01 PhD Position – Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy

The Melanoma Immune Oncology Research Group (MIORG) and MediCity Research Laboratory, as part of the Academy of Finland Research Program at the University of Turku, is seeking an innovative and highly motivated scientist with initial expertise in immunology and/or cancer to work in a project related to melanoma immunobiology and immunotherapy, in the group of Dr. Carlos Rogerio de Figueiredo.

Cancer Immunotherapy using Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors (ICI) has been the state-of-the-art of cancer care, and the Nobel Prize topic of Medicine and Physiology in 2018. We are looking for a motivated and talented Ph.D. student to work on a project which aims at the development of innovative approaches to overcome resistance to ICI so they can be further translated to clinical trials.

The research project is focused on the improvement of the innate immunity arm of anti-cancer immune responses. We want to develop adjuvant treatments that target specific molecules engaged with HLA-A and HLA-DR biology to improve cancer antigen presentation to T lymphocytes. Achieving this goal will ultimately improve the transformation of cold tumors hot, and thus, reaching better responses to ICI.

This project includes animal work for preclinical assays, and cutting-edge immunological approaches using clinical samples, including state-of-the-art mass cytometry (CyTOF) and digital spatial profiling (DSP). The Ph.D. student will also enjoy unique opportunities to develop internships abroad (including the UK, Liverpool, and the USA, Stanford) within groups belonging to our collaborative network.

The Ph.D. candidate is expected to have some background in immunology and to be fluent in English with good writing skills.

The start of employment is negotiable, but the selected candidate must start in the position in the first half of 2021. A trial period is 6 months is applied.

The salary is determined by the collective agreement system of Finnish universities. The position belongs to our research personnel and the salary will be for a Doctoral Candidate 2200 – 2400 eur/month in average.

Please submit your application by email to crdefi@utu.fi. The application should include a motivation letter, CV, contact information of referee(s), and copies of degree certificates.

A link to the electronic application system will also be available soon at www.utu.fi/careers.