Post-Doctoral Research Associate

Imperial College London


Job description
Job summary

 How do cancers evade immune destruction and what is the basis for immunotherapy sensitivity? We are studying these questions using a unique human cancer model (gestational trophoblastic neoplasia – GTN), along with tissues from common human cancers and mice models.

We seek a creative immunologist for a CRUK funded postdoctoral position until 31-March-2028. The project is based with Dr. Ehsan Ghorani at Imperial College London. Collaborators include Prof. Lucy Walker at the UCL Institute of Immunity and Transplantation, Prof. Sergio Quezada at the UCL Cancer Institute and Prof. Rafi Ahmed at the Emory Vaccine Center.

GTN is a rare cancer arising from placental trophoblasts and is:

  • An allograft that spreads widely yet avoids immune rejection
  • The most sensitive of all cancers to anti-PD1 immunotherapy yet negative for MHC class I

Studying these paradoxes will shed light on mechanisms of immune regulation in other cancers.

We have unique access to GTN samples through the world’s largest clinic at Imperial and will validate key concepts using samples from common cancers (lung and renal) we are collecting from two large UK immunotherapy clinical trials (REFINE-Lung and REFINE). 

Duties and responsibilities

You will lead work characterising the immune response to GTN with a focus on CD4 T cells using a systems immunology approach including use of single cell methods, TCR sequencing, multiplex immunofluorescence, explant culture and functional experiments. You will have bioinformatics support, access to state of the art facilities in a vibrant and supportive environment and ample opportunities for career development.

Essential requirements

Suitable candidates should hold or about to hold a PhD in immunology of cancer, transplantation, autoimmunity, reproduction or a related area, a strong track record and a passion for researching and understanding the immune system in cancer.

Further information

This is a full time and fixed term post until March 2028. You will be based at the Hammersmith Campus (East Acton).

Please contact Dr Ehsan Ghorani for further information: [email protected]

*Candidates who have not yet been officially awarded their PhD will be appointed as a Research Assistant within the salary range £38,194 to £41,388 per annum*

The College is a proud signatory to the San-Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA),which means that in hiring and promotion decisions, we evaluate applicants on the quality of their work, not the journal impact factor where it is published. For more information, see https://www.imperial.ac.uk/research-and-innovation/about-imperial-research/research-evaluation/

The College believes that the use of animals in research is vital to improve human and animal health and welfare. Animals may only be used in research programmes which are ultimately aimed towards finding new treatments and making scientific and medical advances, and where there are no satisfactory or reasonably practical alternatives to their use. Imperial is committed to ensuring that, in cases where this research is deemed essential, all animals in the College’s care are treated with full respect, and that all staff involved with this work show due consideration at every level.Find out more about animal research at Imperial .

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