Postdoctoral Researcher (Organoid Biology)

Oregon Health & Science University
Portland, Oregon, US
Jul 16, 2021
Sep 09, 2021
Employment Type
Salary Type
Cancer Early Detection Advanced Research (CEDAR) center is a collaborative institution within the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute. The Knight Cancer Institute, known as one of the pioneers in personalized cancer medicine, is an international leader in research and cancer treatment. At CEDAR our mission is to detect and stop lethal cancers at the earliest stage because early detection saves lives. This is an ambitious goal, one that requires novelty, creativity, and innovation. We are composed of biologists, chemists, biomedical engineers, computationalists, and clinicians conducting groundbreaking translational cancer research to help people maintain a high quality of life and reduce cancer mortality, to create a global early detection community, and to have a positive impact on the Oregon economy.

CEDAR is committed to increasing the diversity of the campus community. We at CEDAR are dedicated to promoting inclusion and multiculturalism to build a successful organization by having outstanding researchers of diverse backgrounds work together on multiple projects. We encourage high-risk, high-reward research projects because defeating cancer requires unproven, out-of-the-box thinking. Our research is milestone driven to ensure that each project is fulfilling its stated goals.

Every Knight Cancer employee is expected to embody our guiding principles:
  • We act BOLDLY-Breakthroughs require pushing the boundaries of science, exploring new frontiers, and thinking differently
  • We SUPPORT each other-Respect leads to trust, which leads to excellence
  • We work as a CONNECTED team - We must leverage our collective brain power to conquer cancer because no one individual can do it alone

The OHSU Fellowship for Diversity in Research seeks to address the need for increased representation of minoritized races/ethnicities in STEM at the postdoctoral level. Eligible candidates are encouraged to apply. Visit for more information.

We are currently hiring a highly motivated fellow with expertise in Organoid biology to work in one of the following areas. The successful candidate will be working with CEDAR and OHSU scientists including Joshua Saldivar initially and with increasing collaborations over time:
  • Ex vivo transformation of primary lung airway organoids into early small cell lung cancer. The goal of this project is to understand how the order of oncogenic mutations dictate the early biology of small cell lung cancer. Of particular interest is the oncogenic role of the ATR pathway (Saldivar et al. 2017 and 2018) in promoting small cell lung cancer formation. We use ex vivo lung airway organoids to study the initiation of small cell lung cancer. Key oncogenic drivers of disease initiation will be sequentially-delivered to organoids for ex vivo transformation studies. Single-cell RNA-seq and quantitative image-based analyses will be used to characterize early malignant phenotypes.
  • Tracing neuroendocrine lineage plasticity in ex vivo lung airway organoids. The goal is of this work is to uncover the impact of different cells of origin on the emergence of malignant neuroendocrine cells in lung cancer. We utilize our recently developed fluorescence-based biosensor that traces lineage conversion of airway epithelial cells into pre-malignant neuroendocrine cells. Time-lapse, confocal microscopy on airway organoids containing differentiated cells expressing the biosensor will be used to trace cell type plasticity. FACS and deep sequencing approaches will be used to uncover epigenetic and transcriptomic changes driving plasticity.

Recent references:

Saldivar JC, Cortez D, Cimprich KA. The essential kinase ATR: ensuring faithful duplication of a challenging genome. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol . 2017; 18(10):622-36.

Saldivar JC, Hamperl S, Bocek MJ, Chung M, Bass TE, Cisneros-Soberanis F, Samejima K, Xie L, Paulson JR, Earnshaw WC, Cortez D, Meyer T, Cimprich KA. An intrinsic S/G2 checkpoint enforced by ATR. Science . 2018; 361(6404):806-10.

Duties Include:
  • Prepare manuscripts, and present research findings as abstracts or oral presentations (travel may be required).
  • Attend weekly group meetings and 1:1 meetings to: 1) present data and interpretation of results; 2) troubleshoot research results and 3) suggest next steps.
  • Attend research related meetings including but not limited to Cancer Biology meetings, journal clubs, etc.
  • Perform experiments utilizing appropriate lab or computational techniques with proficiency, evaluate results, and determine the next steps to complete project and present data. Think independently and problem solve. Stay on top of the literature and build skills to maximize the projects' potential.
  • Duties as assigned.

  • PhD
  • Minimum of 3 years as a graduate student
  • Specialty: organoid biology, cell biology or related field
  • Passion for science and inquiry
  • Ability to synthesize one's own results and others to formulate hypotheses
  • Ability to prioritize multiple tasks at one time
  • Must have excellent communication, analytical and organizational skills: both written and verbal.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team while being collaborative in resolving problems.

  • Experience with fluorescence microscopy and image analysis
  • Experience with library prep for RNA-seq and ChIP-seq
  • Experience working with fresh tissue samples

To apply, please submit your Cover letter and CV.

#linkedin #indeed

Oregon Health & Science University values a diverse and culturally competent workforce. We are proud of our commitment to being an equal opportunity, affirmative action organization that does not discriminate against applicants on the basis of any protected class status, including disability status and protected veteran status. Individuals with diverse backgrounds and those who promote diversity and a culture of inclusion are encouraged to apply. To request reasonable accommodation contact the Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Department at 503-494-5148 or