First listed on: 20 November 2020

The Children’s Medical Research Institute (CMRI) was Australia’s first dedicated paediatric research facility and continues to be one of the nation’s most highly regarded independent medical research centres. CMRI is located in Westmead, and research at the institute focuses on cancer and genome stability, nerve cell signalling, gene therapy, and embryonic development. Researchers at CMRI have access to state-of-the-art facilities and work alongside dynamic and supportive scientists that include university and graduate students, post-doctoral researchers, and laboratory directors. Our achievements are made possible by state and federal grants, a network of community supporters, and the Jeans for Genes® fundraising campaign.

We currently have a postdoctoral position available in the Cellular Cancer Therapeutics Laboratory at CMRI. The laboratory’s focus is on developing and translating adoptive T-cell therapy for the treatment of cancers.

Novel therapeutic strategies in cancer immunotherapy have been developed with the introduction of genetic engineering technologies that permit efficient gene transfer in human primary T cells. By using recombinant lentiviruses as vectors, we are investigating the antitumor efficacy of T-cell immunotherapy across a broad range of liquid and solid tumours. Using both conventional and non-conventional CAR systems, our research work will lead to a better understanding of CAR-T cell immunotherapy, with the goal of progressing new adoptive T-cell therapies rapidly into the clinic.

The responsibilities of this postdoctoral position will include working directly with the research unit head to design, develop, and execute bench experiments; supervising technicians/research fellows in the conduct of bench experiments and coordinating with core laboratories to process samples; and performing data management. Additionally, he/she will analyse experimental results to derive logical conclusions, draft experimental procedures, prepare manuscripts pertaining to research work, and maintain detailed laboratory records.

Bench experiments will require techniques including:

  • cell culture of cell lines, primary tumour samples, and primary immune cells;
  • generation of transgenic cells, including in silico work, molecular cloning and restriction enzyme based cloning, PCR, qPCR, transformation of bacteria, and plasmid amplification and preparation;
  • lentiviral production;
  • genetic modification using CRISPR/Cas9 based gene knockout and knock-in technology;
  • lentiviral transduction of cell lines and immune cells;
  • functional assays for early activation of effector cells, cytokine secretion, and cell proliferation;
  • cytotoxicity assays, flow cytometry, western blot and more.

Experience in the methods described above is desirable.

The ideal candidate will have a PhD or MD/PhD, with a background in immunology, a passion for science, and a desire to advance the understanding and treatment of cancer. A highly organised and self-directed individual with strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work in a dynamic environment is desired. Familiarity with general oncology and cancer pathogenesis; knowledge of molecular/genetic concepts, experimental methods, and data analysis; and the ability to maximise resources and troubleshoot effectively are essential. The candidate should have experience with and be willing to work with mouse models and should be comfortable with the handling of human blood and tissue samples.

The project is led by Professor Patrick Schlegel (Head of the Cellular Cancer Therapeutics Laboratory). This is a fantastic opportunity for researchers to enter a productive laboratory in a dynamic and professional organisation and to work directly with the principal investigator in this exciting research program.

The position is available starting 11th January 2021.

The hired individual will be compensated with a competitive remuneration package in accordance with qualifications and experience. Additional benefits include the provision of a Public Benevolent Institution salary packaging scheme and participation in an employer-contributed superannuation fund.

Applications should include a cover letter (citing PV2037), curriculum vitae, bibliography, brief statement of research interests, academic transcript and contact details (phone/email) of three professional referees and be forwarded to

We will interview suitable candidates as applications are received. Closing date for applications is Friday 11th December.

Please direct enquiries regarding the position to Fiona Yang:

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