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Fels

fels institute for cancer research & molecular biology

Employment Opportunities


Postdoctoral Opportunities at Fels Institute for Cancer Research


Fels Institute (Temple University, Philadelphia, PA) has several openings for a postdoctoral position in Cancer related fields. PIs with openings include:

 

 

Jean-Pierre Issa, MD

Director, Fels Institute; Professor, Department of Medicine

 

Research Interests:

  • Epigenomics and genomics in normal, aging and cancer cells (DNA methylation and histone modifications; genome wide genetic changes)
  • Basic mechanisms in epigenetics
  • Tumor-suppressor genes
  • Translational studies in cancer
  • Pre-clinical and clinical research in epigenetic therapy

My laboratory is involved in both basic and translational research in the field of molecular epigenetics, which refers to stable gene expression states such as X-inactivation, imprinting etc. Specifically, we are interested in epigenetic mechanisms - a DNA modification termed DNA methylation that is commonly abnormal in aging tissues and in various malignancies; and histone modifications involved in determining gene expression states.

 

Current Projects:

  • Large scale mapping of epigenomics patterns in normal, aging and cancer cells
  • Investigating the causes of aberrant methylation in cancer, focusing on aging; genetic changes; a particular hypermethylator phenotype we described called CpG Island methylator phenotype; environmental exposures and familial predisposition
  • Basic mechanisms governing the establishment of DNA methylation in normal and cancer cells
  • Studying the causes and consequences of DNA methylation changes in normal aging tissues. Does reducing methylation prevent tumor formation and prolong lifespan?
  • Clinical implications of methylation profiling in cancer. Can we identify subgroups with particular characteristics, prognosis, etc.?
  • Clinical trials of drugs that affect histone modifications and DNA methylation are ongoing. Can we predict who will respond to the drugs?
  • Can we make the therapy better? Does it work the way it is supposed to?
  • Screens for drugs that affect epigenetics, alone or in synergy with current FDA approved molecules.

Position description:
A position is available for a recent PhD or MD/PhD graduate postdoctoral fellow with significant experience in cancer and/or epigenetics research. Please submit application electronically with curriculum vitae, statement of research interests, and the names/phone numbers/emails of three people who can provide letters of reference to: Dr. Jean-Pierre Issa, Fels Institute of Cancer Research and Molecular Biology, Temple School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA. Email: fels@temple.edu.

 

Selected Recent Publications:

 

Estécio MR, Gallegos J, Dekmezian M, Lu Y, Liang S, Issa JP. SINE
Retrotransposons Cause Epigenetic Reprogramming of Adjacent Gene Promoters. Mol Cancer Res. 2012 Sep 20. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 22952045.

 

Zhang Y, Shu J, Si J, Shen L, Estecio MR, Issa JP. Repetitive elements and
enforced transcriptional repression co-operate to enhance DNA methylation
spreading into a promoter CpG-island. Nucleic Acids Res. 2012 Aug
1;40(15):7257-7268. Epub 2012 May 17. PubMed PMID: 22600741; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3424568.

 

Issa JP. DNA methylation as a clinical marker in oncology. J Clin Oncol. 2012
Jul 10;30(20):2566-8. Epub 2012 May 7. PubMed PMID: 22564986.

 

Yamazaki J, Taby R, Vasanthakumar A, Macrae T, Ostler KR, Shen L, Kantarjian
HM, Estecio MR, Jelinek J, Godley LA, Issa JP. Effects of TET2 mutations on DNA
methylation in chronic myelomonocytic leukemia. Epigenetics. 2012 Feb;7(2):201-7. PubMed PMID: 22395470; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3335912.

 

Raynal NJ, Si J, Taby RF, Gharibyan V, Ahmed S, Jelinek J, Estécio MR, Issa
JP. DNA methylation does not stably lock gene expression but instead serves as a
molecular mark for gene silencing memory. Cancer Res. 2012 Mar 1;72(5):1170-81. Epub 2012 Jan 4. PubMed PMID: 22219169; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3294136.

 

Qin T, Castoro R, El Ahdab S, Jelinek J, Wang X, Si J, Shu J, He R, Zhang N,
Chung W, Kantarjian HM, Issa JP. Mechanisms of resistance to decitabine in the
myelodysplastic syndrome. PLoS One. 2011;6(8):e23372. Epub 2011 Aug 17. PubMed PMID: 21858090; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3157379.

 

Issa JP. Epigenetic variation and cellular Darwinism. Nat Genet. 2011 Jul
27;43(8):724-6. doi: 10.1038/ng.897. PubMed PMID: 21792236.

