Research Assistant on Therapy resistance and immune evasion on a novel MNK inhibitor (PPCC-MnkImmunOnco)

With the aim to recruit research staff for the implementation of one of the sixteen “Collaborative Projects” selected in Catalonia within the framework of the Complementary Plan for Biotechnology in Catalonia, this selection process is opened. This Complementary Plan is co-funded by the Ministry of Science and Innovation and the Generalitat de Catalunya under the C17.I1 of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan (PRTR).

1. Introduction to vacant position:

VHIR Translational Molecular Pathology group is looking for a Research Assistant to work on therapy resistance and immune evasion.

We have identified with EB1 the first in-class Type-II inhibitor of MNKs and have demonstrated its superior mode of action. Proof of concept studies have revealed increased sensitivity to anti-hormonal treatments in castration resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) cells. In the context of immune therapy, we can demonstrate that EB1 increases the efficacy of CAR-T cells in a breast cancer model in vitro.

The project of the selected candidate will focus on the application of EB1 in mouse models in vivo, pharmacodynamic lead optimization and mode of action studies by single cell sequencing.

The contract will be within the framework of the “Overcoming therapy resistance and immune evasion with a novel MNK inhibitor” (MnkImmunOnco) project prioritized by the IBEC under the “Plan Complementario de Biotecnología aplicada a la Salud” (biotechnology applied to health).

This Plan Complementario is co-financed by the Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación and the Generalitat de Catalunya, with funds from the European Union NextGenerationEU (PRTR-C17.I1).

2. The successful candidate will develop research involving:

Under the direction of Dr. Santiago Ramón y Cajal, the main tasks of the selected person are the supervision and guidance of the personal to perform the experiments for the proposed project:

  • Design of experiments to prepare samples for pharmacodynamic analysis of EB1 in vitro and in vivo. Analysis and interpretation of results and test of new formulations to optimize EB1 for the use in vivo.
  • Setup of animal models of AR-V7 positive CRPC and breast cancer model for CAR-T cell-based therapy.
  • Performance of efficacy studies combing EB1 with standard of care in CRPC models and with CAR-T cell-based therapy.
  • Adapt existing in vitro models for compatibility with downstream analysis by single cell sequencing.
  • Assistance in data analysis, interpretation of the results as well as plan and execute validation experiments for the obtained data.
  • Coordinate with clinicians (pathologist) sample collection and IHC analysis for patient stratification.
  • Write reports and scientific publications resulting from the work.

The selected candidate will coordinate the proposed project at the VHIR Translational Molecular Pathology, located at the Vall de Hebron Institute of Research (VHIR) in Barcelona.

3. Requirements for candidates

  • In 3rd or 4rth year of PhD in the area of biomedical sciences.
  • Experience in a research laboratory
  • Extensive knowledge in the area of small molecule inhibitors and their further development.
  • Experience in the design of experiments for the research project
  • Experience in guidance of personal (PhD and Master students) involved in the project.
  • Previous experience in a molecular biology research laboratory
  • Implementation and standardization of new laboratory techniques.
  • Experience in pharmaceutical chemistry is a plus.

We Offer:

  • Number of available positions: 1
  • Starting date: Between 1st of April and the 16th of June 2023
  • Working conditions: 
  • Full time 18-month contract. Attractive salary
  • Measures to reconcile work and family life (maternity and paternity leave, flexible schedule working hours, teleworking, 23 working days of paid holidays, 9 leave days for personal matters, among others).
  • Stimulating, interdisciplinary research and high-quality international scientific environment.
  • IBEC ensures equality of access to professional development opportunities irrespective of employment status, length at IBEC or other factors. The IBEC’s yearly training catalogue offers a wide range of training in technical and transferable skills including mobility grants and a Mentoring programme for predoctral and postdoctoral researchers.
  • Induction programme to facilitate incorporation at IBEC and additional support is provided for foreigners to obtain Visa-working permit and to install in Barcelona.

How to apply:

Until March 8th an online application form is available through IBEC dedicated site:  

Only those applications submitted before the deadline will be evaluated.

Reference: PPCC-MnkImmunOnco

If you have any further questions regarding your application or the application process, please get in touch with us at

If you have any questions regarding a project or the Complementary Plan, please get in touch with us at

Principles of the selection process:

IBEC is committed to the principles of the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers of the European Commission and the Open, Transparent and Merit based Recruitment principles (OTM-R).

IBEC´s Commitment on equal opportunity:

Our strength and excellence as an international transdisciplinary Research Institute are based on diversity.  Being an equal opportunity employer, we are committed to diversity and inclusion, so that we support employees irrespective of their gender, nationality, religion, disabilities, age, sexual identity or cultural and socioeconomic background.”

Protection of personal data:

IBEC guarantees that candidates’ personal data are processed in accordance with the requirements of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Law 3/2018 on Data Protection.

Personal data will be processed solely for the purposes of the selection process.

Who we are?

The Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia, IBEC is an interdisciplinary research center focused on Bioengineering and Nanomedicine based in Barcelona. IBEC is one of the top research institutions named as a Severo Ochoa Research Centre by the Ministry of Science, Universities and Innovation, which recognizes excellence at the highest international level in terms of research, training, human resources, outreach and technology transfer.

IBEC’s mission is to develop international high-quality interdisciplinary research that, while creating knowledge, contributes to making a better quality of life, improving health and creating wealth. A close link with key universities, reference hospitals and corporations, are assets that facilitate achieving the mission.

IBEC was established in 2005 by the Generalitat de Catalunya (Autonomous Government of Catalonia), the University of Barcelona (UB) and the Technical University of Catalonia (UPC).

IBEC is located within the Barcelona Science Park and is managing 3.800 square meters facilities, with an annual budget of 13 Mio€; 3.800 square meters of facilities; 21 research groups and a team of researchers and support services of 350 people from 30 different countries.