Postdoc in Cancer Immunotherapy

Karolinska Institutet, Department of Oncology-PathologyAt the Department of Oncology-Pathology basic, translationaland clinical research and educational activities related to cancer is carried out. Approximately 300people from over 40 nations are currently working at the department, which harbors 37 researchgroups with various cancer research profiles.Type of position: PostdocContract type: Stipend/Fellowship (2 years)First day of employment: To be determined 

Research group
The research group, led by professor Rolf Kiessling, studies tumor antigens as well as new methods
for DC-based vaccination strategies and T cell-based adoptive cell therapies to be used for cancer
immunotherapy. Another key aim of the group is to get a better understanding of how tumors can
escape detection by the host immune system, for example by disruptions in tumor antigen
presentation or recruitment of myeloid-derived suppressor cells. Some of the newly developed
immunotherapies in the group are also tested experimentally in patients at the Karolinska Hospital.

Project description
Despite their clinical success in melanoma, immunotherapies by checkpoint blockade or adoptive
transfer of T cells still fail to benefit large groups of patients. Poor responses and resistance to these
therapies are strongly associated with low tumor immunogenicity due to deregulated interferongamma
(IFNg) signaling and antigen presentation.1 Our lab identified a drug that markedly boosts
tumor immunogenicity through multiple mechanisms, such as amplification of IFNg signaling,
enhanced tumor antigen presentation and broad suppression of immune checkpoint molecules.
Therefore, we filed a patent for a method based on the use of our drug to treat the patient’s own
cancer cells and to subsequently use those cancer cells to activate autologous tumor-reactive T cells
ex vivo or in vivo. This postdoc project is aimed at early validation of this patent, specifically to test
the clinical applicability to:

1) Use drug-treated cancer cells for expansion of tumor-reactive T cells present in autologous
tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) or peripheral blood.
2) Use drug-treated cancer cells for efficient loading of tumor antigens onto autologous monocytederived
dendritic cells (DC) in ex vivo procedures for DC vaccination.
To perform this work, we are looking for a highly motivated researcher with a PhD degree in the
field of immuno-oncology or immunology and preferably with expertise on working with human T
cells, TIL and/or monocyte-derived DC. Also desirable is experience with common in vitro models
and techniques used within the field of tumor immunology, such as T cell-tumor cocultures and
multicolor flow cytometry.


job type Postdoc
start 04-05-2021
end 01-06-2021
organisation Karolinska Institutet
department Department of Oncology-Pathology
location Sweden


Supervisor/PI: Dr. Jeroen Melief
Group leader: Prof. Rolf Kiessling

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