 

Chung W, Bondaruk J, Jelinek J, Lotan Y, Liang S, Czerniak B, Issa JP.
Detection of bladder cancer using novel DNA methylation biomarkers in urine
sediments. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2011 Jul;20(7):1483-91. Epub 2011 May 17. PubMed PMID: 21586619; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3132294.

 

Ahn JB, Chung WB, Maeda O, Shin SJ, Kim HS, Chung HC, Kim NK, Issa JP. DNA
methylation predicts recurrence from resected stage III proximal colon cancer.
Cancer. 2011 May 1;117(9):1847-54. doi: 10.1002/cncr.25737. Epub 2010 Nov 18.
PubMed PMID: 21509761; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3117123.

 

:Barry EL, Ahnen D, McKeown-Eyssen G, Baron JA, Issa JP. Association between folate levels and CpG Island hypermethylation in normal colorectal mucosa. Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2010 Dec;3(12):1552-64. PubMed PMID: 21149331; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3058541.

 

Estécio MR, Issa JP. Dissecting DNA hypermethylation in cancer. FEBS Lett.
2011 Jul 7;585(13):2078-86. Epub 2010 Dec 10. Review. PubMed PMID: 21146531; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3378045.

 

Taby R, Issa JP. Cancer epigenetics. CA Cancer J Clin. 2010 Nov-Dec;60(6):376-92. Epub 2010 Oct 19. Review. PubMed PMID: 20959400.

 

Estécio MR, Gallegos J, Vallot C, Castoro RJ, Chung W, Maegawa S, Oki Y,
Kondo Y, Jelinek J, Shen L, Hartung H, Aplan PD, Czerniak BA, Liang S, Issa JP.
Genome architecture marked by retrotransposons modulates predisposition to DNA methylation in cancer. Genome Res. 2010 Oct;20(10):1369-82. Epub 2010 Aug 17. PubMed PMID: 20716667; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2945186.

 

Si J, Boumber YA, Shu J, Qin T, Ahmed S, He R, Jelinek J, Issa JP. Chromatin
remodeling is required for gene reactivation after decitabine-mediated DNA
hypomethylation. Cancer Res. 2010 Sep 1;70(17):6968-77. Epub 2010 Aug 16. PubMed  PMID: 20713525; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2932851.

 

Maegawa S, Hinkal G, Kim HS, Shen L, Zhang L, Zhang J, Zhang N, Liang S,
Donehower LA, Issa JP. Widespread and tissue specific age-related DNA methylation changes in mice. Genome Res. 2010 Mar;20(3):332-40. Epub 2010 Jan 27. PubMed PMID: 20107151; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2840983.

 

Shen L, Kantarjian H, Guo Y, Lin E, Shan J, Huang X, Berry D, Ahmed S, Zhu W,
Pierce S, Kondo Y, Oki Y, Jelinek J, Saba H, Estey E, Issa JP. DNA methylation
predicts survival and response to therapy in patients with myelodysplastic
syndromes. J Clin Oncol. 2010 Feb 1;28(4):605-13. Epub 2009 Dec 28. Erratum in: J Clin Oncol. 2010 Jun 20;28(18):3098. PubMed PMID: 20038729; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2815995.

 

Issa JP, Kantarjian HM. Targeting DNA methylation. Clin Cancer Res. 2009 Jun
15;15(12):3938-46. Epub 2009 Jun 9. PubMed PMID: 19509174; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2732562.

 

Watanabe Y, Kim HS, Castoro RJ, Chung W, Estecio MR, Kondo K, Guo Y, Ahmed SS, Toyota M, Itoh F, Suk KT, Cho MY, Shen L, Jelinek J, Issa JP. Sensitive and
specific detection of early gastric cancer with DNA methylation analysis of
gastric washes. Gastroenterology. 2009 Jun;136(7):2149-58. Epub 2009 Apr 16.
PubMed PMID: 19375421; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2722957.

 

Issa JP. Cancer prevention: epigenetics steps up to the plate. Cancer Prev Res
(Phila Pa). 2008 Sep;1(4):219-22. Epub 2008 Mar 19. PubMed PMID: 19138962.

 

Qin T, Jelinek J, Si J, Shu J, Issa JP. Mechanisms of resistance to
5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine in human cancer cell lines. Blood. 2009 Jan
15;113(3):659-67. Epub 2008 Oct 17. PubMed PMID: 18931345; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2628372.

