Research Scientist

Richmond, Virginia
Commensurate with experience
May 20 2019
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

Virginia Commonwealth University and Massey Cancer Center

VCU Massey Cancer Center is one of only 69 National Cancer Institute-designated institutions in the country that leads and shapes America’s cancer research efforts. Working with all kinds of cancers, Massey conducts basic science, translational, clinical and prevention and control cancer research, provides state-of-the-art treatments, and promotes cancer education and training. Since 1974, Massey has served as an internationally recognized center of excellence. It offers one of the largest selections of cancer clinical trials in Virginia and serves patients at multiple sites throughout the state. Its 1,000-plus researchers, clinicians and staff members are dedicated to improving the quality of human life by developing and delivering effective means to prevent, control and ultimately cure cancer.  Massey successfully renewed its Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG) in 2016.

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, Virginia, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 226 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Sixty-seven of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 13 schools and one college. MCV Hospitals and the health sciences schools including the Schools of Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing, Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions comprise VCU Medical Center, one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers. Today, VCU serves an integral role in the economic health of the city of Richmond and the region by educating the current and future workforce, advancing research, and enhancing patient care. VCU, its health system and other related entities have cash and investments of approximately $3.0 billion, which includes $840 million in endowment funds.

We are seeking applications from highly motivated Senior Research Scientists to join the laboratory of Dr. Sebti at Massey Cancer Center and the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology. The research focus of the laboratory is to understand at the basic science level how normal cells become malignant and to translate such fundamental knowledge to the clinic. Specifically, the candidates will be involved in exciting and highly integrated inter-disciplinary research projects concerning understanding aberrant oncogenic KRas signal transduction pathways in cancer and designing novel anti-cancer drugs based on this knowledge.

Examples of projects that the candidates will be performing and responsible for are:

  1. Understanding how oncogenic K-Ras and Ral GTPase regulate the tumor suppressor p53. 
  2. Identifying kinases that are synthetically lethal with mutant K-Ras.
  3. Identifying small molecules that bind K-Ras and inhibit its GTP activation, binding to its effectors and blocking oncogenesis.
  4. Identifying cell surface proteins specifically expressed on human cancers that harbor mutant K-Ras.
  5. Developing dual FTase and GGTase -1 inhibitors as novel anti-cancer drugs targeting human tumors that harbor mutant K-Ras.


Education: Highly talented individuals with PhD and extensive experience in cancer molecular biology, biochemistry, cell biology, pharmacology, in vivo anti-tumor efficacy in animal models and/or drug discovery:

  1. Research Scientists: Ph.D. and 3-6 years relevant experience 
  2. Senior Research Scientists: Ph.D. and 6+ years relevant experience


  1. Hands-on experience in cancer molecular biology, biochemistry, cell biology and/or pharmacology
  2. Experience with in vitro and in vivo assay development as it relates to drug discovery
  3. Ability to design and perform experiments, to manage research projects, and to analyze and interpret data, to make conclusions and plan forward. 
  4. Ability to maintain detailed documentation through electronic and notebook means.
  5. Excellent past productivity as documented by publications
  6. Demonstrated creativity, high motivation, solid communication skills and experience in writing progress reports and manuscripts for peer-reviewed publications. 
  7. Ability to work independently as well as demonstrated ability to work professionally and efficiently within the research group as a team player. 
  8. A good understanding of biology and a track record in working closely with experimentalists and clinicians is preferred.

Candidate must have a demonstrated commitment to diversity or a commitment to do so as a staff member at VCU.

Online applications will be accepted at

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