• Research Fellow - Burns Lab

    Location US-MA-Boston
    Job Posted Date 1 month ago(1/16/2020 9:47 AM)
    Job ID
    full time
    Location : Address
    450 Brookline Ave
    Location : City
  • Overview

    A post-doctoral position is open to join the Burns laboratory in the Department of Oncologic Pathology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Our group studies high copy number repeats in the human genome, and the biology of the retrotransposons and endogenous retroviruses that generate these sequences. We and others have shown that subsets of these normally silenced elements are expressed as a hallmark of human cancers, and that this results in somatically-acquired retrotransposon insertions in cancer genomes. We aim to more fully characterize this phenomenon; to probe its consequences for cancer biology using models of cancer growth and tumor immunology; and to leverage our understandings to inform cancer detection and treatment.


    The lab is moving from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and the successful candidate will be one of the first to establish the group at DFCI. He/she will therefore have an outsized influence in setting the tone for an intellectually engaging, rigorous, productive, and positive environment. He/she will be provided with significant intellectual freedom, substantial technical support, and ample opportunities to form collaborations and develop a national and international reputation in this potentially impactful and understudied field.


    Applicants should include a short statement of their research and career goals, a CV, and contacts for three references with their application. A letter of recommendation from a Ph.D. advisor is welcome as part of the initial application, but is not required.


    Competitive applicants will be contacted for a telephone interview as a first step.

    Finalists invited for in-person interviews will be asked to present on their previous research. Additionally, finalists will be provided with information on a current avenue of investigation in the lab within several days of their visit and asked to provide critical feedback and suggest future directions as part of the interview.

    Located in Boston and the surrounding communities, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute brings together world renowned clinicians, innovative researchers and dedicated professionals, allies in the common mission of conquering cancer, HIV/AIDS and related diseases. Combining extremely talented people with the best technologies in a genuinely positive environment, we provide compassionate and comprehensive care to patients of all ages; we conduct research that advances treatment; we educate tomorrow's physician/researchers; we reach out to underserved members of our community; and we work with amazing partners, including other Harvard Medical School-affiliated hospitals.




    • Design, conduct, and troubleshoot hypothesis-testing experiments.
    • Design, conduct, and validate high-throughput, hypothesis-generating screens.
    • Train and oversee the lab work of a research technician.
    • Maintain detailed and understandable lab notebooks.
    • Interpret and discuss research findings with lab members and the principal investigator.
    • Use existing computational tools to analyze complex data sets, including next generation sequencing data sets, and/or fluently and effectively collaborate with computational biologists to accomplish this.
    • Develop figures to depict research findings, write research and review papers, and present at scientific meetings.


    Accomplished and motivated candidates with a recent Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and significant experience in molecular biology and cell biology are encouraged to apply. Technical skills in molecular biology, cell culturing techniques, and protein expression are essential. Experience generating and using complex datasets (e.g., from ChIPseq, RNAseq, single cell analyses, or CRISPR-Cas9 forward genetic screens) or experience in chemical compound screening are highly desirable. Experience with murine models of cancer may be advantageous, but is not necessary, and working with animal models is not a requirement of the position.


    A background in transposable elements and repetitive sequences is not required and can be ‘learned on the job’. Rather, projects will lie at the interface of this field with another area of expertise brought by the successful candidate. These areas of expertise may include, but are not limited to: cancer cell biology; a specific type of malignancy (e.g., ovarian, lung, colon); DNA repair; epigenetics; tumor immunology; and protein translation or turn-over. Postdoctoral fellows departing the lab for independent faculty positions will have significant license to take projects with them.


    A record of scientific accomplishment as shown by peer-reviewed original research papers is a strict requirement. Papers accepted and in press are acceptable for meeting this requirement and should be provided in full with the initial application; papers in review may be considered, but are not alone sufficient to meet this requirement.

    Clear thinking, writing, and communication skills are absolutely needed.

    Funding will initially be provided by the laboratory; new fellows will be expected to apply for research support.

    Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is an equal opportunity employer and affirms the right of every qualified applicant to receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, gender identity or expression, national origin, sexual orientation, genetic information, disability, age, ancestry, military service, protected veteran status, or other groups as protected by law.


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