Job summary

Two Research Associate positions are available in the laboratory of Dr Jessica Strid in the Department of Immunology and Inflammation at the Imperial College Hammersmith campus

In these Research Associate posts you will work on an exciting research project investigating tissue stress-surveillance and links between ‘allergic’ type 2/IgE responses and cancer. This is part of a larger research programme in the Strid Lab which focus on skin immune-surveillance. The Lab has previously shown a role for B cells and particularly IgE antibodies in limiting cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) growth in mice and now seeks to explore the role of the IgE/FceRI axis and of B cells in human cSCC. Cutaneous SCC is one of the most common human cancers, with the incidence increasing year-on-year. Although mortality rates are generally low for primary cSCC, aggressive cSCC is associated with poor survival and treatments for advanced/metastatic cSCC are limited. Immune dysfunction is a key aspect of cSCC development and recent advances in T cell manipulation through check-point blockade has proven successful for some advanced cSCCs. However, little is known about other immune cells in the cSCC microenvironment and how they contribute to disease onset and/or progression. Recent studies have linked the presence of B cells and tertiary lymphoid structures in tumour tissues with better prognosis in both epithelial and non-epithelial cancers.

The 2 available posts will focus on the following separate areas:

1) One post will identify the mechanism(s) of IgE mediated tissue immune-surveillance. This work will utilize human patient-derived samples and in vivo models, including humanized mouse models. Previous experience with in vivo immunology, FACS, imaging and in vitro culture techniques would be advantageous.

2) One post will investigate the role of B cells in human cSCC. This study will explore the function of tissue B cells, the possibility of in situ class switching in tumours and investigate the B cell repertoire in human cSCC. Previous experience with B cell biology, FACS, imaging, sequencing and repertoire analysis would be advantageous.

Duties and responsibilities

You should take initiative for the planning and execution of your research, including to identify and develop suitable techniques and analysis. You should ensure the validity and reliability of your data at all times, including good record-keeping. You should be willing and able to work both independently and as part of a team with a common goal. You should be prepared and capable of communicating your work, including in written reports and papers. Collegiality and maintaining a harmonious work environment are paramount.

Essential requirements

To join our lab, you should be highly motivated and enthusiastic and should hold a PhD in immunology or other relevant discipline. You will be joining a collaborative research environment with several other basic and translational immunology research groups. We expect that you will have strong organisational and communication skills, as well as the ability to work independently and as part of a team. Previous experience with tissue immunology as well as technical knowhow in FACS, imaging and transcriptomic analysis would be advantageous. Good interpersonal skills are essential.

Further information

The position is funded by a Wellcome Trust Investigator Award and is available until 30 September 2025.

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