Junior Principal Investigator (Unit Leader) in IFOM-RIKEN CLST Cancer Genomics Unit

PI position, May 2017

To Apply: rikenapplication-team@ifom.eu

The FIRC Institute of Molecular Oncology (IFOM) in Milan has initiated a collaborative alliance on cancer research with RIKEN Centre for Life Sciences Technologies in Yokohama Japan. We are looking for an outstanding scientist with a strong scientific track record. A tenure track position at junior level is offered for a six-years period. The selected investigator will have full access to centralized service facilities needed to conduct an independent research program. She/he will be offered an attractive salary, a competitive start-up package and access to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. The candidate will be based in Yokohama (Japan) and operate within a highly stimulating scientific environment internationally recognized for functional genomics studies at both population and single-cell level, as well as for its top-class technological services including high-throughput screening platforms. Close interactions with IFOM scientists will be fostered through regular visits to Milan (Italy).



The FIRC Institute of Molecular Oncology (IFOM) is an international, non-profit research centre headquartered in Milan (Italy) and funded by the Italian Foundation for Cancer Research (FIRC). IFOM has rapidly developed into an attractive environment for cutting edge science aimed at understanding the molecular processes responsible for the onset and development of cancer. IFOM has joint laboratories in India and Singapore.
Website: http://www.ifom.eu/en/


The RIKEN Centre for Life Sciences Technologies (RIKEN CLST) has two core purposes. One is to develop key technologies for breakthroughs in the medical and pharmaceutical applications of life science. The other is to conduct groundbreaking research and development for the next-generation life sciences.
Website: http://www.riken.jp/en/research/labs/clst/

The Division of Genomic Technologies (DGT) plans to develop methods for screening of key regulatory factors, with selection based on transcriptional networks, epigenomes and ncRNAs, in order to establish a pipeline to accomplish complete cell conversion methods, including differentiation of stem cells safely and terminally. We also develop methods for diagnosis of human biomarkers for human health and diseases.
Website: http://www.riken.jp/en/research/labs/clst/genom_tech/

Research Topics

The research topics are related to various aspects of cancer functional genomics, to leverage the expertise in cancer of IFOM with the functional genomics expertise of RIKEN. The research will cover one or more of the fields listed below. However, candidates proposing alternative original and attractive aspects of cancer genomics will be considered. We will not consider, however, large scale cancer genome sequencing proposals.

  • Role of long non-coding RNAs in the regulation of the cancer epigenome;
  • Nuclear architecture control of enhancer/gene interactions in human stem/iPS cells and in the context of cell differentiation, cancer and aging;
  • Post-transcriptional control of gene expression in normal and cancer cells with particular emphasis given to the study of RNA binding proteins;
  • Single cell transcriptomics and genomics to study cellular heterogeneity in cancer;
  • DNA Replication, transcription and fragile sites in normal and cancerous cells.


The ideal candidate should hold a PhD degree in an area relevant to the research field, with advanced research experience in cancer genomics or related fields and broad understanding of genomics methodologies and bioinformatics/ computational biology approaches. The ability of the candidate to work between wet (experimental biology) and dry fields (bioinformatics, computational biology) will be positively considered. Additional favorable qualifications include: previous experience in managing other researchers/postdocs, a strong leadership, demonstrated ability to obtain competetive funding, including fellowships.
We are looking for a strong communicator with ability to coordinate and collaborate with persons of different nationalities both inside and outside the lab. Professional spoken and written English* is mandatory to participate to research discussions, write research papers and to submit research applications to national and international funding agencies We will consider candidates with outstanding publication track in high-impact journals (for example: first/last/ corresponding authorship in top-ranking journals) in the areas releated to the research field.
*Knowledge of Japanese language is not required.

Work location

RIKEN Center for Life Science Technologies (Yokohama Campus)
1-7-22 Suehiro-cho, Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa 230-0045, Japan

Salary and contracts:

Salary will be paid as a fixed amount in Japanese Yen on the basis of a 3+3 years tenure track contract. Further details about contract, salary and benefits (e.g. health and social insurance, relocation expenses) will be negotiated with selected candidates individually.

Required documents

Prepare the documents below as PDF (max size 5 Mb) and send it to rikenapplication-team@ifom.eu

  1. CV and E-mail address
  2. Up to 5 top publications in international peer reviewed scientific journals
  3. Complete list of publications (articles, reviews and books), presentations and others
  4. Brief description of previous research and achievements (A4 2 pages)
  5. Summary of research interests and future perspectives (A4 3-4 pages)
  6. List of competitive external funds obtained; indicate whether you are the main researcher or a collaborator
  7. Two letters of recommendation (one from the current supervisor and one from your past supervisor). *
    *Recommendation letter should be addressed to IFOM Scientific Director and to the Director of CLST.


  • All documents should be prepared in English (including the recommenation letter)
  • Application documents will not be returned.


Deadline: Until the position is filled.

Start of employment

Earliest date possible after 1st September, 2017 (Negotiable)

Selection process

Only persons who pass the application screening will be interviewed.

Mail contact: rikenapplication-team@ifom.eu

last update: 12/07/17
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