We are looking for a highly motivated PhD student to join the group of Eleni M. Tomazou at the Children's Cancer Research Institute (CCRI, St. Anna Kinderkrebsforschung) in Vienna, Austria. The CCRI is part of a flourishing biomedical research hub at the heart of beautiful Vienna, a European metropolis full of history, music and fine arts. Vienna has been voted “most livable” city in the world for the 4th year in a row. CCRI is a renowned research institution with tight links to the St. Anna Children's Hospital, a leading pediatric cancer center in Europe well connected through various European and international networks. CCRI seeks to advance the diagnosis and treatment of children’s cancers through basic, translational and clinical research, in research areas such as cancer biology, immunology, and genetics/epigenetics (http://science.ccri.at/).

The Lab (http://science.ccri.at/research/research-areas/solid-tumours/epigenome-based-precision-medicine/)

Under the leadership of Eleni M. Tomazou, the Epigenome-based Precision Medicine lab at CCRI dissects the role of epigenetics in pediatric tumors, with the aim to provide tailored therapies for hard-to-treat childhood cancers such as Ewing sarcoma. Through collaboration with the team of Christoph Bock at the CeMM Research Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (http://www.medical-epigenomics.org/), we have first-hand access to the latest genome sequencing and CRISPR screening technology as well as long-lasting experience in high-throughput bioinformatics.

The project

By applying state-of-the-art epigenome assays and novel bioinformatic tools, we have introduced a novel concept in the field of pediatric sarcoma: Ewing sarcoma is an enhancer disease characterized by widespread epigenetic heterogeneity. This recent discovery combined with advances in high-throughput biology form the backbone of our ongoing research on:

- Understanding the mechanism(s) of Ewing sarcoma initiation, progression, and resistance to therapy
- Establishing novel therapeutic paradigms for pediatric sarcoma

- Developing biomarkers for patient stratification to inform future clinical trials

The candidate

Applicants should have a background in the life sciences (which includes not only molecular biology but also computational biology and medicine), with a completed Master or four-year Bachelor degree and a strong motivation for pursuing an ambitious research agenda. Furthermore, the ideal candidate will have excellent technical skills, a strong academic track record, enthusiasm and self-motivation, creativity, excellent organizational skills, a proactive approach to solving problems, and the desire to work in an international and competitive research environment.

Relevant publications

Sheffield NC, Pierron G, Klughammer J, Datlinger P, Schönegger A, Schuster M, Hadler J, Guillemot D, Lapouble E, Freneaux P, Champigneulle J, Bouvier R, Walder D, Ambros IM, Hutter C, Sorz E, Amaral AT, Álava Ed, Schallmoser K, Strunk D, Rinner B, Liegl-Atzwanger B, Huppertz B, Leithner A, Pinieux Gd, Terrier P, Laurence V, Michon J, Ladenstein R, Holter W, Windhager R, Dirksen U, Ambros PF, Delattre O, Kovar H, Bock C, Tomazou EM. DNA methylation heterogeneity defines a disease spectrum in Ewing sarcoma. Nature Medicine. 2017 Mar;23(3):386-395.

Tomazou EM, Sheffield NC, Schmidl C, Schuster M, Schönegger A, Datlinger P, Kubicek S, Bock C, and Kovar H. Epigenome mapping reveals distinct modes of gene regulation and widespread enhancer reprogramming by the oncogenic fusion protein EWS-FLI1. Cell Reports. 2015 Feb 24;10(7):1082-95

Applications

Applications including motivation letter, curriculum vitae, academic transcripts and contact details of three referees should be sent by e-mail to hr(at)ccri.at.The application deadline is 30 March 2018. Funding will be according to the salary scheme of the Austrian Science Fund http://www.fwf.ac.at/en/research-funding/personnel-costs/