Postdoctoral fellow in molecular/cell biology


Rozzano, IT, 20089


As part of the National Plan for Recovery and Resilience (Piano Nazionale di Ripresa e Resilienza, PNRR), IRCCS Istituto Clinico Humanitas has started the public selection procedures for recruitment under the projects regarding the Enhancement and strengthening of biomedical research in the NHS.


Professional profile: Post Doc


Brief project description: CUP E23C24000260006


Intratumoral microbiota, a component of the tumor microenvironment, is gaining attention for its role in cancer development, progression, and treatment response, largely through its interactions with the host immune system. These interactions may contribute to increased mutational rates and carcinogenesis-related inflammation and mechanisms. Among microorganisms in tumor tissues, bacteria have been notably studied due to their ability to establish symbiotic relationships with the host. Early comprehensive studies have shown that different types of tumors harbor distinct bacterial communities.


Specifically in rare cancers like Neuroendocrine Neoplasms (NEN) and Soft Tissue Sarcoma (STS), which exhibit diverse biological and clinical traits, there is limited but growing research on their particular microbiomes. Preliminary studies in STS have utilized techniques like fluorescence in situ hybridization and bacterial 16S rRNA gene sequencing, revealing distinct bacterial communities within various sarcoma types compared to adjacent healthy tissues. Furthermore, culturomic approaches have allowed for the isolation of live bacteria from sarcoma tissues, which have shown resistance to doxorubicin.


The project aims to:

  1. Broaden the study of intratumoral microbiota in STS and NEN across different body sites.
  2. Investigate bacterial mechanisms behind chemotherapy resistance using advanced techniques like mass spectrometry and functional genomics.
  3. Evaluate the clinical relevance of bacterial activity through in vivo studies and retrospective analyses of patient responses to chemotherapy and immunotherapy.
  4. Explore potential interventions to counteract bacterial drug degradation to enhance treatment outcomes.


This project will be performed under the guidance of Prof. Silvia Uccella (Silvia Uccella - Hunimed) and Prof. Salvatore Piscuoglio (Salvatore Piscuoglio - Hunimed) in the Precision Medicine research group and will closely cooperate with the Prof. Maria Rescigno (Maria Rescigno - Hunimed) research group


The successful candidate will be responsible of:

  • Microbiota Profiling and Analysis
  • Perform fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis and gene sequencing to identify and profile intratumor microbiota in histopathological samples.
  • Conduct culturomic experiments to isolate and identify live bacteria from tumor tissues
  • Assess the ability of bacteria isolated from tumor tissues to degrade chemotherapeutic drugs using mass spectrometry and functional genomic approaches.
  • Conduct in vitro and in vivo experiments to understand the mechanisms used by bacteria to resist chemotherapy.



Qualifications required:


Candidate must have a PhD degree in biology, biochemistry, molecular biology, biotechnology, pharmacology or similar disciplines.


Technical skills:


  • Strong interest in cancer biology
  • Hands-on experience handling patient samples.
  • Hands-on experience with cell culture and flow cytometry techniques.
  • Experience in drug screening is highly desirable.
  • Once trained, the candidates must be able to work independently.
  • Organized and detail-oriented, able to maintain accurate documentation of experiments and sample information.
  • Collaborative, able to work effectively in a team.
  • Ability to interpret the data and to generate hypotheses.
  • Experience with grant writing


Preferred candidate choice requirements:


  • Experience in primary cell culture and 3D cultures.
  • Fluency in English (B2 minimum)
  • Experience with manuscript writing
  • Ability to multi-task.


Humanitas on the basis of the profiles received, will activate in the terms indicated, the screening process by inviting suitable candidates to participate in the interviews of selection, after verification of the cv and qualifications, which will be held in presence or in call.


The recruitment board, will be composed by the Project Manager and the Human Resources Department, will be responsible for the overall evaluation and cv received and will give feedback to the candidates within 60 days of the first interview.


All candidate data collected from the application shall be processed in accordance with applicable law: Dlgs 198/2006 e dei Dlgs 215/2003 e 216/2003;  privacy ex artt. 13 e 14 del Reg. UE 2016/679.