Post-doctoral fellow

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Houston, TX

ID: 7062939
Posted: January 7, 2020
Application Deadline: Open Until Filled

Job Description

The laboratory of Dr. Jagan Sastry in the Department of Thoracic, Head and Neck Medical Oncology is seeking a post-doctoral fellow to start in the first quarter of 2020.
The research scope is the broad area of vaccine-immunotherapy of HPV-associated oral and genital cancers based on our recent publications showing that combination of checkpoint immunotherapy with a synthetic peptide vaccine induced strong antigen-specific immune memory for durable tumor regression in preclinical murine models. More recent unpublished data also support combination of selective cell cycle inhibitors as viable therapy for HPV-associated head and neck cancers to enhance immunotherapy efficacy. Basic and translational studies for the project will involve the use of murine models and state-of-the art immunofluorescence methodologies for analyzing immune responses and elucidating the molecular mechanisms underlying the effectiveness of adjuvant(s) for, and routes of, vaccination to induce efficient trafficking of antigen-specific T cells to the tumor site for sustained clearance.
Environment: Relevant publications from our group are listed below. Dr. Sastry’s research program is currently funded by federal (4 different NIH grants), state (CPRIT), industry, and philanthropy awards. Houston is a large, dynamic, and affordable city. Houston is the most culturally diverse city in the USA. The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center is ranked No. 1 for cancer care by U.S. News & World Report’s annual “Best Hospitals” survey.
1. Independently design and conduct research experiments, including performing animal experiments, data analysis, and manuscript publication.
2. Supervise students and staff if needed.
3. May be responsible for minor lab manager duties as needed.
1. Self-motivated and independent.
2. Received a PhD in Immunology, Cancer Biology or other relevant branches of biological sciences within the last 5 years.
3. Excellent oral and written communication skills.
4. Able to collaborate daily with diverse colleagues.
5. Experience with multi-parametric flow cytometry is essential, as well as molecular and cancer biology techniques.
Application process: Interested applicants should send a curriculum vitae (CV); cover letter describing research experience as it relates to work described for this postdoctoral position and future career goals along with contact information of three references to Dr. Jagan Sastry ( and Ms. Geneva Williams ( with the subject line “Postdoc Application in Cancer Immuno-biology.”

1. Bartkowiak T, Singh S, Yang G, Galvan G, Haria D, Ai M, Allison JP, Sastry JK, Curran MA. Unique potential of 4-1BB agonist antibody to promote durable regression of HPV+ tumors when combined with an E6/E7 peptide vaccine. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A (2015) 112(38):E5290-9. PMID: 26351680; PMCID: PMC4586868.
2. Singh S, Schluns KS, Yang G, Anthony SM, Barry MA, Sastry KJ. Intranasal vaccination affords localization and persistence of antigen-specific CD8+ T lymphocytes in the female reproductive tract. Vaccines (Basel) (2016) 4(1). PMID: 26999228; PMCID: PMC4810059.
3. Dorta-Estremera S, Chin RL, Sierra G, Nicholas C, Yanamandra AV, Mookala SMK, Yang G, Singh S, Curran MA, Sastry KJ. Mucosal HPV E6/E7 peptide vaccination in combination with immune checkpoint modulation induces regression of HPV+ oral cancers. Cancer Res (2018) 78(18):5327-39. PMID: 30054333.
4. Dorta-Estremera S, Colbert LE, Nookala SS, Yanamandra AV, Yang G, Delgado A, Mikkelson M, Eifel P, Jhingran A, Lilie LL, Welsh J, Schmeler K, Sastry JK, Klopp A. Kinetics of intratumoral immune cell activation during chemoradiation for cervical cancer. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys (2018) 102(3):593-600. PMID: 30017792.
5. Dorta-Estremera S, et al. Therapeutic targeting of interferon signaling and CTLA-4 enhance curative efficacy of anti-PD-1 immunotherapy in preclinical model of HPV+ oral cancer, J Immunotherapy of Cancer 2019 7(1):252. PMID:31533840

M. D. Anderson Cancer Center is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on basis of race, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, disability or veteran status except where such distinction is required by law. All positions at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center are security sensitive and subject to examination of criminal history record information. Smoke-free and drug-free environment.


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