|| Background Information
Recently, we demonstrated in vitro that a subpopulation of cancer cells responds to cytotoxic lymphocyte attack with a quick and massive accumulation of actin in the region of the immunological synapse, a process we called the "actin response". Inhibition of the actin response was sufficient to convert resistant cancer cells into a highly susceptible phenotype. From a mechanistic standpoint, we found that the actin response protects target cells from apoptosis by decreasing intracellular levels of a key cytotoxic protease, namely granzyme B, secreted by cytotoxic lymphocytes. Our pioneering study on the role of actin cytoskeleton in tumor immune evasion has been published in Cancer Research (Al Absi et al., 2018 Cancer Research, 78: 5631-5643). See also Wurzer et al., 2019 Cells. 8: 463 and Wurzer et al., 2019 Oncotarget, 10: 2419-2420.
The project aims at characterizing the mechanism by which the actin response prevents granzyme B accumulation in target tumor cells and subsequent cell lysis, and at validating the link between the actin response and a fundamental cellular process we identified in preliminary analyses. The project is largely based on cell imaging (confocal microscopy and imaging flow cytometry) and involves both in vitro cell culture (lymphocytes, cancer cells) and in vivo mouse models. The goal is to provide a solid ground for translating our pioneering data on actin-driven immune evasion into innovative clinical applications aimed at restoring an effective anti-tumor response and/or to improving the efficacy of current immunotherapies.
Key Skills, Experience and Qualifications
Ideally the candidate will have:
• A Master degree in the area of Immuno-oncology.
• Fluency in English is mandatory.
• Hands-on experience in experimental lab work using immune and/or cancer cell models.
• Experience in (imaging) flow cytometry and/or cell imaging approaches.
• Experience in animal experimentation.
• Excellent planning and communication skills.
For more information please contact:
Clément Thomas: firstname.lastname@example.org