Postdoctoral Training Fellow in Tracking Clonal Evolution in Colorectal Cancer

15/04/2019, 23:55

Molecular Pathology
Evolutionary Genomics & Modelling
Full time
Fixed Term
3 Years
The Institute of Cancer Research, London, is one of the world’s most influential cancer research institutes, with an outstanding record of achievement dating back more than 100 years. We provided the first convincing evidence that DNA damage is the basic cause of cancer, laying the foundation for the now universally accepted idea that cancer is a genetic disease. Today, The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) leads the world at isolating cancer-related genes and discovering new targeted drugs for personalised cancer treatment.

Under the leadership of our Chief Executive, Professor Paul Workman FRS, the ICR is ranked as the UK’s leading academic research centre. Together with our partner The Royal Marsden, we are rated in the top five cancer centres globally.

The ICR is committed to attracting, developing and retaining the best minds in the world to join us in our mission – to make the discoveries that defeat cancer.

We seek a highly motivated Postdoctoral Training Fellow to join the Sottoriva Lab within the Centre for Evolution and Cancer at The Institute of Cancer Research in London (ICR), and work on tracking clonal evolution in colorectal cancer using longitudinal sampling of both patients and model systems. 

The Sottoriva Lab ( focuses on deciphering the mechanisms of cancer progression and treatment resistance in each patient using a rigorous mathematical approach, with the objective of anticipating the future course of the disease. We tackle cancer as a complex system, using rational tissue sampling and cancer genomics as the basis for data generation. We integrate the data with mathematical and computational models of tumour evolution, with the aim of formulating clinically-driven hypotheses and test predictions that will impact the way we treat cancer.  

In this project, we sample and profile human colorectal malignancies from clinically annotated cohorts using multi-region and longitudinal sampling. We also follow the evolution of colorectal cancer over time using in vitro and ex vivo model systems. We analyse the data with state-of-the-art bioinformatics techniques and novel statistical methods. We then integrate the results with mathematical and computational models of colorectal cancer progression and treatment resistance, with the aim of making predictions on the evolution of a tumour. 

The successful candidate will focus on understanding and tracking clonal evolution of colorectal cancer at the genomic and epigenomic levels, both from human samples such as circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA), and from model systems. The responsibilities include the development of mathematical models of tumour evolution and drug resistance, and the analysis of whole-genome, whole-exome, targeted sequencing and methylation data.  

The postholder will have the opportunity to interact within a multidisciplinary environment of molecular biologists, clinicians, computer scientists and mathematicians. They will have the opportunities to learn about latest approaches to deconvolute the complexity of cancer evolution and will explore new research areas in medicine.

The new Centre for Evolution and Cancer within the Institute of Cancer Research is supported by a Strategic Award from the Wellcome Trust. We focus on interrogating clonal evolution in tumours by studying the dynamics of heterogeneous cancer cell populations and their microenvironment. We make use of multi-region genomic profiling, single-cell genetics, computational histopathological analysis and mathematical modelling to reconstruct the past evolutionary history of tumours and predict their future. 

The position is offered on a 3 year fixed term contract. The full salary range for the post is £31,023 - £44,337 p.a. inclusive. Starting salary on the scale will be based on previous postdoctoral experience 

Informal enquiries can be made to Dr Andrea Sottoriva ( Please DO NOT send your application via email, formal applications must be submitted online. Please click below to apply.

We consider all applications on merit and have a strong commitment to enhancing the diversity of our staff.

Funded by

Additional Documentation for Candidates

This Program is closed to applications.