Postdoctoral Fellow - Cancer Biology, Genetics and Genomics

Staff Name: 
Chengkai Dai, Ph.D.
Mouse Cancer Genetics Program
Research Area Keywords: 

Cancer Biology, Genetics and Genomics, Molecular Biology

Position Description: 

The candidate will participate in projects that elucidate proteomic instability of cancer and tumor-associated amyloidogenesis, new phenomena in cancer biology, and investigate the multifaceted pro-oncogenic roles of heat shock factor 1 (HSF1). HSF1, the master transcriptional regulator of the heat-shock or proteotoxic stress, response, plays a critical role in preserving proteomic stability under stress conditions. Contrasting with its dispensability for primary cells, cancerous cells become dependent on HSF1, a phenomenon referred to as “non-oncogene addiction”. Recently, HSF1 has been identified by Project Achilles as a common essential gene for a broad range of human cancer cell lines (

The Center for Cancer Research (CCR) is working to solve the most pressing problems in the field through basic, translational and clinical cancer research to create the cancer medicines of tomorrow and is dedicated to preparing the next generation of cancer researchers. Read more about CCR, the benefits of working at CCR and hear from our staff on their CCR experiences. 

The NCI CCR is dedicated to preparing the next generation of cancer researchers and offers a training environment that is second-to-none in quality of science and mentoring by outstanding principal investigators, including nine members of the National Academy of Science and eight members of the National Academy of Medicine. CCR offers fellows access to cutting-edge technologies and cores, a highly collaborative environment, awards and research forums to recognize outstanding post docs, continuous scientific symposia and lectures featuring leading researchers, a strong commitment to translational research, and a vibrant clinical research program housed in the world’s largest dedicated research hospital, the NIH Clinical Center.

Number of Positions: 
C.V. Required: 
Number of References Required: 
Experience Required: 

Motivated candidates with a background in biochemistry, cell or cancer biology are encouraged to apply. Experience with ChIP-seq is a big plus. Applicants should have a Ph.D. degree with a strong publication record. Good oral and written communication skills are required. 

Additional Information: 

Dr. Dai’s laboratory is conducting interdisciplinary research in the emerging field of proteomic instability of cancer. His recent research uncovers that amyloidogenesis, due to disruption of proteome homeostasis or proteostasis, is tumor-suppressive and that HSF1 plays a critical role in suppressing amyloidogenesis (Cell. 2015, 160:729-44; Nature Cell Biology. 2016, 18:527-39; Mol Cell. 2019, 76:546-561). Detailed information about Dr. Dai’s research and publications can be accessed at

This position is located at CCR’s campus in Frederick, Maryland.  Frederick is the second largest city in Maryland but retains a “small town” feel, surrounded by mountain views, wineries, orchards, and a vibrant Main Street community.  It is less than an hour’s drive from the NIH main campus as well as the Appalachian Trail, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and Gettysburg. The city offers many outstanding schools, a balanced and thriving economy, and a highly educated workforce.

How To Apply: 

Applications, sent by e-mail to, should consist of a cover letter describing research experience and interests, curriculum vitae, bibliography, and contact information of three references (inclusion of the current supervisor is preferred).

Contact Name: 
Chengkai Dai
Contact E-mail: 
Contact Phone: 

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