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Postdoctoral Training Opportunity - Brain Tumor Research

The Department of Neurological Surgery at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine is seeking a self-motivated postdoctoral scientist to join their team in the lab of Dr. Peiwen Chen to contribute to basic and translational studies in brain cancer field. They are located on the Northwestern Downtown Campus in the Chicago Streeterville neighborhood. This campus has state-of-the-art core facilities.

Current research in the lab focuses on studying the molecular mechanisms underlying the heterotypic interactions across diverse cell types (including tumor cells, cancer stem cells, macrophages/microglia, MDSCs and T cells) in the tumor microenvironment (TME) of brain cancer. Specifically, they are interested in studying how genetic and epigenetic regulation of cancer cells and/or cancer stem cells can shape an immunosuppressive TME, and determining which immune cells are affected in these processes. By characterizing the mechanisms that underlie these symbiotic interactions in the TME will lead to identify novel therapeutic targets and to improve the effectiveness of cancer immunotherapy. For more information on research projects in the lab, please refer to the following publications: (Chen et al., Cancer Discovery, 10:371-381, 2020; Chen et al., Cancer Cell, 35:868-884, 2019; Chen et al., PNAS, 114:580-585, 2017 and Chen et al., Acta Neuropathol, 129:97-113, 2015).

The postdoctoral fellow will be expected to: conduct independent bench research; analyze, interpret and present data; prepare manuscripts and build a publication record including submissions to leading cancer biology journals; supervise rotating undergraduate, graduate and medical students; apply for internal and/or extramural funding; and attend national meetings that will help to build an international reputation.

This position will use unbiased approaches (microarray, RNA-Seq, scRNA-Seq, ChIP-Seq and CyTOF) to identify novel molecular and cellular events in brain tumor with different treatments. Functional validation of results using standard molecular biology techniques will be performed in vitro and in vivo using patient derived xenograft line (PDX), primary samples and murine models.

Minimum Qualifications: Ph.D. in Cancer Biology, Immunology, Neuroscience or related field.

Required Competencies:

  • Ability to design and conduct experiments, maintain accurate GLP style recordkeeping, and collaborate effectively within a team environment
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Ability to prepare and present research at meetings and write scientific manuscripts in fluent English

Preferred Competencies:

  • Research experience in cancer biology (including genetics and epigenetics) and tumor immunology
  • Bioinformatics tools
  • Working with tumor mouse models
  • Candidates with first-author publications in peer-reviewed journals

Interested applicants must send a current curriculum vitae with publications listed, a cover letter containing a short summary of research experience and aspirations, and names and contact information for at least three professional references to Peiwen Chen, PhD at

Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, underrepresented racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the United States.