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Job-Art: Wissenschaftliche Jobausschreibungen

PhD Student position

Cancer research
EXTRO-Lab, Dept. of Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology, Medical University of Innsbruck


PhD Thesis: Radiation-induced and obesity dependent NK cell activities against metastatic breast cancer cells


Radiation therapy (RT) is one of the leading therapeutic approaches used in the management of metastatic breast cancer (BC). However, currently existing RT schedules are limited in their efficacy due to the impossibility to reach a curative radiation dose for killing of aggressive and radiation resistant carcinoma cells. Although high-LET irradiation could more efficiently eradicate therapy resistant carcinoma cells in comparison with photon-based RT, it is unclear whether it could also better mobilize immune cells for elimination of undifferentiated and radioresistant cancer stem cells (CSCs). Currently, overweight and obesity is an increasing problem that can diminish an efficacy of RT and alter immune response in patients with metastatic BC. Unfortunately, it is still unknown how adipocytes can contribute to the crosstalk between carcinoma and immune cells upon low- and high-LET radiation exposure.

Research objectives: elucidation of the role of obese microenvironment in the regulation of cytotoxic activities of low- and high-LET ionizing radiations and NK cells against BC cells with enhanced metastatic properties.

Major activities: in vitro experiments with cultured cancer cells, adipocytes and NK cells (cell irradiation, cell viability assay, clonogenic survival assay, various migration assays, exosome isolation followed by evaluation of protein profiling (microscopy using the Nanolive 3D-Explorer-FLUO, Western blot analysis, ELISA), apoptosis measurements (FACS analysis), immunocytochemistry, etc.



- Master degree in molecular biology, biochemistry or related disciplines (The general requirement for admission to the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Program is the successful completion of a master's program or an equivalent degree program, as regards the duration and course structure, at a recognized Austrian or foreign post-secondary institution of education that offers the required professional background and preparation for entering the program).

- Any previous experience in scientific lab work

- Peer-reviewed publications are an asset

- Deep sense for responsibility and high degree of self-motivation

- Good communication skills with the ability to communicate with diverse individuals and groups (experience in conference presentations). Fluent English (spoken and written)

Expected start of the work – March 2023

Salary: Gross salary 40.860,00 EURO per year (based on the FWF personnel costs for 2022)

Duration: 30 hours/week; 3 years

Application: Please submit your application by e-mail (Ira.Skvortsova(at)i-med.ac.at; Ira.Skvortsova(at)tirol-kliniken.at). Your application should contain: CV, a copy of Diploma or Certificate of Master degree; motivation letter including description of your professional and laboratory skills, names and contact data of at least two academic referees.


Name: PD Dr. Ira-Ida Skvortsova
Telefon: +43-512-504-27758
Fax: +43-512-504-27756

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