Lund University

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Translational oncogenomics and cancer liquid biopsies

Principle investigator Lao Saal

Precision medicine becomes a reality through harnessing genomic technologies to better understand tumor biology and develop predictive tools to steer treatment choices. The proposed work focuses on cancer genomics and analyses of circulating tumor DNA to develop new assays and algorithms for risk stratification and patient monitoring.


Our research group conducts research at the interface of the bench and bedside. With a concentration on cancer genomics, the PTEN/PI3K pathway, and breast cancer, we endeavor to better understand the matching of best therapy to the tumor biology, and how to monitor patients such that treatment decisions are made with the best available information.

The postdoctoral scientist in this project will be expected to work together with the PI and with a high level of independence to lead scientific projects, to study cohorts of well-annotated and preserved tissue and liquid biopsy samples (such as circulating tumor DNA in blood plasma) from patients with breast cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, and colorectal cancer. Digital PCR, RNA-seq and DNA-seq data can be incorporated. These studies are conducted in order to better understand the molecular drivers of each malignancy, identify determinants of sensitivity or resistance to treatment, and how the molecular portraits discovered correspond to clinicopathological factors and patient outcomes.

For the engaged postdoc, training is offered in grantsmanship, state-of-the-art genomic methods using massively-parallel sequencing, digital PCR, bioinformatics, machine learning, and functional genomics. Prior experience in any of these areas is highly qualifying. You will be joining the Translational Oncogenomics group, an interdisciplinary team with strong national and international collaborations and partnerships, including with the spin-out liquid biopsy company SAGA Diagnostics in Lund.


Key requirements:

·      PhD education within the field of cancer biology or related subject area

·      experience with transcriptomics, genomics, bioinformatics, or ctDNA research

·      proven track record in winning at least one scientific grant award from a national or international funding agency

·      excellent English proficiency, oral and written


Advantageous skills:

·       experience with functional analyses

·       experience with either NGS or ddPCR (wet-lab or bioinformatics)

·       high motivation to work in a collaborative international environment, together with industry

·       experience with project management and leadership



Partners: Division of Oncology, Skåne University Hospital, the SCAN-B Initiative