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Engineering CAR T Cells to Target Tumor-Associated Vasculature

National Cancer Institute, Frederick, MD

Position Description:

Tumor-associated stromal cells play an essential role in promoting tumor growth.  Tumor-infiltrating blood vessels, for example, sustain solid tumor growth by providing critical nutrients and growth factors.  New blood vessel formation occurs through a process known as angiogenesis, and anti-angiogenic agents have become a standard component of current cancer treatment modalities. However, these agents are only partially effective and more potent vascular targeting agents are needed.  Our laboratory has identified several cell surface receptors elevated on tumor-associated vasculature and we are interested in developing new antibody-based therapies that can specifically target the tumor-associated vasculature.  We are particularly interested in engineering T cells with chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) to develop cell-based immunotherapies to target tumor-associated stroma.  The project would involve the designing and testing of novel CARs, including unique structures that promote T cells activation upon target engagement and prevent T cell exhaustion.  The project would also explore the potential to improve selectively for tumor-associated stroma by exploiting a novel “AND-gate” approach called combinatorial antigen sensing, which requires the targeting of multiple tumor-associated antigens for T cell activation.  The project would involve developing, producing and characterizing new therapeutic CARs as well as the preclinical testing of these agents using mouse tumor models. The tumor angiogenesis lab is located at the National Cancer Institute in Frederick with access to state-of-the-art facilities for antibody engineering, genomic analysis, pathology, and small animal imaging, among others.

Qualifications:

Candidates are expected to have completed, or be completing, a Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D. in biomedical research with a strong publication record and expertise in molecular and cell biological techniques.  Motivated candidates who are interested in innovative, high-impact research are encouraged to apply. A background in molecular biology, cancer biology or immunotherapy is preferred. Experience with chimeric antigen receptors is a big plus. Applicants should have a Ph.D. degree with a strong publication record.

To Apply:

Interested applicants should send their curriculum vitae, a brief description of their research interests and career goals, and contact information for three references to Dr. Brad St. Croix by email to stcroix@ncifcrf.gov

 

This post will be available until October 29,, 2020 or until filled.

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