Skip to main content

Postdoctoral Training Opportunity – Leukemia Research at the Liu Lab

The Liu Laboratory at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago seeks a full-time postdoctoral fellow starting immediately. Our lab investigates the molecular mechanisms governing normal and malignant hematopoiesis. Our long-term goals are to identify novel regulators of HSC self-renewal, understand the molecular mechanisms regulating their function, and develop novel therapeutic strategies to eliminate leukemia stem cells (LSCs) and improve leukemia treatment. Our studies have led to multiple recent manuscripts, including several currently in revision (Vemula et al., Cancer Discovery, 2022; Chen et al., Cancer Cell, 2022 and Khan et al., Leukemia, 2023).

The current American Cancer Society-funded multi-year translational project is led by a clinician scientist Dr. Irum Khan in the Liu lab. The goal is to determine the role of transcription factor FOXM1 in leukemogenesis and treatment resistance in AML using cell lines, transgenic animal models, and patient-derived xenografts. Novel inhibitors of FOXM1 have been developed and will need to be tested in vivo for future clinical development as chemosensitizing agents to improve outcomes of current AML therapies. Recent manuscripts of relevance to the current project are listed:

  1. Khan I, et al. Nuclear FOXM1 drives chemoresistance in AML. Leukemia. 2017 PMID: 27694928
  2. Khan I, et al. FOXM1 contributes to treatment failure in acute myeloid leukemia. JCI Insight. 2018. PMID: 30089730
  3. Chesnokov MS, et al. Novel FOXM1 inhibitor identified via gene network analysis induces autophagic FOXM1 degradation to overcome chemoresistance of human cancer cells. Cell Death Dis. 2021 PMID: 34262016
  4. Chesnokov MS, et al. FOXM1-AKT Positive Regulation Loop Provides Venetoclax Resistance in AML. Front Oncol. 2021. PMID: 34381718
  5. Khan I, et al. The antagonistic duality of NPM1 mutations in AML. Blood Adv. 2022. PMID: 35507748

Successful candidates should be highly motivated and have a recent PhD degree with a background in molecular biology, biochemistry, epigenetics, and cancer research. Preference will be given to candidates with strong first-author publications in high-impact peer-reviewed journals.

The lab utilizes molecular, genetic, immunological, biochemical, and pharmacological approaches as well as unbiased genome-wide studies, including RNA-seq, ChIP-seq, ATAC-seq, HiC, whole genome sequencing, CRISPR-Cas9-mediated screening in mammalian cells as well as proteomics studies, to investigate the molecular basis of HSC self-renewal and leukemogenesis. Specific relevant techniques include analysis of DNA, RNA, and proteins, flow cytometry, and experience with murine models and bone marrow samples from patients.

For prompt consideration, please submit your application to Dr. Khan ( and Dr. Liu ( with the following information:

  1. Cover letter;
  2. Curriculum vitae;
  3. Contact details of three referees.


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.