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Postdoctoral Fellowship Opportunity - Cancer Biology

Note: Applicants for this position must have a PhD and direct experience in cancer biology research.

The Backman Photonics Laboratory at Northwestern University’s Biomedical Engineering Department is seeking a postdoctoral scholar to join a multidisciplinary team of scientists leading cutting-edge research at the crossroads of biology, physics, engineering, genomics and medicine. Their main goal is to investigate fundamental molecular questions and develop novel approaches relevant to the prevention, detection, diagnosis and treatment of cancer and other currently intractable diseases at early, treatable stages. In order to do so, they have developed a platform of pioneering nano-imaging and nano-sensing optical microscopy technologies that, combined with genome mapping and other functional genomic approaches, allow them to study the causal relationship between nanoscale structure of the genome, global patterns of gene expression and their alterations in disease.

As evidenced by their recent publications in Nature Biomedical Engineering, PNAS, Cancer Research, and Scientific Reports, their group undertakes systematic approaches to understanding cancer development by integrating molecular dynamics simulations, live cell super-resolution nano-imaging, computational genomics, and genome mapping technologies.

The lab provides a highly collaborative environment consisting of researchers with diverse backgrounds: mathematics, physics, chemical engineering, biomedical engineering, molecular biology, etc. Additionally, the Backman lab has collaborative projects with over 20 physicians, biomedical and physical sciences investigators both internationally and domestically. Research projects will reside within one or more priority areas: cancer biology, biophysics of the genome, or cancer therapeutics.

They are seeking a highly motivated, enthusiastic, and creative candidate with excellent interpersonal skills and a strong publication record. The successful candidate(s) will have the opportunity to integrate molecular biology, epigenetics, and computational genomics. It is anticipated that he/she will engage in preparation of original manuscripts for conferences and peer-reviewed journals as well as participate in the writing of grant proposals.

Specifically the candidate will:

  • Supervise and coordinate teams of graduate students and technicians working in the different areas of the research project.
  • Analyze and integrate large datasets, including genomics and transcriptomics.
  • Integrate molecular and physical aspects of genome function.
  • Perform ex vivo and in vitro cell culture and in vivo animal studies.

The lab seeks applicants with a strong background in cancer biology. Ideal candidates will have a mixture of the following skills:

  • Degree:
Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D with proven experience in cancer biology research.
  • Prior Experience:
  1. 3 years’ experience in cancer biology research.
  2. Proficiency using standard biochemical, molecular, cellular, and functional genomic techniques is required.
  3. Prior experience with optical imaging techniques is desired.
  4. Prior experience with whole cell imaging and computational skills are preferred but not required.
  5. Experience in single cell data analyses and integrative multi-omics approaches is highly desired.
  6. Demonstrated technical capability in analyzing complex omics data, including transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics; including differential analysis of multivariate datasets using common software tools.
  7. Previous experience with systems biology approaches to integrating omics datasets into biological pathways/networks, i.e. biological network modelling preferred but not required.
  8. Programming experience (preferably in Matlab and/or Mathematica) is preferred but not necessary.
  9. Experience working with mouse models is a plus.
  10. High level of numeracy, and knowledge of statistical analysis is highly desired.
  • Proven track record working independently with critical thinking, problem solving, attention to detail and an ability to think outside the box are essential.
  • Excellent prioritization and project development skills.
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills and fluency in both spoken and written English.
  • A solid record of quality publications in peer-reviewed journals with an output commensurate with opportunity.
Qualified candidates should send a CV and cover letter to Benjamin Keane at: