Postdoctoral and Graduate Opportunities

Contact and application details can be found at the end of each description.

The University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center (UNMCCC) is seeking a motivated, detail-oriented and enthusiastic graduate student to join our team as a graduate research assistant (GRA). The GRA will work on multiple innovative research studies focused on health services research to enhance cancer screenings in American Indian communities in New Mexico. This includes testing the efficacy of graded intensity interventions on screenings, implementing evidence-based interventions on clinical outcomes and implementing and resting cognitive/behavioral interventions. These studies seek to increase cancer screenings and examine cost effectiveness of various intervention strategies. The position will also work directly with UNMCCC staff and faculty in addition to community research partners. The GRA will be appointed for one year at 20 hours a week. Health insurance, tuition, and fees will be covered.

Role and responsibilities

  • Conduct literature reviews and assist in manuscript preparation
  • Assist with qualitative data collection and analysis
  • Data entry and scanning using SNAP software
  • Attend and participate in project meetings
  • Support project coordination
  • Other job-related duties as assigned

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Graduate student interested in gaining experience in community-based cancer control research
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills
  • Completion of human subjects training (CITI)
  • Knowledge of MS Office applications

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience with qualitative research and software (NVivo)
  • Currently pursuing a graduate degree in a STEM-H field
  • Experience and knowledge of population health research methods, data collection and analysis

How to apply:

Positions for the Fall 2021 semester and Spring 2022 semester are available. Interested candidates should email their resume to Judith Sheche.

The University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center (UNMCCC) is seeking a highly motivated postdoctoral researcher to participate in a variety of projects concerning cancer risk reduction, screening determinants, multilevel/multicomponent behavioral interventions, and cancer epidemiology. The candidate will be encouraged to develop independent projects along these lines of research.

Dr. Shiraz Mishra, Leader of the Cancer Control and Population Science research program at the UNMCCC, will supervise the postdoctoral work. We seek a candidate with background and interests that complement existing strengths in:

  1. cancer health disparities;
  2. social/environmental determinants of health;
  3. multilevel behavioral interventions;
  4. indigenous health;
  5. health services research;
  6. behavioral and social science methodologies (e.g., mixed methods research, implementation research, big data analytics); and
  7. rural health.


  1. Design community-based participatory, clinical, and epidemiological research studies
  2. Collaborate on developing study strategies, methods, and designs
  3. Conduct quantitative or qualitative data analyses and interpret study findings
  4. Write manuscripts for peer-reviewed publications and research reports
  5. Assist with grant development and writing
  6. Disseminate research findings through conference presentations

Minimum Qualifications

Qualified individuals must have completed a PhD, MD, or equivalent doctoral degree in health services research, behavioral science, epidemiology, public health, or related field. The position requires excellent analytical, writing, and communication skills. History of working with indigenous populations, peer-reviewed publications, and analytical skills for large datasets are preferred. Applicant must be proficient in SAS, Stata, R, or equivalent statistical package.

Qualified individuals must be a US citizen or have permanent resident status. Women, minorities, and candidates from other underrepresented groups are especially encouraged to apply.

To Apply

Interested candidates should send a cover letter (describing training and research experience), full CV, and a list of at least three references (with contact information) to:


Judith Sheche
Research Scientist
UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center

A new position is available for an experienced postdoctoral fellow in the Adams Lab ( in the Cancer Therapeutics Research Program at the University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Dr. Adams is a gynecologic oncologist with a research focus in ovarian tumor immunology. Recent work in her lab identified therapeutic synergy with the combination of PARP inhibition and CTLA4 immune checkpoint blockade in preclinical models of ovarian cancer. This work was translated to two clinical trials (NCT02571725, NCG04034927) led by Dr. Adams. Correlative studies have identified candidate biomarkers of response based on gene expression profiling of archived tumor samples from subjects enrolled in these trials. A protein of interest has been identified which is associated with membrane dynamics, and experiments are planned to investigate a potential role for this protein in lymphocyte function and immune regulation. This work is supported by NCI and pharmaceutical funding and will be conducted in collaboration with Rita Serda, PhD.

Key Responsibilities

We are seeking an experienced postdoctoral fellow to develop and lead this project.  The scope of work is expected to include analysis of patient samples as well as preclinical modeling in syngeneic and patient-derived xenograft cancer models.  Experience with RNAseq, flow cytometry, fluorescence microscopy and imaging, and statistical methods is highly desirable.  The postdoctoral fellow will also be responsible for data analysis and manuscript preparation and submission, as well as teaching and oversight of research technicians and students in the lab.


