Gene Expression During Cell Differentiation And Cancer

REF: PD 22
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Hours of work:
37.5 hours per week (excluding lunch hours)
Annual leave:
24 days per annum plus statutory days
C/ Villarroel 170, 08036 BARCELONA
Accountable to:
Professor Antonio POSTIGO (ICREA Research Professor)
Up to 3 years, by IDIBAPS
38.000 € plus housing facilities


Job sumary

  1. A postdoctoral position is available in Professor A Postigo's laboratory, an ICREA group. The position involves working wit a team of scientists studying Regulation of Gene Expression during Cell Differentiation and Cancer.

    The programme is a continuation of work recently published the host laboratory in Oncogene 29:3490, EMBO J 22:2443, EMBO J 22:2453 and in press in Am.J.Cancer Res and submitted to Genes & Dev plus research by other groups in Nat. Cell. Biol. 11:1487, Molecular Cell 38:114, Genes Dev 22:894, Cell Stem Cell 6:4, Cell Stem Cell 6:59, and EMBO Rep. 11:670 establishing ZEB1 and ZEB2 as regulators of cell differentiation, generation and maintenance of cancer stem cells, and tumor invasion and metastasis.

    Briefly, transcription factors ZEB1 and ZEB2 have recently gained great relevance in the field of molecular oncology as they not only regulate the in vivo metastatic capacity of solid tumors but they determine phenotypic and functional stemness in normal and cancer stem cells (both in epithelial and hematopoietic cells) as well as the resistance of tumor cells to chemoterapy drugs through transcriptional loops with microRNAs. Dr. Postigo’s group has been working on the characterization of ZEB factors for over 15 years.

    The purpose of this programme of work will be be to 1) determine the molecular mechanisms involved in the regulation by ZEB of the generation and maintenance of cancer stem cells in solid tumors and hematologic malignancies and 2) ascertain new genes regulated by ZEB during tumorigenesis and metastasis.
  2. The project is likely to involve some or all of the following techniques:
    • All general cellular and molecular biology techniques
    • Gene regulation techniques: ChIP assays, transcriptional luciferase assays, microarrays and ChiP sequencing, real time PCR
    • Immunohistochemistry and confocal microscopy
    • FACS
    • Animal Models

Main Duties

To conduct research investigating the role of ZEB1 and ZEB2 in the regulation of tumorigenesis and metastasis.

Duties and Responsabilities

  • To contribute to the design and planning of experiments in relation to this project
  • To develop a thorough understanding of the research field and be involved in the intellectual decision making process required for successful completion of the project
  • To set up and run experiments in consultation with the Principal Investigator
  • To record, analyse and write up the results of experiments and ensure that laboratory notebooks are kept fully up to date as a formal record of the research
  • To prepare and present findings of research to the Principal Investigator and other members of the centre
  • To prepare progress reports on research
  • The post holder may be required to perform some limited teaching and/or supervision of other members of staff and/or students, under the guidance of the Principal Investigator
  • Responsible for ensuring that designated equipment is safe and maintained in good working order
  • As duties and responsibilities change, the job description will be reviewed and amended in consultation with the post holder
  • The post holder will carry out any other duties that are within the scope, spirit and purpose of the job, as requested by the Principal Investigator


Knowledge and Qualifications
  • Undergraduate degree in a life science discipline.
  • PhD in an appropriate life science discipline
  • Accredited knowledge and skills in molecular and cellular biology.
  • Proficiency in English language.
  • Research stay outside the country of residence.
  • Publications in high impact factor peer reviewed journals
  • It is expected a thorough background on molecular and cellular biology techniques, and a clear interest in gene regulation and molecular oncology In addition, it will be important to show ability to develop ideas logically and design experiments to test hypotheses, ability to modify and apply new methods to advance a project, and to analyse and write up data for presentations and publications.
  • The post-doc should have a personal resume showing ability to present complex information effectively to a range of audiences and to write effective written and verbal communication skills.
  • Research skills in transcriptional regulation and/or in the wider area of gene expression.
  • Expertise in epithelial, hematopoeitic or muscle systems will be a definitive advantage.
  • Ability to direct junior members of the laboratory in simple laboratory procedures
  • Experience and Personal Qualities
  • Experience of working in a research environment and commitment to high quality research
  • Experience in multi-disciplinary working and clear interest in working as part of the team. All the members of the team will collaborate in this research project.
  • Ability to work independently and to use own initiative when required.
(Read eligibility criteria)