We are looking for an enthusiastic postdoc to join a team of physiologists, chemists, MR physicists and radiologists on a translational breast cancer project funded by Cancer Research UK. The ionic composition of breast tumours, particularly sodium (Na+), is critical for regulating tumour growth, invasion and metastasis. Targeting the ionic microenvironment of breast tumours and combining such treatment with advanced 23Na-MR imaging represents a novel approach in the fight against breast cancer. In this project, you will investigate the mechanistic basis for Na+ accumulation in breast tumours in mice using a combination of MRI, electrophysiology and fluorescence imaging, in order to establish the utility of Na+, and its conductance routes, as diagnostic indicators and therapeutic targets.
To conduct individual and collaborative research projects, duties to include: analysis and interpretation of research data; use of appropriate research techniques and methods; writing up of research results and dissemination through publications, seminar and conference presentations. You will implement protocols on a preclinical MRI scanner for 23Na breast cancer imaging in mice bearing xenografts. You will test the involvement of Na+ transporters in regulating tumour Na+ by treating mice with specific inhibiting drugs and neoadjuvant chemotherapy. You will also monitor the effects of these treatments on other tumour properties using standard 1H-MRI, cellular electrophysiology and fluorescent Na+ dyes.
Skills, Experience & Qualification needed
Essential: PhD in cancer biology or equivalent; knowledge of breast cancer biology and a range of research techniques and methodologies; highly developed written and oral communication skills, including writing up work for publication; ability to develop research objectives, projects and proposals; competency and experience of conducting individual and collaborative research; attention to detail and commitment to high quality; collaborative ethos; enthusiasm for research; Home Office Personal Licence.
Desirable: Knowledge of preclinical MRI and RF coil construction, cellular electrophysiology and mammalian in vivo cancer models; competency with animal husbandry and surgery; experience with tumour xenograft models, electrophysiology, fluorescence imaging.
This post is available full-time, on a fixed term contract basis (18 months).
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