Postdoc: T Cell-based Tumor Immunotherapy
Medical University of South Carolina - Charleston, SC

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A postdoctoral position is available in the laboratory of Chrystal Paulos in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and Department of Surgery at the Hollings Cancer Center, Medical University of South Carolina; Charleston, SC.

Successful candidates should have a PhD, MD or MD/PhD degree with a strong background in Molecular Biology and Immunology. Our main project focuses on the molecular and cellular mechanisms underling how cotimulatory molecules modulate anti-tumor human T cell subsets to recognize and kill advanced human tumors. We seek to improve the quality and long-lived memory phenotype of genetically engineered T cells (redirected with a TCR or Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) that recognizes tumor antigen) via understanding how costimulatory molecules, cytokines and novel pharmaceutics regulate their functional and transcriptional fate. (C.M. Paulos,et.al., ICOS critically regulates the expansion and function of inflammatory human Th17 cells. Science TM. 2 (55): 55ra78 (2010). *Accompanying Perspective and Science Highlight).

Our lab focuses on developing novel T-cell immunotherapies for patients with advanced cancer. Our strategy is based on the use of clinically relevant mouse models and ex-vivo assays with human T cells to ultimately develop human clinical trials that effectively harness the patient's own immune system to kill cancer. We study new ways to improve adoptive cell transfer (ACT) therapy, which involves the removal of T-cells from the patient, their expansion/manipulation ex-vivo, followed by their infusion back into the patient preconditioned with lymphodepletion.

In addition to studying the role of tumor-specific T cell subsets, we also investigate the mechanisms underlying the effectiveness of lymphodepletion prior to ACT therapy and use this valuable information to design safer and more effective approaches to treat patients with cancer. Our discoveries have relevance in the design of T-cell based therapies for HIV and autoimmune disease. Moreover, we explore how the microbiome shapes tumor immunity in our world-renowned gnobiotic animal facility (C.M. Paulos,et.al, Toll-like receptors in tumor immunotherapy. Clinical Cancer Research. 15; 13(18 pt. 1): 5280-9 (2007). C.M. Paulos,et.al., Microbial translocation augments the function of self/tumor-specific CD8+ T cells via TLR4 signaling. The Journal of Clinical Investigation. 117(8): 2197-204 (2007). Please see our webpage for additional information: (http://academicdepartments.musc.edu/immunology/Faculty/paulos.html)

We are looking for motivated, creative and interactive scientists within very early stages of their PhD or MD/PhD degree. Qualified applicants should have first-author research paper(s) published in peer-reviewed journal. The ideal candidates should also have first-hand experience in cell culture and related biochemical techniques (particularly real-time PCR, Western blots, gene engineering, vector and plasmid design, etc.). Candidates should also have experience in handling mice, conducting and analyzing flow cytometry and ELISA. The ability to design, evaluate and report research is required. Excellent verbal and written communication skills are required. We seek exceptionally motivated postdoctoral fellows to share our passion in research that are team players and work well together. Interested applicants are encouraged to submit an application by email to paulos musc.edu, including a cover letter outlining research interests, CV, and the contact information of three referees.

The Hollings Cancer Center is an NCI-designated cancer center, indicative of the strong institutional commitment toward human immunology and translational research. The center also has access to a wide range of cutting-edge core resources on campus. We have close collaborations with members of the Department of Microbiology & Immunology, Department of Surgery, and the entire scientific community, which provides a unique opportunity for the translation of basic tumor immunology into potent treatments for patients with cancer.

The Medical University of South Carolina is located in the heart of Charleston, SC, a beautiful and historic city on the Atlantic coast. Charleston has elegant beaches, has great weather for a wide range of outdoor activities, and is a culturally rich city with food, art, theater, dance, and music festivals.

MUSC is an equal opportunity employer supporting workplace diversity M/F/V/D

Contact:
Chrystal Paulos, PhD
Microbiology and Immunology
Medical University of South Carolina
Charleston, SC
United States
Email: paulos musc.edu

Employer's Web Site:
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