Post-doctoral Fellow - Proteasome, drug development, solid tumor

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Name of Hiring Official/Investigator

Job Description

A postdoctoral fellow position is open in the laboratory of Dr. Deborah Citrin, Radiation Oncology Branch, CCR, NCI, NIH in Bethesda, Maryland.

Projects in the Citrin lab have focused on modulation of tumor and normal tissue response to DNA damaging agents, such as radiation. This work has included the identification of agents targeting signal transduction pathways and metabolism that can enhance the sensitivity of solid tumors to DNA damage. Our laboratory identified that inhibition of selected molecules, such as MEK1/2 and Sp1are capable of enhancing tumor response to DNA damaging agents (Clinical Cancer Research, 15(9): 3050; Clinical Cancer Research, 17(15):5038; International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics, 100(2): 344-52). The laboratory has a history of studying resistance factors to DNA damage and has further evaluated metabolic imaging and metabolic inhibitors in prostate cancers (Clinical Cancer Research, 24(13): 3137). The laboratory has conducted these studies in diverse solid tumor histologies with the goal of clinical translation in Dr. Citrin’s active clinical trial program.

A separate focus within the lab is understanding the impact of DNA damage from ionizing radiation of the function and integrity of benign tissue. These exposures are an unfortunate consequence of cancer therapy that can lead to long term injury and side effects. The laboratory identified senescence of normal tissue stem cells as a contributor to fibrosis and late toxicity of DNA damage from ionizing radiation (Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 105(19): 1474). The laboratory has gone on to study methods to interfere with this process to reduce long term injury and inhibit radiation induced senescence stimulated tumor regrowth (Aging, 14(3): 1068).

The laboratory has initiated a collaborative project with the laboratories of Dr. Kylie Walters (Center for Structural Biology), Dr. Beverly Mock (Laboratory of Cancer Biology and Genetics), and Dr. Rolf Swenson (Chemistry and Synthesis Center). This work is centered on Rpn13, a proteasome substrate receptor that binds ubiquitin chains and delivers ubiquitinated substrates to the proteasome. This project focuses on selective targeting a component of the regulatory particle and understanding the mechanism associated cytotoxicity. Studies will include in vitro and in vivo screening to define relative abundance of the target and evaluation of sensitivity of these cell lines to agents targeting the regulatory particle.  Additional studies will evaluate how cellular perturbations impact expression of the target. Opportunities are available for using a variety of genetic and molecular biology approaches to delineate the molecules/processes impacting cellular sensitivity to the selective targeting agents. The postdoctoral fellowship position will support this highly innovative ongoing project.

Research Environment in the Radiation Oncology Branch (ROB):  The Translational Radiation Oncology Section (Citrin Lab) of the Radiation Oncology Branch in the Center for Cancer Research, NCI, NIH consists of a staff scientist, two research associates, one postdoctoral fellow, one graduate student, and one animal technician.  There are six principal investigators (PIs) in the ROB, in addition to research support staff who assist with bioinformatic analyses. All of the PI groups within ROB invest in translational projects related to cancer treatment, making the ROB an appropriate lab in which to investigate basic science questions with immediate translational relevance.

Qualifications and Job Details

Degree Required
Ph.D. or equivalent
Job Location
Appointment Type
Training Position (Stipend commensurate with experience)
Work Schedule
US Citizenship not required - (ie, permanent resident, visa)

Required and Preferred Skills

Required Skills

Experience in molecular biology, cancer biology, cell culture.

About the NCI Center for Cancer Research

The Center for Cancer Research (CCR) is home to nearly 250 basic and clinical research groups located on two campuses just outside of Washington, D.C. CCR is part of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and makes up the largest component of the research effort at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Centrally supported by long-term funding and a culture of complete intellectual freedom, CCR scientists are able to pursue the most important and challenging problems in cancer research. We collaborate with academic and commercial partners and advocacy groups across the world in efforts to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer and HIV/AIDS. The CCR research portfolio covers the full spectrum of biological and biomedical research. Our work ranges from basic to translational and clinical, and our clinical trials are conducted in the NIH Clinical Center, the world’s largest hospital dedicated to clinical research that offers a robust infrastructure to support CCR’s patients on an estimated 250 open studies. The success of CCR is grounded in an exceptionally strong discovery research program that provides the foundation for the seamless translation of insights from bench to bedside. Read more about CCR, the benefits of working at CCR and hear from our staff on their CCR experiences.


Bethesda is one of the most highly educated communities in the United States and has a nationally renowned school system. The city is a thriving suburban center close to Washington, D.C., and home to many restaurants, retailers and a flourishing arts and entertainment district.

How to Apply
  • CV/Resume
  • Statement of Research Goals
  • Three References
Additional Application Information

Candidates with Ph.D.'s granted in 2021 or 2022, and having an active interest in cancer biology and drug development should send a cv/bibliography and a list of references to Deborah Citrin (, along with a paragraph outlining your career goals and the type of training sought.

This position is subject to a background investigation.

Contact Information
Contact Name
Deborah Citrin
E-mail Address
DHHS, NIH and NCI are equal opportunity employers. The NCI and CCR are deeply committed to diversity of thought, equity and inclusion and encourage applications from qualified women, underrepresented minorities and individuals with disabilities.