 

Boumber YA, Kondo Y, Chen X, Shen L, Guo Y, Tellez C, Estécio MR, Ahmed S,
Issa JP. An Sp1/Sp3 binding polymorphism confers methylation protection. PLoS
Genet. 2008 Aug 22;4(8):e1000162. PubMed PMID: 18725933; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2515197.

 

Kondo Y, Shen L, Cheng AS, Ahmed S, Boumber Y, Charo C, Yamochi T, Urano T,
Furukawa K, Kwabi-Addo B, Gold DL, Sekido Y, Huang TH, Issa JP. Gene silencing in cancer by histone H3 lysine 27 trimethylation independent of promoter DNA methylation. Nat Genet. 2008 Jun;40(6):741-50. Epub 2008 May 18. PubMed PMID: 18488029.

 

Shen L, Toyota M, Kondo Y, Lin E, Zhang L, Guo Y, Hernandez NS, Chen X, Ahmed
S, Konishi K, Hamilton SR, Issa JP. Integrated genetic and epigenetic analysis
identifies three different subclasses of colon cancer. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A.
2007 Nov 20;104(47):18654-9. Epub 2007 Nov 14. PubMed PMID: 18003927; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2141832.

 

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Nora Engel, PhD

Assistant Professor, Fels Institute

Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry

 


Postdoctoral position available to investigate imprinted genes and their regulation during development in the mouse. The Fels Institute is a prestigious cancer research institute affiliated with the Temple University School of Medicine, with a strong focus in epigenetics. Applicants should have a PhD, a background in epigenetics, and proficiency in a range of cell/developmental biology, molecular, immunological and genomic techniques, including tissue culture, flow cytometry, microarrays, chromatin immunoprecipitation and DNA analysis software. Experience with mice is a requirement. Excellent oral and written English language skills are essential. Candidate should be highly motivated, creative, with strong work ethic and ability to work independently as well as in collaborative research efforts. Applicants must have at least two first author publications from his/her PhD training. The position will be filled for one year with possible second year renewal and salary will be commensurate with experience. Please submit application electronically with curriculum vitae, statement of research interests, and the names/phone numbers/emails of three people who can provide letters of reference to: Dr. Nora Engel, Fels Institute of Cancer Research and Molecular Biology, Temple School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA. Email: noraengel@temple.edu.

 

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Dr. Raza Zaidi


A postdoctoral position is available to investigate the role of Interferon-gamma in ultraviolet radiation-induced melanoma genesis (see Nature 469:548). Applicants should have a PhD, a background in mouse models of cancer, and proficiency in a range of molecular/cell biology, immunological and genomic techniques, including tissue culture, flow cytometry, microarrays, and immunocytochemistry. Experience with mice is a requirement. Experience with tumor immunology will be highly desirable. Candidate should be highly motivated, creative, with strong work ethic and ability to work independently as well as in collaborative research efforts. The position will be filled for one year with possible extension, and salary will be commensurate with experience. Please submit application electronically with curriculum vitae, statement of research interests, and the names/phone numbers/emails of three people who can provide letters of reference to: Dr. Raza Zaidi, Fels Institute of Cancer Research and Molecular Biology, Temple School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA. Email: zaidi@temple.edu.

 

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Dr. Italo Tempera

 


To study the role of chromatin organization in the regulation of gene expression in the context of Epstein-Barr virus infection and its impact on viral etiology of cancer. The goal of this project is to understand how EBV interferes with the mechanisms that regulate chromatin architecture and exploit them to promote and support viral infection. Two related projects are available. The first is a genome-wide investigation of the role of host chromatin remodeling factors on the chromatin organization of EBV genome and their impact on the carcinogenic risk of EBV infection. The second is a molecular and biochemical study of how EBV gene expression is rapidly reprogrammed in response to external stimuli by changes in the viral chromosome architecture. The knowledge gained by the EBV study will be translated to explore the role of chromatin architecture in the human genome. The successful candidate will be highly motivated and collaborative. He or she is expected to actively contribute to the research plan and significantly contribute in the preparation of publications and grants. The successful candidate will work in the very stimulating and collaborative environment of the Fels Institute. Requirements include a PhD in Virology, Biochemistry, Molecular or Cell Biology, or comparably related fields. Candidates with the experience in EBV or other cancer-associated viruses, chromatin and epigenetics, molecular techniques including ChIp and 3C are encouraged to apply. Additional preference will be given to applicants with good communication skills. Salary follows NIH guidelines. Please submit application electronically with curriculum vitae, statement of research interests, and the names/phone numbers/emails of three people who can provide letters of reference to: Dr. Italo Tempera, Fels Institute of Cancer Research and Molecular Biology, Temple School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA. Email: tempera@temple.edu.

 

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