Careers at Children's Cancer Institute
Senior Scientist In Vitro (PM)

Randwick - Sydney, Australia  
Employment Type:
Full-Time Fixed Term  
Personalised Medicine (PM)
Supporting Documentation:

  • Innovative, collaborative and positive team-orientated environment
  • Modern, world-class facilities
  • Convenient Randwick location, close to transport

Children’s Cancer Institute is the only medical research institute in Australia wholly dedicated to curing childhood cancer and one of the leading medical childhood cancer research institutes worldwide. Our vision is to save the lives of all children with cancer and improve their long-term health, we don’t just hope to do it, we will do it; and we’re looking for the brightest minds to help us get there. Children’s Cancer Institute provides the best possible environment for our staff thrive with state-of-the-art facilities at the Lowy Cancer Research Centre, UNSW Australia – one of the leading cancer research centres in the world.

We are leading the national Zero Childhood Cancer personalised medicine program for children with the most aggressive cancers, in partnership with the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network. Zero Childhood Cancer is the most exciting childhood cancer research initiative ever undertaken in Australia and is a world-leading initiative

We currently have an outstanding opportunity for a Senior Scientist to join our Personalised Medicine team on a full-time fixed-term contract ending on 31 December 2021 with great potential of extension. This individual will lead the development and implementation of an in vitro drug sensitivity testing platform for multiple childhood cancer types as part of the Zero Childhood Cancer Personalised Medicine Program. This will involve working with a large team of researchers to develop novel in vitro tumour models and assays, testing the correlation of drug sensitivity profiles between in vitro tumour models and in vivo xenografts, extending the current platform to include drug combination screening, directing the publication of research manuscripts and ensuring routine in vitro screening of patient cells as part of an ongoing national clinical trial. A further role for this individual will be to further develop a drug response prediction database, and lead the integration of core databases as part of an international consortium focused on implementing standardised in vitro drug sensitivity testing methods as a central platform in ongoing and future clinical trials. This position requires experience with in vitro cell-based screening assays, cell imaging, primary in vitro tumour model development and drug screening.

Responsibilities will include, but are not limited to:
  • Lead the development of novel in vitro tumour models for multiple tumour types, including 3-dimensional formats, co-culture, imaging assays and cell assay miniaturisation to exploit the limited amount of tumour material received for in vitro drug testing
  • Own and lead the coordination of activities to be undertaken by members of the newly formed Global in vitro Harmonisation Consortium to achieve collectively agreed goals
  • Work in close partnership with the ACRF Drug Discovery Centre, based within Children’s Cancer Institute, to develop and implement a drug combination system as part of the in vitro drug sensitivity testing platform
  • Oversee and direct the generation of research manuscripts arising from the development and implementation of the above drug sensitivity testing platform, and work closely with Preclinical Drug Testing Core and ‘Omics team members to collect relevant data required for additional manuscripts led by other team members
  • Ensure the routine in vitro drug testing of patient cells, in collaboration with the ACRF Drug Discovery Centre, as part of the ongoing national clinical trial for personalised medicine
  • Preparation of samples and liaison with couriers and external laboratory collaborators for sample distribution
  • Expand and maintain the in vitro drug sensitivity profiling database and lead the integration of this, and other associated databases, formed to test and apply functional precision medicine to improve therapeutic choices for children with cancer
Qualifications, experience and skills required:
  • Tertiary qualifications including a doctorate in relevant scientific or medical field
  • More than 5 years’ experience of demonstrated ability to plan and conduct experiments
  • Experience with biochemical and cell biology, and in vitro assay development
  • Excellent technical and scientific understanding of drug testing methodologies in an in vitro setting
  • Experience with primary cell cultures
  • Demonstrated leadership potential


Children’s Cancer Institute is strongly committed to the growth of their employees, so all team members can fulfil their aspirations. You'll be rewarded with a friendly and professional flexible work environment, comprehensive on-campus facilities, competitive salary, salary packaging options, on-site parking options, access to a leading EAP program and regular social activities. Join a group of dedicated people in a performance-driven environment to achieve success and discover what it's like to look forward to coming to work every day and make a real difference. We're looking for people who share our values of accountability, integrity and camaraderie, teamwork, sharing and excellence, success and satisfaction.

A detailed job description and additional information about Children's Cancer Institute can be found on our website at: We embrace diversity and encourage applications from people from diverse backgrounds and cultures.

To apply, please click the 'APPLY' link and forward both your resume AND cover letter clearly addressing the qualifications, experience and skills required.  Note: Applications will be reviewed prior to the closing date; which is dependent on the status of the recruitment process.