MD and/or Ph.D. in Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, Immunology, or a related field, ability to conduct independent research, and excellent written and verbal communication skills are required. Individuals with a strong background in cancer immunotherapy are encouraged to apply.

To Apply

please send a CV, including a list of three references to Jennifer A. Giannelli Travis.  Please note “Application for a postdoctoral fellowship – ADAMS LAB” in the subject line.

Please Note:

To protect and preserve the health, safety and welfare of the UNM community, the University of New Mexico will require that all faculty, staff and students accessing University facilities and programs be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 as soon as possible, but no later than September 30, 2021. This mandate requires all UNM faculty, staff and students who access campus facilities, housing, programs, services and activities in person to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19, subject to limited exemptions. (

A postdoctoral position is available immediately to investigate novel immunotherapy platforms for cancer. Specifically, unique scientific opportunities are presented for preclinical studies to evaluate autologous or nanoparticle based cancer  vaccines across multiple cancer types. To facilitate clinical translation of our vaccine platforms, the employee will evaluate the preclinical efficacy of combination therapies with chemotherapy or immune checkpoint blockade. Validation of human cancer vaccines will be performed in humanized mouse model of ovarian cancer, with MRI-PET imaging of tumor burden and therapeutic response. Positions relate to highly relevant and innovative programs of translational materials science and immunotherapy using cutting-edge concepts and technologies.

Candidates must possess:

  • Intellectual curiosity in a highly-focused scientific environment;
  • A strong laboratory background with knowledge of cell biology or immunology techniques, proficiency with animal experimentation, bioimaging, microscopy, flow cytometry;
  • Strong abilities to work independently with self-initiative, pro-active thinking and action;
  • High work ethic and scientific integrity

This position requires a PhD in Biomedical Sciences, Materials Science, Biology, Immunology or a closely related field with a proven record of peer-reviewed first-authorship publications. Motivation to conduct translational research is strongly encouraged to apply.

Salary is commensurate with experience and is based upon the NIH Ruth Kirschenstein Postdoctoral Fellow Scale.

To apply, send a Curriculum Vitae, including a list of three references to Dr. Rita Serda using “application for a postdoctoral researcher position” on the subject line.

Rita Serda, PhD
Research Assistant Professor, Division of Molecular Medicine
Department of Internal Medicine

Join the laboratory of Dr. Shuguang Leng, PhD. This postdoctoral fellow will work closely with the principal investigator to develop several molecular and genomic epidemiological projects focusing on the understanding of cancer ethnic disparity and metal-induced health effects in multiethnic populations in the Southwestern United States. Specifically, the position will develop laboratory–based biomarker assays and genetic and genomic methods related to cancer that are applicable to human specimens for assessing specific hypotheses. Will also conduct bed- to benchside translational studies by performing independent research investigating the mechanisms underlying the associations observed at the population level. Successful candidate will have the opportunity to be involved in other key components of molecular epidemiological studies including biospecimen collection, processing and storage, primary data collection, development of analytical plans, and interpretation of epidemiological and genetic and genomic data.

This position requires a PhD in molecular epidemiology or a closely related field with strong practical experience in molecular or cellular biology and a proven record of peer-reviewed first-authorship publications. PhDs in biochemistry, molecular biology, or cell biology who have motivation to conduct translational research are strongly encouraged to apply. Candidate must have excellent work ethics, scientific integrity, and collaborative attitude.

Salary is commensurate with experience and is based upon the NIH Ruth Kirschenstein Postdoctoral Fellow Scale.

To Apply

Send a Curriculum Vitae, including a list of three references to Dr. Shuguang Leng using “application for a postdoctoral researcher position” on the subject line.

Shuguang Leng, PhD
Assistant Professor
Division of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Preventive Medicine
Department of Internal Medicine
UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center

Phone: (505) 272-9897

Our laboratory is interested in investigating the genetic and functional heterogeneity of tumor stem-like cells that initiate and sustain the growth of the most aggressive brain tumor in adults, i.e. glioblastoma. We integrate genomic measurements with phenotypic analysis and use this information to gain mechanistic insights into the development of therapeutic resistance.

If you have recently defended your PhD thesis, are interested in translational research,  and have a basic understanding of flow cytometry and experience with molecular biology and tissue culture work, please send your CV with a description of your previous research and arrange for three letters of references to be sent to:

Dr. Sara G.M. Piccirillo, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Dpt. Cell Biology and Physiology
Member, UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center
University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center

Review of the applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.