Principal Investigator in Cancer Research and Oncology Drug Discovery

Principal Investigator in Cancer Research and Oncology Drug Discovery

SOUTHERN RESEARCH INSTITUTE is seeking outstanding scientists to join the faculty of the Oncology Department in the Drug Discovery Division.  We are a grant-based research program focused on cancer biology and anticancer drug discovery. Candidates with research interests in the following areas are particularly encouraged to apply: cancer immunotherapy, cancer stem cells, and genomic instability.  To be considered, applicants must: 1) possess a Ph.D. (or equivalent) degree in biomedical sciences or related disciplines, and 2) have an active externally funded research program.  This position is equivalent in rank to an Associate or Full Professor in an academic institution.  In contrast to traditional academic environments wherein the Principal Investigator's time is typically split between research, teaching and administrative responsibilities, Southern Research uniquely offers the opportunity for a Principal Investigator to exclusively focus on engaging in research and professional development activities.  Competitive start-up fund will be provided.  Applications should include curriculum vitae, a 1-2 page description of prior research experience, and a description of future research goals.   Southern Research Institute is a not-for-profit research organization academically affiliated with the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), where many of our faculty members have adjunct appointments in the various basic science departments.  The Drug Discovery Division focuses on three therapeutic areas:  oncology, and infectious diseases, and CNS disease.  Continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health and other federal and private organizations, we have had long-standing success in anticancer drug discovery. Six FDA-approved anticancer drugs (lomustine, carmustine, dacarbazine, fludarabine, clofarabine, and pralatrexate) and one cytoprotective agent (Ethyol) to reduce toxicities associated with cancer chemotherapy and radiotherapy have been discovered at Southern Research. Additional anticancer drugs have advanced to clinical trials. Over the last two decades, the Cancer Research Program has received more than 90 million dollars in NIH funding. Notable cancer researchers who worked at the institute include Howard Skipper, John Montgomery, Frank Schabel and Lee Bennett Jr. As part of a large biomedical research community in Birmingham, we are committed to providing a stimulating and rewarding work environment.  Close proximity to the UAB campus facilitates interactions with academic and clinical personnel that are affiliated with UAB basic science departments, and the NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Alabama Drug Discovery Alliance.  In addition, Southern Research Institute is an NCI-designated Chemical Biology Consortium Center where our scientists have been actively involved in NCI’s Drug Discovery and Development projects.   BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA has a high standard of living afforded by a moderate climate, beautiful wooded terrain, outstanding residential communities and schools, world-class healthcare, below average cost of living, and a vibrant arts and entertainment scene.  In 2015, Birmingham lands the No. 1 spot on Forbes' list of America’s Most Affordable Cities.   

General Summary  The investigator will function as an independent researcher who manages self-funded programs within the Drug Discovery Division.  The role will be responsible for successfully preparing research proposals, planning and conducting experiments, interpreting and reporting results, and management of research staff.  

Key Responsibilities

  • Must independently design a research program and be responsible for all work pursued in their laboratory.
  • Ability to function as an independent investigator who manages a research program.
  • Accountable for advancing research in a specified area.
  • Sought out both internally and externally as a scientific/technical specialist in a field of research.

  Position Specific Responsibilities

  • Applies learned skills in project management methodology to ensure that research grants/research contracts are effectively managed.Ensures quality of product and/or service delivered; manages project budget and project risk factors.
  • Publishes work in high quality journals.
  • People reporting relationships may be a combination of direct and/or indirect.If role has direct reports, incumbent will receive training in HR related processes including performance management, salary administration, discipline, and hiring.
  • Provides training and development opportunities for both indirect and/or direct reports as necessary.
  • Provides resolutions to diverse range of complex scientific problems.
  • May sit on national advisory committees.
  • Uses judgment within defined policies, practices and procedures.
  • Ensures compliance to all regulatory and safety requirements for work with select agents.
  • Observes appropriate safety requirements.
  • Perform other duties as may be required by supervisor.

  Requirements/Minimum Qualifications

  • Ph.D. in cancer biology, biochemistry, molecular biology, pharmacology, or a related discipline. 
  • Cancer biology research experience.
  • 3+ years of independent research experience.
  • Must have an externally funded research program.
  • Excellent written & oral communications skills.
  • Ability to write successful grant proposals.
  • Track record obtaining significant external research funding.
  • Must be recognized as a scientific/technical specialist in a field of research.
  • Strong project management skills.
  • Knowledge of use of protective equipment and safety protocols.