Postdoctoral and Junior Specialist (Research Associate) Positions Available!

Post-doctoral position available in protein engineering toward development of novel cancer immunotherapies

Junior Specialist (Research Associate) position available in mass spectrometry-based proteomics

Junior Specialist (Research Associate) position available in cellular therapy development

Availability of all positions: June 2023

Post-Doctoral Position: We are currently recruiting a post-doctoral scholar to help us advance our mission of discovering new targets and developing new immunotherapies for blood cancers. We are fortunate to have recently received major funding from the Chan-Zuckerberg Biohub, Department of Defense, and California Institute of Regenerative Medicine to support these positions.

Specifically, our group has developed new methods of profiling the cancer cell surface using mass spectrometry-based proteomics to identify immunotherapy targets and then using novel, fully in vitro-display technologies to develop nanobody binders that are highly active in cellular therapy approaches (for example: Nix et al., Cancer Discovery (2021)). In ongoing work, we have developed novel strategies to identify conformation-specific surface antigens in cancer and then developed cellular therapies against these targets.

We now seek motivated post-docs with experience in protein engineering and/or in vitro display technologies to work on new projects in this area, integrating protein engineering, in vitro display, and cellular engineering to identify new classes of immunotherapeutic targets in cancer, and then develop new therapies against these targets. Opportunities will also be available to develop expertise in mass spectrometry-based proteomics and other techniques. These positions are ideal for highly creative candidates who wish their work to have real-world impacts, with potential for clinical translation and applications in either academia or industry.

Qualifications: This position is ideal for a scientist trained in protein engineering and/or in vitro display technologies. Qualified applicants will have obtained their degree from a Dept. of Biology, Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Immunology, or similar. Experience in recombinant protein design, expression, and purification is required. Experience in in vitro display technologies is preferred but not required. Experience with cell culture, lentiviral transduction, cytotoxicity assays, drug screening, flow cytometry, are preferred but not required.

A prior track record of research productivity, including first-author peer-reviewed original research publications, is required.

Junior Specialist Positions: We are currently recruiting two highly-motivated candidates as research associates (Junior Specialist) in the Dept. of Laboratory Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.  The positions will be under the direction of Arun Wiita, MD, PhD.  Our lab focuses on immunotherapy, quantitative proteomics, and bench to bedside applications in blood cancers including leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma.

The first role will focus on development of new cellular therapies (CAR-T and/or CAR-NK cells) and conducting preclinical in vitro and in vivo studies of other immunotherapies and small molecules in blood cancers as well as basic molecular biology relating to studies in these diseases.  Techniques to be used include basic molecular and cell biology (cloning, Westerns, qPCR, etc.), cell culture, microscopy, and drug screening.  This role will work in close collaboration with the clinical myeloma service at UCSF, one of the largest such programs in the country, as well as other leading immunotherapy groups at UCSF.  

The second role will focus on supporting discovery research and collaborative projects related to mass spectrometry-based proteomics, and most specifically cell surface proteomics. While prior experience in proteomics is not required, a background in quantitative sciences, data science, and/or computer science/computational biology is preferred.

The ideal candidates for these positions will be proficient in a highly collaborative environment, working with academic research groups and myeloma clinicians as well as with biotech industry partners.  Additional responsibilities will include some lab managerial duties such as order tracking, laboratory organization, etc. These position are optimal for a talented recent college graduate with the goal of attending medical or graduate school in two years.  Extensive opportunities are available for participating in abstracts and publications. Prior post-undergraduate trainees in our group have published first-author papers and moved on to top-tier graduate or medical schools.  Candidates should have a strong interest in directly improving patient care through their research and gaining experience in preclinical therapeutic development in cancer.

Environment: We have ongoing collaborations with leading protein engineering and cellular therapy groups at UCSF and the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub, the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, and the UCSF Living Therapeutics Initiative to enhance the scope and impact of this work. The goal of this work is both to make new scientific discoveries but also ultimately impact the lives of patients.

Our group is located in beautiful San Francisco, California. UCSF is one of the premier academic medical centers in the world, excelling in both basic science and clinical research. We are a multidisciplinary research group and our interests span from the basic to translational realms across a number of conditions, as well as new technology development combining chemical-based enrichment and quantitative proteomics. We offer competitive salary in line with cost-of-living in the Bay Area. We are fortunate to have numerous sources of funding including federal agencies and private foundations supporting our work. We are also fortunate to have extensive collaborations with other world-leading scientists across UCSF, as well as access to world-class core facilities to accelerate discoveries in biomedical research. Furthermore, our clinical collaborations allow for rapid translation of discovery from the bench to bedside. In addition, all mentorship and project design within our group is customized for the scholar's career goals, whether entering academia or industry. Prior trainees have achieved Senior or Principal Scientist positions at biotechnology firms as well as tenure-track academic positions.

Funding: These are all fully funded positions with salary and benefits for at least two years guaranteed.

Applicant Instructions

Well-qualified applicants should send a CV, cover letter, and contact information for two references to [email protected].

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status.