Postdoctoral Researcher in Dr. Côté's Lab

Postdoctoral researcher to study the role of the AXL receptor tyrosine kinase in cell trafficking and the metastatic cascade of breast cancer.

The IRCM's Cytoskeletal Organization and Cell Migration Research Unit, headed by Dr. Jean-François Côté, Canada Research Chair in Cellular Signaling and Cancer Metastasis, is seeking to recruit a postdoctoral researcher to carry out a project on the AXL kinase, aimed at defining its role in cell trafficking and the metastatic cascade of breast cancer. This project is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). The Côté laboratory has an internationally recognized expertise in cell signaling and cancer biology. 

AXL is a receptor tyrosine kinase highly expressed in cancers that correlate with a poor prognosis and a high risk of developing metastasis. Our aim is to elucidate the role of AXL in cytoskeletal rearrangement, cell signaling and migration, and tumor progression. The knowledge acquired in cellular models will be transposed to mouse models of breast cancer to reveal the role of AXL in the metastatic cascade. This international study will contribute to accelerate the development of new therapies for breast cancer patients with AXL overexpression. Here are some of the laboratory's key publications on this subject:

Targeting Axl favors an antitumorigenic microenvironment that enhances immunotherapy responses by decreasing Hif-α levels. PNAS USA 2021 (PMID: 34266948

AXL confers cell migration and invasion by hijacking a PEAK1-regulated focal adhesion protein network. Nature Communications 2021 (PMID: 32681075)

Mapping the proximity interaction network of the Rho-family GTPases reveals signalling pathways and regulatory mechanisms. Nature Cell Biology 2020 (PMID: 31871319) 

The receptor tyrosine kinase AXL is required at multiple steps of the metastatic cascade during HER2-positive breast cancer progression. Cell Reports 2018 (PMID: 29719259)

Summary of responsibilities
The AXL project has a significant scientific and therapeutic scope. The candidate will need to master and/or be willing to learn basic molecular and cell biology methods such as molecular cloning, cell culture, co-immunoprecipitation and immunoblot techniques, proliferation and cell migration assays (random migration, cell healing) and microscopy (immunofluorescence, real-time microscopy). This project may also require some proteomics analysis (e.g. BioID, AP-MS). We will give priority to a candidate with an expertise in the development and analysis of murine cancer models. The candidate will be responsible for independently designing and executing experiments, analyzing data, presenting their results at laboratory meetings and conferences (local and international), writing manuscripts for publication in scientific journals, and participating in the preparation of funding applications. The candidate will also contribute to the supervision of laboratory students. In-person work is mandatory for this position.

Financial support and duration of contract
45 000$/year. The duration of the contract will be discussed with the research director.
If the candidate receives an external fellowship of less than 41 500$ per year, the candidate will automatically receive a bonus equivalent to 10% or more of the external fellowship received. If the external fellowship exceeds 45 000$, a similar bonus can be obtained with the approval of the research director.

Getting to IRCM
The IRCM is located at the corner of rue St-Urbain and avenue des Pins, near downtown and Plateau Mont-Royal. The Place-des-Arts (green line) and Sherbrooke (orange line) metros are a 10-minute walk away. We are connected by several bike paths, including those on rue St-Urbain and avenue des Pins. We have secure bicycle parking. There are also several parking lots in the area offering reasonably priced daily and monthly packages.

Qualifications required

  • PhD in biochemistry, biology or molecular biology (or related field)
  • At least one manuscript published or in preparation (e.g. bioRixv) as first author
  • Independence, autonomy and productivity in laboratory experiments
  • Ability to generate new research hypothesis to answer the project's scientific questions and to bring the project to fruition.
  • Fluency in English (written and verbal)
  • The Côté laboratory is a respectful, pleasant and non-discriminatory working environment. This behavior is required of the candidate.

How to apply :
Your curriculum vitae, a covering letter and contact details for three references should be sent to

The IRCM is an autonomous, not-for-profit research institution, affiliated with the Université de Montréal and associated with McGill University. In addition, the Institute's clinic is associated with the Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CHUM). All IRCM researchers hold university appointments at the Université de Montréal, and most research directors are also associate members of McGill University. Located in the heart of Montreal's academic community, the IRCM attracts the best researchers. Every year, more than a hundred master's and doctoral students, as well as some fifty postdoctoral fellows, supervised by experienced researchers in various fields of biomedical research, come to improve and/or polish their scientific training at the Institute.  

The training of students, trainees and employees is an integral mission of IRCM, and we aim to attract and retain the best scientists. We have a dedicated academic affairs team with the primary mission of providing a respectful work environment and supporting all members of the IRCM community. IRCM's Code of Collegial Conduct clearly specifies that respect for people and gender equality is a core value of our institution, and we recognize diversity as a strength and a source of richness. IRCM strives to provide an environment that promotes and supports the inclusion and fair representation of women, members of the LGBTQ+ community, people living with disabilities and people from ethnic, cultural and religious minorities.

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