant pathways in cancer.
Our research is focusing on glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) one of the most aggressive types of brain tumours for which current treatments are of limited benefit. More specifically, we aim to describe how cells (both normal -such as astrocytes, neurons, etc- and cancer cells) communicate with each other in the tumour microenvironment. Since such a crosstalk is involved in cancer progression it represents therefore a potential target for cancer therapeutic strategies.
In recent years, extracellular vesicles (EVs), produced by all cell types, have been shown to play a very important role in cell-cell communication and, consequently, intra-tumoural heterogeneity and cancer progression. EVs are nanosized membrane enclosed vesicles that contain genetic information such as RNA and DNA but also proteins and lipids.
We recently reported on the role of EVs in GBM resistance to bevacizumab, an anti-angiogenic therapy used to treat recurrent GBM (Simon et al., 2018) and the potential use of cell-derived EVs as a reservoir for GBM subtyping (Lane et al., 2019). Our on-going research has revealed that the proteomic content of EVs can mirror the molecular signature and invasiveness potential of GBM cell lines in vitro. Moreover, according to our data, EVs may contain reliable protein markers for the aggressive mesenchymal GBM subtype in particular (using blood derived EVs obtained from GBM patients). Overall, these findings could assist future GBM studies and provide insights for the development of new diagnostic (liquid biopsy) and therapeutic methods as well as personalized treatment strategies.
Amongst the aims of this project is to decipher the molecular mechanisms involved in the role of EVs during GBM recurrence. Altogether, we believe that GBM cell-derived EVs can be directly involved in recurrence through supporting the expansion of the mesenchymal signature in the tumour bulk.
Strong background knowledge in cancer/glioblastoma biology and extracellular vesicle-associated mechanisms is required. In addition, extensive experience in EV concentration, 2D/3D cell culture, cell tracking as well as mass spectrometry and/or RNA-seq analysis (description of EV content) is expected.
We are an active research group and provide a stimulating and supportive research environment combining a variety of in vitro and in vivo models / tools. An overview of research within the Giamas lab can be found at: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/lifesci/giamaslab/
The School of Life Sciences is at the forefront of research in the biological sciences in the UK, coming in the top 10 in the REF 2014.
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