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Ref2106: Two Postdoc positions: Mechanisms of immune evasion in metastatic cancer

The Obenauf Lab at the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP) offers exciting research opportunities in the context of the VIP2 Postdoc Program for scientists with a PhD degree in immunology, cancer biology, molecular biology, or gene regulation, and a strong interest in tumour immunology. If you are passionate about research and excited to advance your scientific career in an outstanding research environment, you may be the one we are looking for!

The projects

Understanding how cancer cells escape the recognition and destruction by the immune system during metastasis and therapies is a fundamental problem in cancer biology and critical to the development of effective therapies. Project 1 will focus on the relationship between oncogenic signalling pathways and immune evasion, including the follow-up on novel mediators we discovered in our work. In project 2, we will perform CRISPR/Cas9-based multiplexed genetic screens with innovative readouts to dissect the pre-requisites for cancer cell - T cell interactions. Candidates are also strongly encouraged to develop and implement their own ideas in the lab. They can build on a body of preliminary data and exploit novel mouse models that recapitulate distinct immune states in combination with large-scale genetic screens, numerous biochemical and genetic approaches, and powerful technologies, such as CaTCH – a functional lineage tracing approach that we recently developed (Umkehrer et al. Nature Biotechnology, 2020).

The group

The ERC-funded Obenauf Lab is a multidisciplinary group interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying tumour progression and immune evasion. Clinical puzzles inspire our work, and we develop and employ a wide array of molecular biology, biochemistry, and in vivo approaches with the vision and mission of guiding rational combination therapies. We are located at the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology at the Vienna BioCenter, a life-science hub in the vibrant city of Vienna, Austria, which is frequently ranked the world’s best city to live in. We provide unparalleled training opportunities with world-class support at the group-, institute-, and campus-level and closely collaborate with an international network of scientists, clinicians, and industry. Available resources on campus include a state-of-the art mouse facility, high-end FACS and microscopy facilities, on-site mass spectrometry and metabolomics, NGS, a fully administered computer-cluster, and much more.

The candidates

A strong interest in cancer immunology and biomedical research is an essential pre-requisite, as is passion and perseverance in equal measure. The successful candidates should bring:

  • Extensive experimental laboratory experience, including experience with cell culture, molecular biology, and biochemistry. Experience in cancer modelling and computational skills are a plus.
  • For project 1, experience with multicolour immune phenotyping by flow-cytometry, an aptitude for animal studies, and a good understanding of immunology are beneficial. Experience in cancer modelling and computational skills are a plus. For project 2, a strong interest in developing new methods/readouts for genetic screening approaches, the ability to handle large-scale experiments, and experience in dissecting gene regulatory/signalling networks are desired.
  • Proven track record in conducting research, including designing, executing, and interpreting experiments, as demonstrated by previous publications.
  • Ability to prioritise and see the big picture, but also to focus on details.
  • A collaborative mindset with peers, students, and external collaborators.


Applications should be sent by 1 May 2021 to anna.obenauf[at] and must include a cover letter outlining suitability for the role and a CV that includes a list of publications and the contact details of three academic referees. Applications received after the deadline will be considered at the discretion of the assessing panel.

Additional information

Group webpage:, IMP:, VIP2 program: 

Selected publications: Umkehrer et al., Nature Biotechnology, 2020; Leiendecker et al., EMBO Molecular Medicine, 2020; Obenauf et al, Nature, 2015; Obenauf and Massagué, Nature, 2016, and more to come soon!