Jan January 2021

Postdoctoral Fellow position


The Roncarolo and Bacchetta Laboratory has an opening for a highly motivated, self-driven postdoctoral fellow with a background in immunology and a strong interest in translational research and gene and cell therapy.  The successful candidate will join the Center for Definitive and Curative Medicine and the Division of Pediatric  Hematology, Oncology, Stem Cell Transplantation and Regenerative Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California, USA, and work on a translational research project aimed at providing novel regulatory T cell (Treg) therapies to prevent rejection of hematopoietic stem cell transplants, and more broadly, induce immune tolerance in variety of different pathologies.

We currently have two major lines of translational research at different stages of clinical application. One translational research project is focused on the mechanisms of action and pre-clinical development of the engineered type 1 regulatory T cells (Tr1) that we call CD4LV-IL-10, which  are generated by lentiviral transduction of human CD4+ T cells with an IL10gene. The CD4LV-IL-10 have a unique combination of immunosuppressive and cytotoxic functions that make them suitable to: (1) control excessive inflammation, such as in the context of the graft-vs-host disease after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, and (2) lyse myeloid cells, such as malignant myeloid cells in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The other translational project is focused on FOXP3+ Treg, generated by lentiviral transduction of human CD4+ T cells with FOXP3 under a constitutive promoter, which we call CD4LV-FOXP3. These cells have been widely characterized in vitro and in vivo for their primary use in FOXP3-deficient patients, and we are looking to extend their use in different immune mediated diseases where FOXP3+ Treg are insufficient. Tr1 and FOXP3+ Treg have common suppressive functions, but they were not compared for efficacy in different pathologies. For optimal translational use of Treg cell therapies, we want to investigate these 2 Treg subtypes in parallel, starting by evaluating their role induction of tolerance and stem cell support in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.  

This project provides the opportunity to develop and investigate mechanisms of action, safety, and efficacy of genetically engineered regulatory T cell therapies in in vivo humanized mouse models, which is a key step for the clinical translation of these cells. In addition, the candidate will learn the scientific and regulatory requirements for investigational new drug submission to the FDA, and phase I/II clinical trial development.  

Required Qualifications: The post-doctoral fellow candidate is required to have obtained an MD, PhD, or MD/PhD in cell and molecular biology or immunology.

Preferred qualifications:  experience in immunology, human immunology, mammalian cell culture, multi-color flow cytometry, gene-transfer, murine models, and basics of translational medicine. Record of publications in reputable peer-reviewed journals. The candidate should have demonstrated self-initiative and motivation, interest in developing collaborations, the ability to work independently, attention to detail, ability to critically interpret data, carefully plan experiments, and present data in writing and in person in a clear and effective manner.

To apply, please send an updated CV, complete contact information for three references, a cover letter describing their past research experience, and a brief statement of career goals and future research interests (1-2 pages) to Prof. Maria Grazia Roncarolo, Prof. Rosa Bacchetta, and/or Dr. Alma Cepika at: mg1 AT Stanford DOT edurosab AT Stanford DOT edu, or Cepika AT StanfordDOT edu, respectively.

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