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Postdoctoral Fellow, Genetic Variant Functionalization in Hereditary Cancer (11092021-2)

Toronto, ON, CA Posted: 11/9/2021 11:22:45 AM

Postdoctoral Fellow, genetic variant functionalization in hereditary cancer

The Sunnybrook Research Institute (fully affiliated with the University of Toronto) has an opening for a Post-doctoral Fellowship for one year, with an option to renew, in the laboratory of Dr. Jesse Chao.


The Chao lab is seeking an enthusiastic and highly motivated individual passionate about cancer research. The candidate will focus on developing new functional assays to interrogate the physiological impacts of novel genetic variants, in the context of hereditary cancer. We offer a highly stimulating and collaborative environment with the opportunity to work with clinician scientists to translate our discoveries.

Chao Lab

How do changes in a person’s DNA sequence influence disease risk, prognosis and treatment? To better answer these questions, the Chao lab at the SRI is developing new approaches to delineate the relationships between genotype and phenotype. We utilize a combination of wet-lab and computational approaches. Currently, the focus is on using 3D (in the form of tumour spheroids) and 2D cell cultures as well as high-content imaging to derive quantitative data for variants. Additionally, we develop our own data analysis pipelines using computer vision and deep learning techniques. We then use machine learning to integrate multiple data streams to classify variants as “likely pathogenic” and “likely benign.” As a part of our image analysis portfolio, we are collaborating with pathologists to develop lesion detection AI models.

The postdoctoral fellow will have opportunities to advance their skills in mammalian tissue culture, protein chemistry and microscopy imaging. They will also be able to develop new deep learning applications for image analysis. They will be supported to attend international and national conferences to present their work. More importantly, they are encouraged to collaborate with other cancer research groups within the SRI, in Canada and internationally. While not required for acceptance, the successful candidate is expected to apply for funding during their training.

Please visit our web page for more information:


Qualifications And Requirements

  • Ph.D. or MD/Ph.D. in Molecular Biology, Genetics, Cell Biology or similar.
  • Demonstrated experience in cell culture, biochemical techniques (western blotting, immunofluoresence), molecular biology techniques (cloning), and cell biology techniques (microscopy).
  • Experience with CRISPR is an asset.
  • Proven ability to work independently.
  • Self-motivated, detail-oriented, and results-driven.
  • Excellent communication and organization skills.
  • Proven track record in the form of publications and conference presentations.

Application Procedure

Qualified candidates are invited to submit a cover letter and CV to Dr. Chao (jesse.chao@sunnybrook.ca) with “Application, Postdoctoral Fellow” in the subject line.

We thank all applicants for their interest but only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. This position will remain open until a suitable candidate is found.

Sunnybrook Research Institute is committed to providing accessible employment practices that are in compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). If you require accommodation for disability during any stage of the recruitment process, please indicate this in your cover letter.

Sunnybrook Research Institute is strongly committed to inclusion and diversity within its community and welcomes all applicants including but not limited to: visible minorities, all religions and ethnicities, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ persons, and all others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas.

Please be advised that in order to be eligible for employment at Sunnybrook, all new hires must have received the full series of a COVID-19 vaccine or combination of COVID-19 vaccines approved by Health Canada (e.g., two doses of a two-dose vaccine series, or one dose of a single-dose vaccine series); AND have received the final dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days ago. Medical exemptions or any other kind of requested exemption based upon the Hospital’s obligations pursuant to the Ontario Human Rights Code will be considered on a case-by-case basis.