Call for applications / PhD in melanoma immunobiology and immunotherapy

Melanoma Immune Oncology Research Group (MIORG) Leader Dr Rogerio de Figueiredo is looking for two doctoral candidates to join his group on a fixed-term, grant-based position.

Project and the research environment

MIORG is affiliated to the Institute of Biomedicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Turku. This environment offers a broad community of internationally renowned research groups and excellent research infrastructure. Turku is a beautiful, historic university city in the South-West coast of Finland with an intriguing mix of history, culture and activities, as well as good connections.

Cancer Immunotherapy using ICIs 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 person to work on a project, which aims at the development of innovative approaches to overcome resistance to immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) 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 immunotherapies using ICIs.

The 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). R programming is one of the essential data analysis methods used in the research group. The grantee will also enjoy unique opportunities to develop internships abroad (including the UK, Liverpool, and USA, Stanford and MD-Anderson) within groups belonging to our collaborative network. The research environment is highly international and English is the main working language.

Applicant and the amount of the grant

The applicant should hold MSc degree (or equivalent) in a relevant field (e.g. cell biology, biomedicine, biochemistry, biotechnology, drug discovery). Prior experience working within the field is desired. The applicant should demonstrate the needed skills and motivation for doctoral studies and for completion of the PhD degree. The candidate is expected to formulate a study plan and to demonstrate activity in applying personal research grants for PhD studies. Group Leader Dr Rogerio de Figueiredo is committed to support these applications.The applicant should familiarize with pension insurance and taxation regulations for recipients of scientific grants and scholarships. The doctoral candidate is expected to enroll in the PhD program in the next call in which a funded Doctoral Candidate position can be applied, too. Please find more information about the application period and the process on the UTUGS www-page.

The personal grant of 1900 €/month is for twelve (12) months starting by August 2021 at the latest. The research of the doctoral candidates will be funded by Sigrid Jusélius Foundation.

How to apply
Applications must be submitted by 3 May 2021 at the latest (23.59.59 Finnish time) with an

electronic form: https://link.webropol.com/s/MIORG
Please include a motivation letter and a CV to your application.

For further information about the call, please contact the Group Leader Dr Rogerio de Figueiredo (rogerio.defigueiredo@utu.fi).