Junior Principal Investigator (Team Leader) in Laboratory for RIKEN-IFOM Cancer Genomics

PI position, Jan 2018


The FIRC Institute of Molecular Oncology (IFOM) in Milan has initiated a collaborative alliance on cancer research with RIKEN Centre for Integrative Medical Sciences (IMS) 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 is expexcted to engage in first class research in any aspect of cancer genomics, capitalizing on technologies developed at RIKEN, computational biology and large datasets available.
She/he will have full access to centralized service facilities needed to conduct an independent research program, including next generation sequencing, robotics, bioinformatics tools, servers, genome element and related databases, cell culture, single cell genomics and other general laboratory facilities.
She/he will be offered an attractive salary, a competitive start-up package and access to graduate students and post-doctoral fellows. The candidate will be based in Yokohama (Japan) and operate within a highly interactive, 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.
The internationally acknowledged expertise of IFOM scientists in Milan (Italy) can be exploited both at a collaborative or at an advisory level. 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: www.ifom.eu/en/


The RIKEN Centre for Integrative Medical Sciences (RIKEN IMS)is focused on research for understanding genomic functions and disease through genome analysis; elucidating the processes of immune-related homeostatic regulation and breakdown in humans; and investigating disease systems through the data collection, measurement and modelling of environmental responses. The center also carries out basic cancer immunology research that integrates all these fields with the aim of applying them to personalized cancer treatments and the like. These efforts will help to promote the establishment of a research system to bridge the path to societal implementation of breakthrough treatments
Website: www.riken.jp/en/research/labs/clst/

The Division of Genomic Technologies (DGT)promotes comprehensive analysis of gene expression and its functions by the functional genomics approaches, and elucidation of disease onset mechanisms based on the human genome.
Website: 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: positive attitude to collaborative work, 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 Integrative Medical Sciences (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 with photograph and E-mail address
  2. List of publications (primary publications, reviews and books), presentations, etc. in the past ten years
  3. Major publications. [Up to five. Indicate the papers that will be submitted on the list of publications (#2). Also indicate the number of citations of these publications at the time of application submission, and the method used to obtain this number.]
  4. Future research plans and research philosophy/vision (Up to ten A4-size pages) including:
    - Abstract of your research plans and vision.
    - Specific description of your near and mid-term research plans - their significance, originality, novelty and expected impact. Include a brief description of previous research and achievements that form the basis of your plans.
    - List of competitive external funding awarded currently and in the last 5 years as well as currently submitted/under review proposals (e.g. Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research [KAKENHI]; indicate whether you are the primary investigator or a collaborator)
  5. One letter of recommendation from your current supervisor, as well as letters of recommendation from two researchers.
    *Recommendation letters should be addressed to "IFOM Scientific Director" and "Director of the Center for Integrative Medical Sciences" and include the recommender’s name, affiliation, position and E-mail address.
    *The signature (or seal) of the person providing the recommendation is required.
  6. Certificate of graduation or copy of diploma for the highest degree obtained (photocopy acceptable) or official letter of impending graduation. (This document can be sent anytime up until the day of the interview.)


  • 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 April 2018 (Negotiable)

Selection process

Only persons who pass the application screening will be interviewed

Mail contact: rikenapplication-team@ifom.eu

Disclaimer privacy

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last update: 21/02/18